What is Spalling Bricks?

Spalling of bricks is mainly due to moisture content either injected from outside of the inner moisture content crosses the water-bearing capacity of brick, results in breaking of bricks- spalling of bricks. In another way, spalling bricks are the result of water freezing and defrosting inside, which deteriorates the brick.


Brick is amazingly durable and an excellent insulator, which is why it’s so widely used and has been for centuries. But the problem with bricks comes when it undergoes the spalling. It causes the brick to misplace its uppermost coating. Spalling bricks are more of a delinquent in areas with temperature excesses, and particularly in areas where there are frequent freeze-thaw cycles.

Spalling Brick causes

There are various causes of brick spalling. To increases the life span and durability of bricks, one needs to study the causes of spalling bricks. Various causes of spalling bricks are as follows:

  1. The leading cause of the brick spalling plays an immense role in the brick deterioration in the water. Water can enter the bricks in a number of ways. If rainwater hits the surface of bricks continually, it will eventually begin to degrade brickwork. Water reacts with the constituents present in the bricks and deteriorates it badly. If one lives in a cold zone the absorbent exterior of bricks permits water to engross and when the water freezes, the brick can swell and crack.
  2. Water helps in bricks spalling as it can penetrate a brick from above over a settled mortar joint and causes the face to break off.
  3. The other leading cause of the spalling bricks is the too high and too dense mortar in the cement content. If it is too much dense, Mortar present in the cement over the brick will not allow the brick to expand as enough as it needs. Because of this, stress forms up in the interior of the brick because the mortar doesn’t let the wetness outflow to the exterior of the brick where it can vaporize. That’s why brick undergoes spalling due to pressure.

Disadvantage of spalling Bricks

Some leading disadvantages of spalling bricks include:

  1. Spalling bricks weaken the surface of the structure.
  2. The pressure absorbing capacity of the wall decreases due to spalling bricks.
  3. Due to spalling bricks, Water can enter between the wall and surface which leads to deterioration of the whole structure.
  4. Spalling bricks can worsen the exquisiteness of the structure.

How to prevent spalling Bricks

Preventions are always better than the cure. Here are some common prevention tips to counter the spalling of bricks.

  • Check the original cause of the brick spalling.
  • Identify the source of water seepage in the structure.
  • Install a proper water drainage system in the house structure.
  • Cement over the bricks should carry less dense and thick mortar.

If one follows these steps carefully, there will be no spalling bricks. If one has any spalling bricks then there are different spalling Brick Treatment

Spalling Bricks repairs or Treatment

spalling Bricks

If the treatment is too late, then one must go to the repair of spalling bricks. Repair of the spalling bricks almost begins from identifying the source of the problem. Major spalling brick treatment includes the repair if the moisture source. Spalling bricks treatment can be done by the replacement of the damaged bricks. Well, this step needs more considerations, as the treatment of the spalling bricks should not destroy the whole structure. Misting of the existing mortar can also be a good measure as a brick spalling treatment and the best repair as well.


Spalling bricks is the series problem, can turn the brick to a soft powder. But if one follows the prevention step, the huge problem can be avoided. Repair and the treatment of spalling bricks are very simple but must be carefully undertaken


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Reference : 

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About the Author

Ripon Chandra Malo

Founder & Editor

Hi there! My name is Ripon Chandra Malo. I am a Civil(Geotechnical) Engineer. I always love to learn new things and want to share what I learned. Also , I am a part-time blogger and freelancer. I will try to share my knowledge in the different fields of civil engineering. If you have any questions to ask then please contact with me.

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