On the Bricks Masonry Requires Regular Maintenance

Brickwork is everywhere across the New York area. Around since the early 1600s, the popular building material is commonly used not only because of its aesthetic appeal but also because of its practicality.

“Brick is the most beautiful surface, you should always try to maintain the integrity of natural bricks,” says Michael Hollander, a president at Montvale-based Rainbow Contractors, a firm that does work in New York and New Jersey.

Naturally weatherproof, bricks protect well against wind, fire, and a large amount of water damage. Sounds like a magical building material, right?

Well, not quite. What many co-op and condo associations don’t understand is that there is a fair share of maintenance that goes into brickwork. Brick walls are an investment and if taken care of appropriately can last beautifully for generations.

The Brick Basics

Not all bricks are created equal. Bricks come in a myriad of different shapes, styles and textures. “Everything building is different,” says Larry Attla of Urban D.C. Inc. in Brooklyn. “In the 1960s, you had the white glazed brick whereas a building built in the 1800s would have a hand-made common brick.”


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  • If I hired a mason to replace some lintels or bricks and the replacements only lasted 10 years, I wouldn't invite him or her back. My house is 50 years old and I don't know of any bricks or lintels anywhere in the complex that have needed replacement, though some of the lintels over the basement windows have been sealed. It might be reasonable to expect some maintenance ever 10 years or so in a large building, as long as the parts needing replacement are not the same ones that were replaced in the last 10 year cycle.
  • we are in a brick condo in ortley beach and it is still standing after hurricane sandy.flood water did get in and destroyed everything else inside but it did not budge off its foundation.we are now waiting for new bldg codes before we are allowed to do any work because they say we might have to be raised.what is your opinion?
  • In the area I live, brick is a very popular building material. We live in a high desert, so brick and stone help to keep buildings cool during the day and warm at night. However, you make a great point about how masonry can be porous. In our area, freezing and thawing is common during the winter. It's important to maintain your brick with a licensed contractor to prevent costly building damage. Thanks for your post.
  • great advice here!! well done