This wall looks pretty good, no problems here, right?

side wall

This wall looks pretty good, no problems here, right?

Well maybe.

But look up at the second story level.

Look where the decorative front type brick meets the planer single colour side brick.

You can see the joint between the two, right?

The light whitish colour of the mortar, yes.

Why is it like that, we don’t see any others like it do we.

So lets go over and take a closer look at it.

Now you can see it ;

wall detail

Now you CAN see it!

There’s a bulge!

What does that mean?

That means that the ties that joined this masonry to the wall framing behind have let go, at least in some areas.

Why? The metal strips have rusted and broken. This is from water that has gotten in behind the wall bricks over the years.

This can be from just the weather exposure of the brick, but usually it indicates a weakness in the parapet wall flashing or leaking roof conditions.

 I suspect I already know what I’m going to see when I get on the roof of this property.

To fix this a mason has to remove the bricks down from the top until he reaches solid wall areas and then rebuild the wall back up to the top.

The bricks all have to be cleaned of the old mortar in the process or be replaced with new. The parapet wall flashing has to be taken off and then reinstalled in process of rebuilding this wall. So even without paying for new bricks this will be a labour intensive repair.

So before you finalize the purchase price of this property you need a masonry contractor to provide the pricing for this repair. It will definitely be a factor in the financing of this property.


So if you are in the Montreal area, and are planning to buy or sell property, you need these costly repairs identified. You can contact me for a full inspection or an issue specific consultation.

Not even two weeks ago there was an incident reported on the news here in Montreal where a section of wall masonry fell off a high story building and damaged a neighbouring property about 10 storeys lower. The bricks broke through the roof and ceiling of the upper floor. Fortunately no one was in those rooms at the time.

View news report images:

So even when you are not preparing to sell or buy property, don’t neglect the maintenance inspections. Oh, and by the way this is also a service that I provide.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post