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Brickwork and Stone Repair

Eliminating the requirement for scaffold, SAS will deploy a specialist rope access team enabling brick and stonework repairs to be undertaken in a cost effective and efficient manner.

Maintaining the integrity of your building’s brickwork and stonework is a fundamental aspect of property management. These materials, although robust, don’t last forever and can be subject to wear and tear, environmental conditions, and age-related deterioration.

Brickwork and Stone Damage

Signs of Brickwork and Stone damage

It’s important to keep a close eye on the physical condition of any building that you manage. Inspecting a building regularly will help you to identify potential problems early on which usually makes for an easier and cheaper repair.

Some tell-tale signs to look out for in brickwork and stonework include cracks, discolouration, loose or missing pieces, and visible water ingress or damp spots.

Small cracks in the brick or stone can be innocuous, but they can allow water to penetrate the material. Discolouration can be a sign of water staining, biological growth, or other issues. Loose or missing pieces of brick or stone can also undermine the structural integrity of the building and pose a safety risk.

Swift action at the first sign of damage is essential, as minor issues can escalate into major problems if left unattended.

Specialised Access Solutions offer a comprehensive brickwork and stonework inspection service to help our clients effectively monitor the condition of their buildings. This service involves our technicians utilising rope access methods to inspect the brickwork and stonework of a building from every possible vantage point, ensuring a comprehensive examination.

One of the key advantages of rope access inspection is its efficiency and precision. It allows our technicians to reach areas of your building that may otherwise be inaccessible or difficult to view with traditional access methods. By bypassing these limitations, we can identify both visible and hidden issues, be they minor or significant. We’re then able to provide a detailed report outlining our findings. This report includes the identification of any existing or potential issues, accompanied by high-resolution photographs for your reference.

We also provide a list of recommendations tailored to address the issues identified, with proposed solutions designed to mitigate further damage and restore the integrity of your brickwork and stonework.

Brickwork damage

Damaged brickwork can lead to a range of problems that go beyond mere aesthetics. When bricks become cracked or eroded, water can penetrate through the gaps. Water inside the brickwork will then cause internal dampness and mould growth. This is not only unsightly but also poses potential health risks. Dampness within the building can lead to the growth of mould and mildew. This can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and other health concerns.

Spalling, the flaking or peeling of the brick’s surface, can also weaken the brick’s structure and, over time, lead to more substantial damage.

Water ingress can also lead to the corrosion of steel reinforcements within brick structures. Over time, this will seriously compromise the building’s structural integrity.

Another issue associated with damaged brickwork is biological growth. This includes algae, lichens, and moss, which can thrive in damp, shaded conditions often found in water-damaged brickwork. These biological agents can accelerate the degradation of bricks, leading to more severe structural issues in the future.

Additionally, damaged brickwork can have significant impact on your property’s thermal performance. Cracks and gaps can reduce the insulating properties of the wall, leading to increased heating costs in winter and cooling costs in summer.

Stone damage

Stone is often seen as an enduring, timeless material for building structures, lending an air of grandeur and resilience. However, even stone isn’t impervious to damage and degradation over time. Stone damage, particularly cracking, can pose distinct problems that are different from those experienced with brickwork.

Cracks in stonework can compromise the structural integrity of the building. These faults can propagate over time, creating a weakened area that can lead to significant damage and even the potential for stone facades to collapse. Furthermore, cracks in stone can encourage biological growth, such as moss, lichen, or fungi. These organic elements can accelerate the degradation process, causing the stone to crumble and deteriorate.

Water ingress is another significant concern with cracked stonework. Water can both be absorbed into the stonework but can also pool in cracks. Both of these methods of ingress can lead to further expansion of the crack, especially during colder months through the freeze-thaw process. Over time, this can exacerbate the damage, causing the stone to break or chip away.

Aesthetics are also an issue with deteriorating stonework. Deteriorating stone can significantly detract from the visual appeal of a building. This can have a knock-on effect on the building’s value, particularly for heritage or listed buildings where the original stone’s preservation is essential.

Freeze-Thaw Cycle

The freeze-thaw cycle is a common natural process that can cause significant damage to both brickwork and stonework, especially in countries with a cold/wet winter climate like the UK.

The cycle begins when water, often from rainfall or condensation, penetrates the porous materials of bricks and stones. As temperatures drop below freezing, the water trapped within the pores expands as it turns into ice.

This expansion exerts substantial pressure on the surrounding material, causing it to crack or fracture. As temperatures rise and the ice melts, the water can seep deeper into the material, ready to repeat the cycle with the next freeze.

Just one of these cycles may not cause much damage. However, over the course of a British winter, these cycles of freezing and thawing can cause increasingly significant damage. Eventually, it can lead to the complete breakdown of the brick or stone.

The cumulative impact of this process can lead to substantial structural and aesthetic damage. Cracks can become larger and more numerous, and pieces of the material can eventually break away entirely in a process known as spalling. Therefore, the freeze-thaw cycle is a key reason why regular inspection and prompt repair of brickwork and stonework is crucial, particularly in colder climates. By repairing damage swiftly, we can prevent water ingress and mitigate the harmful effects of the freeze-thaw cycle, preserving the integrity of your building.

Repairing Brickwork and Stone Damage


Pointing is a critical element in the maintenance of brick and stone structures. It refers to the external, visible edges of mortar joints seen in masonry construction. Over time, these mortar joints can weather and degrade due to exposure to the elements, leading to the need for repointing.

Repointing is the process of renewing the pointing in a masonry structure. It involves removing some of the old, weathered mortar and replacing it with fresh mortar. Our technicians carry out this process, ensuring the mortar matches the original in type, colour, and texture, thereby maintaining the building’s aesthetics. Repointing effectively seals off the gaps where water can penetrate the masonry, reducing the risk of water ingress, dampness, and biological growth.

Porous Brickwork Waterproofing

As discussed above, brickwork is extremely porous and can absorb water. Our waterproofing solution, which involves the application of a porous brick coating, is designed to address this issue.

Remedial waterproofing

If water has already begun to permeate your brickwork, it’s crucial to act quickly to prevent further damage. We first assess the extent of the damage before proceeding with the waterproofing process. Our technicians apply a specially formulated porous brick coating that acts as a sealant, preventing further water absorption. This durable coating won’t affect the brick’s breathability at all. This will ensure that moisture within the brick can still evaporate while stopping additional water from seeping in. The waterproofing restores the integrity of your brickwork and also protects it from future damage.

Preventative waterproofing

In areas particularly prone to heavy rainfall or high humidity, it’s advisable to take a preventative approach to porous brickwork. Applying a porous brick coating to your building’s exterior as a preventative measure can help avoid potential water damage down the line. Our preventative waterproofing provides a proactive solution, fortifying your brickwork against water penetration from the outset. This not only maintains the health of your bricks, but it also protects the interior of your building from dampness, mould growth, and associated structural and health issues.

Crack Stitching

Crack stitching is a highly effective method for repairing cracks in the masonry of buildings. It is suitable for a wide range of buildings, including residential, commercial, and historic properties. From minor hairline cracks to more significant structural fractures, crack stitching can effectively stabilise and restore the integrity of the building.

Our approach to crack stitching involves a thorough evaluation of the cracked area. Our skilled technicians carefully analyse the crack pattern, its width, and depth to determine the best strategy for repair. If a Structural Engineer’s advice will be required before work is carried out then we will advise you of this.

If crack stitching is found to be the best method of repair, we insert helical stainless-steel bars into pre-cut horizontal slots in the masonry, crossing over the cracks. The bars are then grouted in place, effectively ‘stitching’ the crack back together.

Crack stitching brings stabilisation of the structure, halting the progression of the existing cracks and preventing the formation of new ones. This ensures the long-term safety and durability of the building. Our non-disruptive process preserves the building’s original appearance, maintaining the aesthetic value of the property.

Rebuilding Brickwork and Stonework

There are times when the damage to brickwork and stonework is too extensive to be rectified by simple repairs, and a full rebuilding process becomes necessary. Rebuilding brickwork and stonework is a meticulous process that requires expertise, precision, and a deep understanding of materials and construction methods.

First, we carefully remove the damaged bricks or stones, ensuring minimal disruption to the surrounding undamaged structure. Then, we source replacement bricks or stones that closely match the original in material, colour, and size, maintaining the aesthetic consistency of your building.

The rebuilding process involves layering the replacement bricks or stones with mortar, ensuring each is properly aligned and secured. Once the rebuilding is complete, we apply the final layer of pointing to seal off the masonry from moisture and potential damage.

Rebuilding your brickwork and stonework not only restores the structural integrity of your building but also enhances its visual appeal. This process can resolve major structural issues, prevent future problems, and significantly extend the lifespan of your building.


Regular inspections and prompt repairs of brickwork and stonework are vital for maintaining the safety, value, and longevity of your building.

Ignoring early signs of damage can result in costly repairs down the line and compromise the structural integrity of your property.

IRATA Operating Member

Specialised Access Solutions is proud to be an IRATA Operating Member company. This significant accreditation stands as a testament to our commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the industry and ensuring the utmost safety of our clients.

Assurance of Quality and Safety

IRATA, the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association, is a globally recognised body that sets the standard for rope access safety and efficiency worldwide. Its rigorous membership criteria demand that all member companies adhere to strict safety standards and work procedures, ensuring clients that they are entrusting their operations to a competent, reliable provider.

All IRATA Operating Members are subjected to regular audits to verify that they continue to meet the stringent safety and operational standards set by the association. These audits scrutinise everything from the safety procedures and training protocols of the company, to the condition and maintenance of the equipment used.

Choosing an IRATA Operating Member

When you choose an IRATA Operating Member like Specialised Access Solutions for your confined space rescue needs, you’re choosing a provider whose safety protocols, equipment, and training programmes are regularly evaluated and approved by a leading industry authority.

This membership provides our clients with the assurance that they are working with a company that prioritises safety and professionalism above all else. It gives them peace of mind knowing that they are partnering with a provider that not only talks about safety but has the accreditations to back it up.

Our IRATA membership is not just a badge we wear with pride, but a promise of quality, safety, and professional service that we deliver to all of our clients.

Looking for rope access Brickwork and Stone Repair? Specialised Access Solutions have teams ready to mobilise now.

Give us a call on 0151 268 6182, E-Mail us at [email protected] or complete our contact form.