Maintenance on a property, especially one that has brick and/or stone exterior, is essential to keep repair costs down. Regularly maintaining the property can prevent big ticket repairs down the line. There are many examples of maintenance versus repair when discussing masonry materials and sealants. It is recommended and almost required to perform either an annual or semi-annual walkthrough to gauge the conditions of your property. If the building is in a climate that experiences freezing temperatures in the winter and hot/humid conditions in the summer months more regular check-ups are necessary. This is because many of the sealants are made of materials that expand and contract with the weather, leaving them vulnerable to cracking and overall deterioration.
Anytime you see a crack whether it be on mortar joints or on a caulk sealant water infiltration is present. Water infiltration can be a huge problem for masonry materials and lead to costly masonry repairs. Tuckpointing in areas where mortar has begun to crack and wash away can prevent the need to tuckpoint an entire property. Also, making sure that masonry sealants around lintels are intact can keep those items from needing to be replaced which may cause an eye sore and an expensive repair. It is amazing what a case of NP1 stone caulk can do to reduce the need for expensive major repairs. Reducing or eliminating cracks in the mortar joints and replacing worn out seals around windows and sills can save some big money down the road.
Having a maintenance plan in place and performing regular inspections of masonry exteriors can substantially reduce the cost of masonry repairs. The last thing a property owner wants is a letter in the mail from the city stating that they are in violation of Code X, Y or Z. Those are the most expensive repairs and can really hurt a property owner. Plan ahead and perform regular maintenance and these violations and expensive repairs will not be required.