Erosion is defined as the natural wearing away of a material. Most people think of erosion and conjure images of water channels hewn into rock by nature. This is an example of erosion but it also happens much closer to home.
What Is Wall Erosion
Brick walls are usually considered sturdy and can survive in a variety of different scenarios. The bricks are joined by mortar, giving them strength. But, the relentless wind and rain eventually takes its toll on the mortar and even the brick. As the mortar is removed the wall losses its strength.
Another issue for walls, especially those around a house, is that the soil can shift removing some of the wall support. This potentially makes the wall weaker and the house more vulnerable to the elements.
Dealing With Wall Erosion
Your approach will depend on the issue you are dealing with. For starters, when the soil is disappearing and the wall is getting weaker you will need to look at the cause of the erosion.
It can be a result of inclement weather washing soil away. In this instance, you can refill the soil or you may prefer to add a concrete edging to your house, strengthening the wall and removing the erosion problem.
Erosion at the base of your house walls can also be caused by pests, particularly termites. They create tunnels through the soil into the foundations of your home. This gives them access to wood to eat and the freedom to come and go.
To stop this you will need termite bait traps. These attract the termites and supply them with food. Once they are happy the trap offers safe food they will make it as such. You can then switch the food, putting poison in instead. The termites take this back to the colony and effectively kill the rest of the colony for you.
Of course, you may still want to concrete the edge of your house walls to make it harder for termites to get in and cause wall erosion.
There are two approaches when repairing the mortar damaged by erosion. The first is simply to patch the area. This involves adding fresh mortar and refilling the gap caused by erosion. Doing this strengthens the wall and makes it look better. But, it doesn’t fix the issue in the long term.
The only way to do that is to remove the crumbling mortar and then add fresh mortar. This will repair the damage and ensure your wall is strong and good-looking again. However, it will still absorb moisture and expand and contract, repeating the issue in the future. That’s why you should apply a sealant to protect the house wall and ensure it lasts longer.
Finally, you should look at what is causing the wall to get damp, other than rain. Leaks inside the house and poor drainage outside can cause water to collect beneath the house walls. This allows the soil to move and can cause issues with wall erosion and even subsidence. Redirecting this water and stopping leaks will help your wall to stay strong.