Split Face Block Repair

Roofing by Hernandez

In 2009, Chicago decided that it would impose restrictions on the use of split-faced block in new home and condominium construction. Why, you ask? Split faced block was determined to have a range of issues which frequently showed themselves a few years after a homeowner had moved in; most often having to do with shoddy construction methods. However, some recent projects in Chicago are using this material again, so we thought it would be a good idea to discuss the benefits and consequences of using split faced block for your new home or condominium. 

Let’s start by defining split faced block. Basically, it’s an 8” thick cinder block with a rough face mimicking stone. It’s made from aggregate, cement and stone and has historically been used as exterior cladding on buildings in the Chicago area. Not anymore though, at least not in most cases, because it can lead to significant problems stemming from its porous nature. That’s right, it soaks up water like a sponge if not installed correctly. 

So, if split faced block had so many issues, why did so many contractors use it throughout the 2000s? Here are a few reasons to consider: 

  • It’s much cheaper than higher quality materials available. 
  • It’s bigger than standard brick, so takes fewer to complete a job. 
  • It’s ideal for use as a single wythe wall – further reducing costs. 
  • Its simplicity meant it could be installed by cheaper non-union workers. 

Split Faced Block Problem 

The issue with split faced block is its porous nature. That often means water absorption and water damage. First, these building are single wythe construction, so there’s no internal wall to block water from penetrating once it’s through the exterior wall. Plus, they’re masonry, so they’re going to absorb moisture and it’s going to follow gravity’s lead. In a multiple wythe building that means an air gap and no penetration. In a single wythe building you end up with water damage. 

A properly installed split faced block exterior wall must have flashing in place under the coping of the roof’s parapet. In fact, every permeable area that can be flashed, should be. Caulking a wall does not provide the same benefits as using flashing to prevent moisture intrusion. It’s not even close, so flashing is key to sound installationPlus, the installation has to include the appropriate mortar mixture. This should be mixed by an experienced Chicago roofer who understands local weather. Too much sand can lead to real problems – big problems. 

Our Split Faced Block Repair 

The Roofing by Hernandez solution to shoddy split faced block construction is a three-step process. Each step is aimed at getting rid of the moisture that’s made its way into your structure and keeping it out for good. These steps are as follows: 

  1. Sealing Walls: This is the most important step in ensuring that no more water makes its way into the building. This seal will add impermeability to the masonry and help to shed water. This step requires the right tools and expertise to be certain coverage is adequate in all areas. 
  1. Drying Existing Moisture: This is the most important step in our repair process as nothing else we do will make any difference if the moisture in the structure is not removed. In fact, the sealing will only make things worse if water is not eliminated from the split faced block. This is process requires a “closed-door protocol” be followed; meaning no one in or out of the building for up to three weeks. We use industrial-strength dehumidifiers to pull all the moisture out, leaving nothing behind. 
  1. Make Necessary Repairs: After all the moisture is gone, and the building is properly sealed, we can make the repairs necessary to stop the same problems from starting in the future. If any mold is found during the process, you’ll want to hire a licensed mold remediator to handle it immediately. It can be dangerous to your health! 

While it may seem like your worst nightmare, especially if you didn’t even know about the limitations of split faced block, Roofing by Hernandez can help you fix the issues with proven, lasting methods. The first thing you need is an inspection to determine how bad your problems really are and to identify the best solution available – not to mention get an estimate for licensed, professional repair from the best in the business. That’s right, we’ve been rated five stars over 100 times on Google by Chicagoans just like you because we stand behind every job – today, tomorrow, and beyond. Call (312) 439-0556 right now to schedule your fee estimate visit! 

Our Service List

For almost 10 years, Roofing by Hernandez has been offering the finest roofing and roofing-related services to the good people of Chicagoland with an eye toward delivering maximum value to every client we interact with. That means excellent results at affordable prices and assistance with insurance claims as well! Our service list includes the following:

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Proudly Serving the Following Communities:

Bensenville | Des Plaines | Elgin | Elk Grove Village | Evanston | Harwood Heights | Lincolnwood | Skokie | Morton Grove | Rosemont | Norridge  | Schiller Park | Niles | Park Ridge | Roselle | Schaumburg | Streamwood | Bedford Park | Bolingbrook | Bridgeview | Evergreen Park | Brookfield | Burbank | Burr Ridge | Chicago Ridge | Alsip | Countryside | Evergreen Park | Forest View | Hickory Hills | Hodgkins | Hometown | Indian Head Park | Justice | Lemont | La Grange | La Grange Park | McCook | Merrionette Park | Oak Lawn | Palos Heights | Palos Hills | Palos Park | Summit | Willow Springs | Worth | The Loop | Hyde Park | Cicero | Little Village | Logan Square | Lincoln Park | Hermosa | Belmont Cragin | West Town | River North | Near North Side | Wicker Park | Bucktown | Garfield Park | West Garfield Park | North Lawndale | Chinatown | Old Town | Near West Side | Lower West Side | South Lawndale | Humboldt Park | Chicagoland | Addison | Bellwood | Berkeley | Berwyn | Broadview | Cicero | Elmhurst | Elmwood Park | Forest Park | Franklin Park | Hinsdale | Stone Park | Naperville | River Grove | Lyons | Maywood | Melrose Park | North Riverside | Northlake | Oak Brook | Oak Park | River Forest | Riverside | Westchester | River Grove | Stickney | Western Springs | Wheaton | Woodridge

Chicago’s Roofing Company

When you need roofing of any kind, or any other roof-related services, call on the good people at Roofing by Hernandez to ensure you get just what your roof needs, nothing more and nothing less. With upfront pricing, complete licensing and insurance, and a lifetime’s experience working in the great city of Chicago, there’s no better solution to your roofing problems than a call to (312) 439-0556.

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