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I have recently noticed some damage on my brick wall, and I would like to understand what exactly is going on, and how it can be helped. To be clear, I am less concerned about hte black spots, and more concerned about the fact that bricks seem to break down under those spots.

See photos below:

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  • My first guess would be frost damage. I can't place the black discoloration though, mould growing on a moist brick perhaps?
    – MiG
    Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 22:39
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    @MiG I do not know of much natural damage that leaves squares/angles/ or straight lines. It is almost like they were branded(?)
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 22:48
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    Thanks for your comments, folks. I am less concerned by the black marks themselves, and more by the fact that bricks seem to break down under these marks.
    – ikostia
    Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 10:11
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    please add your concern to the question ... it does not belong in the comment section
    – jsotola
    Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 11:52
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    It kind of looks like there was, at one time, some sort of structure next to the wall, making contact with it. If so you should be able to see a pattern if you step back and ignore the mortar joints.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 13:29

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I believe you have brick spalling, which is caused by the brick absorbing water and then freezing. Surprisingly (to me) pressure washing brick can be the first step leading to spalling because it leaves microscopic fractures in the brick's finish.

Here's a website that discusses brick spalling and repair.

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