Masonry, like any other building system, requires periodic inspection and maintenance if it is to provide satisfactory long-term service. Maintenance of masonry structures can be placed into three categories: Routine maintenance to ensure adequate masonry performance and to prolong the service life of the structure; specific maintenance to correct obvious problems; preventative maintenance to keep minor problems from developing into major, costly repairs if not corrected. INSPECTING MASONRY Inspections of masonry structures usually are not difficult nor expensive to perform. To conduct a thorough inspection, use an inspection sheet that allows you to note specific problems and ensure that no areas are overlooked during an inspection. In addition to an inspection sheet, a pocket knife, crack comparator, binoculars, and camera can be helpful when examining masonry structures. SYSTEMATIC INSPECTIONS Masonry inspections should be approached systematically by concentrating on specific areas or features. For example, examine parapets; then check window and door openings; proceed to control joints, flashings, and weep holes. SCHEDULING INSPECTIONS Seasonal inspections provide a base for establishing a structure's condition and characteristics during both hot and cold weather.