In the past, one common feature to many upscale homes was outdoor masonry work. It definitely can add a lot of beauty to a home, especially if it is kept up well. Since it is outside and exposed to the elements, however, it could easily take damage and start falling apart. If water gets into cracks in your masonry work, it can expand and do damage over time. When masonry is first put into place, there will usually be a sealant keeping water out, but this can wear off over time. This is especially a problem when there are cold temperatures causing the water in cracks to freeze and expand, widening the crack and making the damage worse.
Improper grading can also make it easier for water to collect at the bottom of the masonry work and cause damage. Instead, it should be drained away from any masonry work that is exposed.