Bricks are used in construction to make buildings, and in many contexts, they never need to be specifically waterproofed. But in settings where there is a lot of moisture, waterproofing your bricks can be very important. Sometimes you want the bricks to resist water more than they do naturally.
Even though brick is as durable and solid as it appears, it is very susceptible to moisture. Any quantity of water in even the smallest cracks and gaps might cause serious issues over time. At first glance, your brick surface may appear wonderful, but if you want it to last a long time in moist environments, there’s a lot more work to be done.
Why Waterproof Bricks
Stop Moisture Damage
Bricks that are not sealed absorb water, which can cause the porous brick masonry and mortar to deteriorate.
Keep Aesthetic Appeal
Bricks are more valuable if they are properly sealed and waterproofed over the long term. Extending the life and beauty of masonry work, particularly in a wet region, improves your property’s value by prolonging its aesthetic appeal, not to mention its structural integrity.
Make Bricks Last Longer
The main reason you might want your masonry work or brickwork to be more resistant to water is that it will last longer. If the building where your brick is used gets wet frequently, then waterproofing its mortar and exterior surfaces can reduce damage from leaking roofs and high humidity levels in a space.
Fewer Repair Costs
Moisture-resistant bricks may also mean fewer repair costs down the line for issues like spalling (breaking off pieces) of the mortar joints between bricks due to freeze/thaw cycles.
Fungal growth may complicate matters even further. Mold prefers to grow on hard surfaces like brick when there is an adequate supply of water. While mold spores are not as dangerous as water damage, they can harm the structure by weakening it over time. They also pose a health hazard to those who breathe them or come into contact with them both humans and pets.
Reduce Gritty Texture
Proper sealing also reduces the gritty texture that occurs on interior brick floors and outdoor paved areas.
The Cons Of Waterproofing Bricks
The cons of waterproofing bricks There are some potential side effects associated with sealing your brick surfaces too well, including trapping moisture inside them which can lead to mold growth or cause bricks themselves (or mortar joints between them) to spall off more easily when they freeze/thaw cycles take place during winter months. The choice is up to you!
Choose The Right Sealer
Not all sealers are waterproofing, which is essential in humid regions. Read the label carefully on your choice of sealer to ensure it provides moisture protection. Not all sealers do.
How To Waterproof Bricks
This is the basic process:
- Make sure the bricks are clean before applying sealer. Clean any dust and grit from the masonry seams and tight corners.
- Scrub the brick with a cloth and warm, soapy water. Towels should be used to absorb any extra moisture. Allow the brick to dry fully before continuing.
- In a paint tray, add a brick sealer. On the majority of brick surfaces, use a basic masonry sealer. Sealing chimney bricks requires a product that is specifically designed for this purpose. While still waterproofing the exterior, chimney seals allow moisture to seep out from within the chimney, which it needs to be able to do.
- Using a paint roller, apply the sealer to the brick surface. Apply sealer to the mortar lines using an angled brush. Allow for eight hours for the sealer to dry fully.
- Allow the brick surface to air-dry for 24 hours before walking on it or handling it. Apply a second coat of sealer and wait 24 hours before using or touching the brick surface.
General Tips For Keeping Bricks In Good Condition
There are some things you can do to keep your bricks in good condition, including:
- Avoid allowing corrosive elements to make contact with your bricks such as salt spray from the ocean.
- Reduce exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals like chlorine bleach on bricks because it can cause discoloration and corrosion of metal fittings over time if left in direct contact with them too long.
- Do not use pressure washers on bricks without first testing an inconspicuous area for colorfastness – some water resistant sealers may blister off when exposed to high water pressure during washing cycles that last more than five minutes per spot being cleaned.
- If you want to keep bricks in good condition, a easy thing you can do is clean them with a garden hose once a year.
- You can even paing them every few years to protect the surface over time.
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