How to Care for Aging Bricks

How to Care for Aging Bricks

As you probably know, brick has been used for thousands of years. Why? Bricks are durable, user-friendly, and require little maintenance compared to other building materials. Bricks are also energy efficient, noncombustible, and recyclable. On top of all that, bricks are resistant to high pressure, extremes in temperature, and heat-absorbing, plus they are available in a variety of textures and colors. Even so, bricks do require some maintenance especially as they age. 

In some instances, professional care is required but there are also some simple maintenance procedures that you, as a homeowner can do to care for your aging bricks. Let’s learn more!

Keeping Your Brick Beautiful

As your bricks age, there are several simple maintenance tasks you can perform to keep your brick in good condition and your home looking beautiful. Whether your home is a sprawling rancher or a traditional colonial or some style in between, brick is often the first choice not only because of its durability but also because of the resale value it adds to any home. Occasional cleaning, periodically checking for water damage, and repointing are among the most common fixes to keep aging bricks beautiful and maintain your home’s structural integrity. In most cases with brick, less is more, because the type of cleaning needed will vary depending on the dirt, debris, or stain being addressed. In fact, one of the easiest ways to clean your brick each year is with a garden hose and spray nozzle to remove dirt. 

Addressing the Growth of Mold, Mildew, or Moss on Your Brick  

Most homes have one area which receives little sunlight leaving the space damp and prone to the growth of mold, mildew, and moss. If you notice these issues on your home’s brick exterior, walkways, or freestanding walls, a simple cleaning solution of water and bleach, along with a bristle brush can be used to clean the area successfully. Soak the area to be cleaned with water, and then mix a gallon of water with a cup of bleach and apply with the scrub brush to clean the affected area. 

Combatting Water Damage

Rising damp and splash back are the common causes of water damage to bricks. Rising damp is the term used to describe water seeping up from the ground leaving a tide line. The moisture will evaporate, but the salt left behind can result in the breakdown of bricks. Splash back is as it sounds, from rain beating down on the bricks. The result is often cracking bricks and mortar. Freeze/thaw cycles can increase the water damage making the repairs required more extensive. 

The Process of Repointing

In most cases, repointing should be left to the masonry experts. The process includes removing damaged mortar from between bricks without disturbing the bricks and then replacing it with fresh, matching mortar. Homeowners who attempt to DIY this process will often find the work does not hold up to weather or wear. Hiring a professional should result in a job well-done, with matching mortar that will last for years to come especially with aging bricks. 

Paint Removal?

When in doubt, always call the professionals. Removing paint from brick is a tricky process, Chemical treatment works but should be done by masonry professionals because the wrong concentration will damage the surface of the brick. Sandblasting, while it will remove paint, will damage brick making it more prone to moisture and damage, particularly with older bricks.

Call on the Experts at Turnbull Masonry

The professionals at Turnbull Masonry are experts in the care and restoration of aging bricks. Their work is backed by a unique warranty system, which includes premium quality products and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Call today and keep your brick home looking its best for years to come!