Even though brick is built to last, it still needs proper care and maintenance. Here are some practical tips on how to maintain the brick exterior of your home.
For centuries now, brick has been a favourite of many stately as well as simple homes. It is probably because of its energy efficiency or maybe it is because of the aesthetic appeal that comes with that rusty colour, whatever the reason, brick simply stands out and make for amazing building material. As maintenance free as brick typically is, it does occasionally call for some cleaning, water damage spot checks and a few repairs to ensure that it maintains its structural integrity.
Cleaning your brick exterior
Prudence dictates that you take the least aggressive approach when cleaning your brick exterior. It is advisable to take a garden hose to your brick walls once every year. For loose dirt, just use a hose with a spray nozzle and pressured water to clean it off. There are, however, some cases where there might be mould, moss or mildew involved.
In such cases, you will need to add different types of cleaning agents to get the job done. Here you can mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water and use a synthetic bristle brush to scrub off the offending growth. You should be careful about using bleach on the dry brick. Before applying this cleaning solution, ensure that the area is well soaked thus leaving no room for any more fluid intake for the bricks.
Protecting your brick walls from the elements
Although there are many steps that you can take on your own to maintain your brick exterior, there are some that simply call for professional assistance. This is one of those steps. To protect your brick exterior from the elements, especially if you live in an area where frost is a typical occurrence, you need to apply sealants and water repellents.
Siloxane repellent is an excellent example of what you need. Not only is it an effective water repellent but it does so while allowing masonry some room to breathe. Trying to use unvetted sealants may result in further damage to your brick exterior. Most sealants do not allow your walls to breathe and end up trapping moisture and ruining the whole thing by changing the wall’s colour and darkening the shades. That is why it is essential to use a professional mason for this step.
Repointing your brick exterior
This is yet another step that calls for professional assistance. Brick mortar joints tend to wear off and chip away. If you do not do something about this, the overall structural integrity of the wall in question will be compromised. A professional will careful remove the affected mortar joints and replace it with fresh mortar. It is advisable for the depth of the freshly applied mortar to be twice the width of the affected mortar joint. These are things professionals would know to do.
If you want your brick exterior to maintain its beautiful and majestic look, you need to carry out periodic repairs and maintenance on it. Involving a professional for most of these steps is integral to the durability and aesthetic value of the brick exterior in the long run.