Maintenance Tips for Brick Walls

Historically, brick has been the preferred material for a wide variety of habitable spaces. Famous for providing the basics such as enclosure to the advanced feature of protection to the building framework, bricks have been steadfast and unwavering.

Brick offers an economical and aesthetical answer in terms of texture, color, and durability. The use of brick as a primary construction material can be seen all around the world.

Regardless of their practicality and immense popularity, brick may present several challenges for architects, engineers, and builders.

Conditions such as extreme sun, humidity, mold, and even usage wear on brick. These parameters gradually wear the bricks down and tarnish their practical and aesthetical appeal.

Today, you’ll get to know some tips on how to best care for your brick facade.

Begin with a Visual Inspection

An in-depth visual inspection is a first and foremost step towards the maintenance of brick. What you could do is examine the surfaces of the brick around your home and look for cracks, crevices, unusual gaps, or surface damage.

However, the one aspect you need to be on the lookout for is efflorescence, a white powder-like substance that forms on bricks. Efflorescence can tarnish the appearance of bricks and indicate their porosity.

During freezing temperatures, if bricks are holding water, the water might expand, which could cause serious damage. In the case of widespread efflorescence, it’s best to consult a professional.

Inspect the Mortar

While inspecting the your brick facade, you might want to take a closer look at the mortar that is sandwiched between them. Mortar is less durable than brick and is more susceptible to several physical stresses.

Since mortar acts as glue for the bricks, it can get complicated if there are issues with this part of the surface. The bricks could become unseated, which increases the risk of them falling out of place.

Even though mortar can be repaired, severe damage may require a professional to repair the entire section.

Check for Leaks

Before jumping to conclusions about whether the brick walls of your home require work, a residential architect might suggest checking the inside of your house for leaks. Sometimes, hairline cracks in the mortar or bricks permit small amounts of water to percolate into the walls. Even a minimal amount of water could lead to the growth of mold that might cause structural issues.

And this is one of the most serious issues that could result in lasting damages to your brick walls. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?!

Keep the Bricks Clean

Cleaning the bricks is a critical aspect of maintaining their service life. The accumulation of dust and other particles might tarnish the rustic look that you’re aiming for.

A convenient method to eliminate mold is to use a hard-bristled brush and a mixture of water and bleach. Scrape horizontally to get the best results. Ensure to use protective gear like gloves, masks, and safety goggles.

If the damage is beyond your reach, then the best way is to hire professionals.

Remove Vegetation

Many homeowners appreciate the appeal of an ivy-covered wall. These climbers can safely integrate themselves with the brick surfaces. However, if you notice other types of plants or roots growing out, then you need to remove them immediately.

Climbers don’t push their roots into the brick surfaces, but some other types of vegetation might settle into all the crevices. With time, these roots might expand and tear the mortar away from the bricks.

The issue could worsen if you don’t treat it as once the roots start to chip away the mortar, it might provide easy access to water.

Cater to the Weep Hole

A weep hole or a weep is a small opening that allows the moisture from the brick walls to escape. Usually, the weep holes are located at the bottom of the walls.

Occasionally, these weep holes may get clogged. If they aren’t cleared in due time, they might cause water damage. The best way is to keep a constant check on them and clean them at regular intervals.

Replace Loose Bricks

Loose bricks could turn out to be a huge hassle if not looked after. The process starts by removing the old mortar until the loose brick is entirely accessible and easy to twist. Once this step is over, the brick can be removed from the cavity.

Further steps include dampening the cavity and placing wet mortar inside it. It should be ensured that the joints around the brick are sealed shut to keep moisture out.

Once satisfied with the mortar, the brick can be laid into its place. The new brickwork will be stronger, efficient, and change the overall appearance of your home.

You may or may not hire a professional depending on the intensity of the work. But make sure to follow precautions if you’re going the DIY way!

Mildew and Moss

If any side of your house receives little sunlight and is near damp vegetation, you might need to be on the lookout for mildew or moss. The removal process is quite easy and can be achieved with a scrub brush and a mixture of bleach and water.

Avoid using a wired brush as it leaves traces of zinc behind that might discolor the bricks. It’s suitable to use a synthetic or natural brush for this process.

Now that’s some information…

So, how does it feel to receive new information firsthand? Now you can go and have a look at your home and see for any of the pointers that are a part of maintaining the brick walls.

Whether it’s something you can handle at your level or something that needs a more professional approach, maintaining brick walls has never been so easy. You could approach residential architects, builders, or contractors to get a clear idea of how much work the bricks of your home require.

It may even be that you could pick up a few new tricks that could come in handy in the future!