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5 Ways To Prevent Brick Deterioration

Brick exteriors provide a myriad of benefits to homeowners. Brick homes are structurally sound, their exteriors are fireproof, and brick facades boast a classic look that never goes out of style. Plus, brick homes are typically low maintenance. However, unchecked brick deterioration can ruin the look of a brick wall, corrupt its structural integrity, and cost homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs! The good news is, there are a few simple ways you can prevent brick deterioration from occurring to your home. Check them out here:

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What Causes Brick Deterioration?

First, it’s important to determine what causes brick deterioration, or “spalling.” In general, water damage is the biggest threat to brick exteriors. More specifically, the freeze-thaw effect should be a particular concern for homeowners in colder climates. While bricks are very durable, they’re porous. This means that water can enter through small holes in brick surfaces. Over time, the water inside the brick will freeze and thaw as temperatures fluctuate –– thus expanding and creating cracks, flakes, and spalling.

Worse, homeowners can’t afford to ignore this issue because water damage can become very costly over time.

Identify Problem Areas

One of the best ways to prevent brick deterioration is to keep your brick exteriors dry. Since you can’t wrap your home in a giant poncho every time it rains, it’s important to identify certain problem areas that are most susceptible to water damage. This includes chimneys, exterior walls with minimal coverage or no overhang, brick porches, and the base of brick walls. In addition, any areas covered by greenery –– like trees and bushes –– are particularly at risk for water damage. That’s because water clings to greenery and the sun is not able to effectively dry brick exteriors obscured by trees, bushes, or vines.

Treat Your Bricks with a Quality Sealant

Once you’ve determined the areas of your property that are susceptible to water damage, the next step is to treat your brick exteriors with a quality sealant. The best sealants work like wax on a car; they can close up porous holes in the brick and prevent water from penetrating exteriors. Note, though, that some low-quality sealants can have the opposite effect and trap water within your brick exteriors.

Tuckpoint and Replace Crumbling Bricks

If you’ve recently purchased a brick home that’s over 25 years old, it’s prudent to tuckpoint your exteriors and replace any crumbling bricks in the facade. You may also decide to tuckpoint if you notice any spalling occurring on your brick exteriors. Tuckpointing on an as-needed basis can help close gaps or cracks in the mortar between bricks and make it harder for water penetration to occur.

Prevent Excess Water Damage

While you may not be able to control the weather, you can take steps to ensure that excess water doesn’t affect your home. Checking your drainage system is crucial since proper drainage will prevent pooling water and potential damage to your brick exterior bases. Also, minimize or avoid power washing your brick exteriors.

Contact a Professional

Inspections are vital to protecting your home. Annual inspections of your chimneys, porches, exteriors, or any other masonry structures can alert you to potential problems and let you stop brick deterioration before it gets out of control. By staying on top of small issues now, you can avoid expensive measures like foundation repair in the future. At Brickworks, we specialize in brick and masonry solutions and can help you fix, restore, or maintain the home of your dreams. Our team has years of in-field experience, and we consistently deliver high-quality service to achieve high-quality results. Call us today at 586-868-3234 to protect the appearance and integrity of your brick home!

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