How to Keep Brick Walls Looking Nice for Longer

March 11, 2020

Brick is an inherently durable material, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely maintenance free. If you want to keep your bricks looking like they’re in brand-new condition for as long as possible, there are some steps you can take to clean them off and maintain them with some regularity.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the brick wall care steps you can take to keep your Racine, WI home looking great long into the future:

  • Address mildew and mold ASAP: Mildew and mold can wreak havoc on structural elements of buildings, so if you notice mold problems starting to develop, take care of it immediately. This is more likely to be a problem on parts of your house that don’t receive much sunlight, or where there is nearby damp vegetation. You can get rid of mold, mildew or moss with a cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water. Apply the solution to the affected bricks with a scrub brush, making sure the brush you use is a natural or synthetic bristle brush, as wire brushes could leave behind steel traces that will rust on the bricks over time. Make sure to soak down the area first before applying the solution so the bleach doesn’t seep into the brick.
  • Quickly address water damage: Water damage to bricks will generally either occur by rising dampness or by water splashing back against the surface. With splash-back, rain beating against the bricks eventually soaks into the mortar, which results in the mortar joints and bricks cracking. Rising damp occurs when ground water seeps up and leaves behind a tide line. The moisture evaporates, but can still cause the bricks and mortar to wear down. Take whatever steps are necessary to remediate the water damage as soon as possible to avoid it getting worse.
  • Repointing: Repointing is a necessary maintenance task for brick surfaces in spots where the mortar joints get cracked, damaged or softened. The damaged mortar needs to be removed carefully in a way that does not disturb brickwork in the area, and the fresh mortar can then be applied in layers. The depth of the new mortar needs to be twice the width of the mortar joint. Keep in mind that it’s extremely important to first remove the mortar that’s been damaged, as any new mortar applied to the surface will not hold up. If you have a particularly old or historic home, do your best to make sure the mortar matches the original. Contractors are generally able to accomplish this.
  • Removing paint: If the bricks have been painted at some point in the past and you’d like to remove the paint, it’s important to use the proper processes. Sandblasting can damage brick surfaces and should not be employed. Instead, chemical treatments provide the best results, but these should only be performed by professionals.

To learn more about some of the more important aspects of brick wall maintenance and care in Racine, WI, contact Langenfeld Masonry & Concrete today.

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