brick sealant

What You Should Know About Sealant For Bricks

Brick is widely loved for being a charming and durable home exterior –– and for good reason. Brick can withstand severe storms, termites, and fire. However, in order to protect your brick exterior’s longevity and integrity, some occasional maintenance is required. Bricks are susceptible to water damage due to their porous nature, so one of the best ways to shield your brick from deterioration is by applying sealant for bricks. Here’s everything you need to know about brick sealants for your home:

How Brick Sealant Works

Brick sealant provides a water-repellent coating that helps prevent water from penetrating cracks in the brick. Brick deterioration is most frequently caused by moisture entering the bricks and then freezing in cold weather. Sealant for bricks prevents the moisture from entering, which in turn stops water from leaking into your home and reduces brick cracking. The most effective brick sealants utilize nano-technology that permeates the brick itself to fill cracks and decrease porosity, as opposed to just forming a thick film on the surface of the brick. Ideal sealants will form a breathable coating that allows moisture to evaporate, which is necessary to prevent mold growth and frost damage.  

When Sealant For Bricks Is Needed

If your bricks are cracking or spalling (chunks of brick are falling out), then sealing your bricks is a great way to prevent further damage, stop water from leaking into your home, and curb mold growth. Additionally, if your foundation has suffered water damage as well, waterproofing your foundation can help protect your home and your bricks from further degradation. Brick coating is recommended especially if your bricks are over ten years old and if water is leaking into your home. Much of the early deterioration bricks suffer occurs internally, which makes it difficult to know the true damage to its durability. Therefore, preemptively sealing your bricks is recommended to prevent water damage before it turns severe enough to present visible manifestations.   

Best Kinds of Sealant For Bricks

There is a wide variety of brick sealants, and they each have their own unique usage scenarios. Therefore, selecting the right brick sealant for your home depends on the current degree of water damage, the age of your home, the degree of sealant you want, and many other factors. However, in the majority of cases, choosing a penetrating sealant that allows bricks to “breathe” is ideal to prevent water damage yet still allow excess moisture to escape. Siloxane is a good choice for this type of penetrating sealant because it enters the brick to fill cracks internally. 

So Do You Need a Sealant for Your Bricks?

Overall, if you are experiencing leaking or visible brick damage, then pursuing a brick coating is recommended. Additionally, if you are looking to prevent water damage and ensure the longevity of your brick’s appearance and durability, then brick sealant is an ideal option. It is possible to apply brick sealant yourself, but it is important to find the proper type of sealant for your home. To help you select the right brick sealant and even apply it for you, contact us at (586) 330-4845. Our trusted experts at Brickworks Property Restoration can help you protect your bricks and home!


prevent brick deterioration

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:

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) 330-4920 to protect the appearance and integrity of your brick home!


masonry chimney repair

How to Know When You Need Chimney Masonry Repair

It’s important for all homeowners to understand the basics of chimney safety. Chimney fires can be seriously damaging and dangerous, and they can happen with seemingly little warning. Indeed, chimney damage can be subtle in part because internal issues inside the flue may not be easy to spot from the outside. Thankfully, by partnering with the right masonry company at the right time, you can prevent chimney issues from affecting your home or your family. Here’s how to know when you need chimney masonry repair: 

White Stains & Rust

An early indication of chimney trouble are white stains known as efflorescence that appear on the outside of brick structures. If you notice white stains on your chimney, or along the exterior of your home, then it’s likely that some level of moisture is affecting your brick exteriors. And moisture can lead to a whole host of problems for brick buildings and chimneys. 

Similarly, rusted dampers, fireboxes, or other metal appendages to your chimney are signs that too much moisture is entering your chimney. 

Cracked or Spalling Bricks

Damaged bricks can upset the structural integrity of a chimney. Even small cracks in bricks could be a sign of serious deterioration. So keep an eye out for loose bricks and spalling bricks around your chimney. 

Worn Mortar Joints

Mortar joints hold bricks together. When mortar joints become damaged, though, brick structures may become compromised as a result. The bad news is that many homeowners overlook wear and tear on mortar joints. After all, unless you’re willing to climb up on your roof to get a good look at your chimney from the outside, you may be able to see when mortar joints are cracking or degrading. Cracked, worn, or faded mortar joints require masonry work known as tuckpointing to restore. Tuckpointing can last a long time when performed properly, but bad weather and other factors could affect your chimney more than other parts of your home. (This is one of the reasons why chimney inspections are so crucial.)

Broken Chimney Cap

Chimney caps are crucial because they ensure proper ventilation for your chimney, and they also prevent animals from nesting within your chimney. Always replace a broken chimney cap ASAP, and install one if your house doesn’t have one yet. Chimney caps are also both relatively inexpensive and easy-to-install. Considering how beneficial they are, they’re one of the best investments you can make to protect your chimney and your home. 

Excessive or Black Smoke

Excessive, black, or billowing smoke is often the sign of a chimney fire. If you see heavy black smoke coming from your chimney, exit the house, call the fire department, and take all necessary precautions to protect yourself. Some chimney fires are self-contained –– meaning they remain within the chimney. But on other occasions, chimney fires can spread to the rest of your home or even nearby buildings. 

Time

If it’s been more than a year since your last chimney inspection, then you could very well need chimney masonry repair assistance and not know it yet. As we’ve established above, chimney issues can be very serious. However, by being proactive and scheduling regular maintenance and inspections, you can prevent most of these problems from occurring. Best of all, inspections are much cheaper than the massive costs associated with repairing a structurally-compromised chimney. Keep in mind also that just because you don’t need any chimney masonry repairs, it doesn’t mean your chimney is in 100% working order. Over time, substances like creosote can build up within the walls of your chimney. Excess creosote can then, in turn, cause or exacerbate flames and fires within a chimney. During a regular inspection, though, professionals can keep your chimney clear of creosote with products like Poultice Creosote Remover. 

One final note. While you should certainly follow chimney safety best practices –– like burning dried wood, watching active fires closely, and cleaning your chimney area after use –– it’s smart to leave major repairs or projects to the pros. In rare cases, improper chimney care can expose individuals to carbon monoxide. So rather than trying to address chimney problems on your own, consider speaking to a masonry contractor instead. They’ll be able to inform you if you need chimney cleaning, sweeping, or more substantial repairs. 

Contact Us

Chimney masonry repair is a serious issue that homeowners should prioritize. Even if you don’t notice any problems with your chimney, it’s important to schedule regular inspections to ensure your chimney is in working order and is safe to operate. Whether you’re concerned about a set of caved-in bricks, or you’re just overdue for an inspection you can contact the professionals at Brickworks today for help. We provide masonry services as well as chimney maintenance assistance like sweeping, cleaning, and removing creosote. Don’t wait another minute –– call today at (586) 330-4843.