Brick Deterioration

4 Ways To Prevent Brick Deterioration

Brick exteriors provide a myriad of benefits to homeowners. After all, bricks are durable, brick walls help cut down on utilities, 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 and corrupt its structural integrity. 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 the first place. In general, two main culprits are to blame for brick fading, flaking, or crumbling: time and water. Brick surfaces are very strong, but they’re susceptible to the elements like anything else. Water in particular can cause problems within brick surfaces. As such, most of the best ways to prevent brick deterioration center around limiting the effect of water on your exterior.

Ensure Proper Drainage

There’s not much you can do to prevent rain affecting your home –– short of moving to an arid landscape! Yet, homeowners can mitigate against the effects of a wet climate by maintaining a proper drainage system for their house. Remember that this includes the structure underneath your home as well. Water that collects in soil can pass up through a brick structure or even seep into your home’s foundation if you're not careful.

Use a “Breathable” Sealant

The last thing any homeowner should want is to treat their brick exterior with a sealant that traps water under the surface. However, there are a number of products that do precisely that. This will only exacerbate the negative effects of water on brick –– since the sealant prevents moisture from escaping through the bricks’ porous surface. Therefore, always consult with a professional before applying brick sealant.  

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. Tuckpointing is a relatively simple process that you can do on your own if the building has been well maintained and you’ve got the requisite tools and free time.

Minimize Power Washes

It’s okay to use a power washer to clean your brick exteriors occasionally, but power-washing excessively could contribute to brick deterioration and property damage. If you’re concerned about your home’s appearance, consult a professional for assistance.   

The Bottom Line

Regular brick-home maintenance is a simple, and effective, way to ensure the structural integrity of your house. What’s more, 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 here at (586) 330-4920 to protect the beauty and integrity of your brick home!


brick home exterior

6 Benefits To Choosing A Brick Home Exterior

Searching for a new home can be a stressful process. Of course, buying a house is a massive purchase decision –– possibly the biggest one you’ll ever make –– so it’s important to get it right. No one wants to buy a house that develops myriad maintenance issues down the line, or that depreciates in value over time. Fortunately, a brick home exterior is a surefire indication of a home’s long-term viability. Here are six benefits brick houses provide new homeowners:

High-Quality Insulation

Do you find yourself constantly adjusting your thermostat? Cranking up the heat in winter and blasting the A/C in summer? If so, then know that with a brick home exterior, you’ll never have to worry about insulation problems again. Bricks are great at keeping harsh weather at bay, and you’ll also be able to save money on utilities as a result.

Low Maintenance

New brick homes are about as sturdy as they come. In fact, you can almost guarantee that a brick exterior won’t require any work beyond an occasional hose-wash for the first 25 years of its existence. Plus, older brick homes are still a good investment since regular upkeep like tuckpointing will prevent deterioration for long periods of time as well.

Enhanced Home Value

Brick homes tend to fetch a premium on the housing market –– particularly if they’re in good condition. While other factors influence property value, brick exteriors can boost a home’s sell-on potential.  

Eco-Friendly

Building a brick house won’t take much of a toll on the environment, and the materials used to make brick are plentiful. What’s more, construction crews can often salvage bricks from old structures to reuse at a later date.

Trouble Resistant

No one likes to think about hazardous possibilities like severe weather or fires. Yet, the good news is, brick houses are extremely resistant to both weather and fire. In fact, brick walls can restrict fires to a single room in a home and prevent them from spreading to other areas.

Classic Design

Brick homes are gorgeous and archetypal. They have a great look and feel about them, and there are a wide variety of customizable brick options available to prospective homeowners. (Make sure to check out our gallery to see a few for yourself.) Lastly, brick is unlikely to go out of style any time soon. Brick homes have always maintained a high level of popularity and will continue to do so in the future!

Final Thoughts

Purchasing a brick home is a fantastic way to ensure your peace of mind for the next 20, 30, or even 50 years. It’s easy to take care of a brick facade, especially if you partner with a professional masonry team. At Brickworks, we have years of experience constructing, repairing, and renovating brick and stone buildings. Whether you’re looking for a complete foundation-repair solution, or simple brick exterior maintenance, we’re ready to help you with your next home-improvement project. Call us here today at (586) 330-4843. Procrastinating and letting a problem get worse could end up costing you big time later on, so don’t wait another minute to protect the integrity of your home!


5 Maintenance Techniques for Avoiding Chimney Fires

A fireplace is a wonderful addition to any home. However, without proper fireplace and chimney maintenance, a fireplace can prove extremely dangerous. Indeed, chimney fires occur more often than many homeowners realize, and chimney fires can range in size and scale. Some are hardly noticeable, while others can lead to house fires, massive property damage, and even personal injury or death. Given that fact, it’s important for everyone with a fireplace to check out these five maintenance techniques to prevent chimney fires:

Get Your Chimney Inspected & Cleaned

One major contributor to chimney fires is a substance called creosote. Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood, and this dark, oily substance will collect inside the walls of a chimney over time. The problem, of course, is that creosote is extremely flammable. So even if creosote isn’t the cause of a chimney fire (as it often is) its presence can add to the damage. The best way to deal with creosote is to contact a professional for regular inspections and maintenance.

Add a New Lining

Even small holes or cracks in the lining of your chimney can cause dangerous gas leakages and/or chimney fires. Often, these cracks are subtle, which is why it’s important to install a product like HeatShield, for instance, to restore the integrity of your chimney lining.

Burn Dry, Seasoned Wood

Wood that’s wet or that hasn’t been properly seasoned will burn differently than wood prepared specifically for a fireplace. Of particular concern is that “wet-wood” fires produce a lot of smoke. And more smoke means more creosote build-up, which in turn translates to a greater possibility for hazardous fires.

Manage Your Fires Responsibly

Unsurprisingly, bigger fires present a greater risk than smaller, well-maintained fires. What’s more, it’s never a good idea to use combustible liquids or materials to start a fire. Even burning something like a newspaper will increase the likelihood of a chimney fire. Keeping your fires small, and only using high-quality wood will help prevent destructive outcomes. Lastly, never leave a fire unattended.

Remove Blockages

Good air flow is key to safe and efficient chimney usage. Therefore, anything that blocks air flow within a chimney –– from creosote, to twigs, to birds nests at the top –– can affect its performance. Using creosote-remover powder in between inspections is also a smart way to reduce the risk of chimney fire. (Note, using products like creosote-remover powder should not be considered a substitute for regular inspections and cleanings.)

The Bottom Line

If you’re concerned about the safety of your chimney or fireplace, then don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional! At Brickworks, we have years of experience inspecting, cleaning, replacing, and repairing chimneys and chimney accessories. Our team members are skilled professionals who will ensure that your home-improvement project goes as smoothly as possible. Remember, maintenance and preventative measures will not only protect your home, but they’re also extremely cost-effective. Don’t wait until you have a problem with your chimney to address it –– be proactive and make the call today at (586) 330-4887!