Colorfully painted exit to an industrial building in Chicago

Many homeowners and business owners alike choose to paint brick siding to give it a facelift, but doing so could put your building –– and even your health –– at risk. There are a number of downsides to painting brick, and the negatives far outnumber any of the positives. Before you decide to paint brick exteriors on your home or place of business, you need to understand what you’re getting into. This guide explains why you shouldn’t paint brick siding as well as some alternatives you may look into if you want to improve the appearance of a brick building.

Paint Traps Moisture In Your Bricks

Brick and mortar is specifically designed to prevent moisture from coming into your home. The bricks absorb moisture from the air due to their porous exteriors, and then the moisture gets evaporated through the soft mortar surrounding the bricks. If you paint over your brick and mortar, you will lock in all of the moisture that the bricks have not released yet. This can cause the paint to blister, and it could lead to mold inside of your building. That’s why exterior paint companies recommend waiting until a long dry span before painting brick siding, if you are going to do it at all.

Moisture doesn’t just come from the outside though. It can also come from within your home or office. If your bricks have a barrier of paint on them, they cannot release the moisture like they’re designed to do. This may make your building feel more humid, and once again could lead to mold development.

It’s difficult to overstate just how detrimental water damage can be to brick structures. Extensive water damage can lead to foundational issues, render chimneys unsafe for use, and significantly affect the value of a brick building. So never do anything that could contribute to increased moisture in or around your brick home. 

Alternatives To Painting Brick Siding

If you want to give your brick exteriors a new look without completely repainting them, start by refreshing your trim. If you have sagging gutters around your roofline, repair or replace them. Either of those projects is faster, safer, and more productive than painting brick walls. 

Another way to enhance the look of brick siding is to repair or replace the mortar through tuckpointing. This process removes old mortar and replaces it with color-matched fresh mortar. It will look as though you just installed your siding, even if it has been there for decades. Tuckpointing is a great way to extend the life of your bricks, and it is something we offer for Michigan homes and businesses.

Finally, consider sealing your brick with a special brick sealant – not paint. This is designed to keep moisture out, but it still creates some breathing room for the bricks. Brick sealants are particularly useful for areas of Michigan that receive high levels of precipitation. To find out if brick sealing is a good option for you, contact a professional near you.

Contact Us

At Brickworks Property Restoration we have years of experience in the field of brick and masonry services. We understand how to treat and care for brick walls, and we can enhance the look and feel of your home through regular maintenance and repairs. Contact our team here at (586) 330-4843 to learn more or to schedule an appointment today!