The Basics of Maintaining and Caring For Your Brickwork

Brick is one of the most common building materials in the world, and it can come in a variety of colours and textures. While it’s commonly used for exterior walls, it can also be used to make floors, veneers and countertops.

Breaking Down the Basic Elements of Bricks

It is made from clay, sand and water. The mixture is heated to remove the water and make it more solid before it’s cast into moulds. Most bricks are fired at extremely high temperatures, which causes the clay to harden. However, the bricks still contain microscopic pores that track water and enter the brick.

The porous material causes the brick to crumble and disintegrate over time. While the water can cause discoloration and efflorescence, it also causes serious structural damage to the brick.

Common Brick Damages You Should Watch Out For 

Moss, Mould, and Mildew Growth 

Moss, mould and mildew from when water is seeping into the brick. Water can leak into the walls and then into the brick, causing it to erode and create holes. These holes can allow toxic mould, mildew, and bacteria to grow, becoming a serious health risk and leading to severe allergic reactions or respiratory problems.

To prevent damage, you’ll need to evaluate your home to see where the water is coming in. Focus on the roof, windows, and pipes, and make sure these areas are sealed properly to protect your brickwork from turning into a breeding ground for moss, mould, and mildew.

Water Damage 

When water is seeping into the pores of the brick, it can cause serious damage. This water can cause the mortar joints to loosen and break apart, which can cause your bricks to shift and separate from each other.

To prevent this from happening, you’ll need to monitor your brickwork to see where the water is tracking into. If you have cracks, holes, or gaps in your brickwork, you’ll need to call in a professional specialist to seal your brick and prevent water damage.

Common Brick Maintenance You Should Know

Repointing the Brickwork’s Mortar Joints

The mortar joints are the small gaps between your bricks that hold them together and anchor them to the wall. Over time, mortar joints can dry out and crack, which weakens the connection your bricks have with one another.

As the joints dry out, water seeps into the brick, loosening the mortar that holds the brick in place. This can cause your bricks to shift and separate from one another, leading to water damage and cracks.

To prevent water damage and other issues, you’ll need to repoint the joints between your bricks. Rather than replacing the mortar, repointing is done by applying new mortar to the joints. This allows you to fix the cracks and keep the mortar drying out.

Proper Paint Removal for Brickwork

Most bricks are covered with a layer of paint, which is the layer that’s exposed to the elements and damages over time. When the paint is damaged and flaking off, you may need to remove it or apply a new layer.

However, removing paint from bricks is a job that is best left to professionals as the process requires industry-standard tools and technical know-how to pull it off properly.

The Bottom Line: The Importance of Giving Your Home’s Brickwork TLC

Maintaining your home’s brickwork is an important factor in maintaining your home’s value and longevity. It often goes unnoticed, but these bricks are just as important to your home as the exterior and interior. Because they stand the test of time, your home’s brickwork deserves to be treated like the important asset it is.

Why Work with Red Robin Masonry?

Your home is undeniably one of your biggest investments. So when it comes to maintenance and repairs, it’s best to work with the right contractors to ensure that all your home projects are done with excellent technique and service.

Red Robin Masonry is the most respected and trusted masonry company in Ontario. Our services include chimney and fireplace services, tuckpointing, parging, brickwork, stonework, and concrete and foundation services.

If you’re looking for brick repair services in Scarborough, give us a call at 416-206-8859 and ask for a quote today!

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