Exterior Brick Maintenance To Refresh Your House

Posted on Apr 17 2024 - 10:30am by Housecall
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By Rachelle Wilber 

Brick exteriors are a highly durable building material that many homeowners love for its timeless appeal, embodying a blend of classic beauty and resilient construction that has been revered for centuries. However, to maintain the structure and aesthetic of brick, homeowners need a proactive approach to maintenance. In this blog post, we'll dive into the essential practices for preserving the integrity and visual appeal of exterior brickwork, from routine cleaning and mortar repairs to selecting the appropriate sealants and considering a refresh through repainting. By understanding and implementing these maintenance strategies, you can ensure that your brick home remains as steadfast and inviting as the day it was built.

Recognizing Signs of Wear and Tear
Brick exteriors are known for their durability and longevity, but like any material, they can show signs of wear and tear over time. It's important to periodically inspect your brickwork for any evidence of damage, such as cracking, chipping or discoloration. Early detection of these issues can prevent minor problems from escalating into major, costly repairs. Efflorescence, a white powdery substance that can appear on bricks, is another common sign that your brickwork may need attention. Regular maintenance not only keeps your home looking great but also protects its structural integrity.

Establishing a Regular Cleaning Schedule
Establishing a regular cleaning schedule for your brick exterior is essential in maintaining its appearance and longevity. Begin by gently washing the bricks with a mixture of water and mild detergent, using a soft-bristle brush to avoid damaging the surface. For areas with stubborn stains, a mixture of water and vinegar can be more effective. It’s important to rinse the area thoroughly with clean water after cleaning to remove any residue. Remember, consistent care will keep your brickwork vibrant and in good condition, safeguarding your home’s aesthetic appeal and structural integrity.

Identifying and Fixing Mortar Damage
Identifying and fixing mortar damage is a key aspect of maintaining your home's brick exterior. Over time, mortar can deteriorate due to weather exposure and other environmental factors. If you spot any cracks or crumbling in the mortar, it's important to address these issues promptly to prevent further damage. Renewing the external part of mortar joints is a repair that many homeowners can DIY and it's a task that can significantly extend the life of your brick exterior, ensuring the structure remains stable and visually appealing for years to come.

Choosing the Right Sealant for Your Bricks
Choosing the right sealant for your bricks is like picking out a protective coat for your home is a crucial step in safeguarding against water damage and environmental wear. You'll want a breathable, siloxane-based sealant; it allows any moisture trapped inside the bricks to escape, preventing water retention that can lead to mold growth and structural issues. Application is simple and can usually be done with a sprayer or a roller, depending on the product. Remember, a good sealant not only extends the life of the bricks but also maintains the aesthetic value of your home's exterior. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results, and consider reapplying the sealant every few years to ensure continuous protection.

Repainting for a Fresh Look
Repainting your brick exterior can dramatically enhance the curb appeal of your home, giving it a fresh, updated look. Before beginning, it's critical to ensure the bricks are clean and in good repair; this may involve fixing any cracks or mortar damage as previously discussed. Use a primer designed for brick surfaces to help the paint adhere properly and last longer. If you've never painted your house before, it's likely easiest if you hire residential painters. They'll have the necessary tools, knowledge and expertise to complete the job efficiently and effectively. Keep in mind, repainting your brick exterior is not just an aesthetic update, with the right materials it also provides protection against the elements and can extend the life of your brickwork.

Maintaining the exterior brickwork of your home doesn't have to be a daunting task. With consistent care and attention to the signs of wear and tear, you can ensure that your house not only looks beautiful but also remains strong and durable for years to come. From cleaning schedules and mortar repairs to the right choice of sealants and a fresh coat of paint, each step is a building block in preserving the integrity and aesthetic appeal of your home. Remember, the effort you put into maintaining your brick exterior today will pay off in the long-term preservation of your property’s value and charm.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber