Over the years, many homeowners have preferred building their homes using bricks for many reasons, such as their looks, durability, and the insulation they offer. Moreover, brick structures are known to outlive their builders by centuries as long as they’re correctly maintained.
While brick structures are known to be long-lasting, they still require regular upkeep to retain their structural integrity. Read on to learn some helpful tips to ensure brick masonry longevity.
- Consult Professionals For Construction And Repairs
Hiring experienced and highly rated companies for construction and repairs is essential to guarantee long-lasting brick masonry. Skilled masons know the suitable mortar for the job, the ideal weather to work in, and other aspects that can enhance the building’s longevity and efficiency, like drainage systems.
Also, assuming they can fix everything on their own is one of the gravest mistakes homeowners make concerning masonry maintenance. It’d be much wiser to consult a professional if you encounter problems with your brick masonry, like extensive cracking, bulging, or crumbling. For instance, if you live in Missouri, tasks like tuckpointing St. Louis should be left in the hands of reputable contractors.
- Inspect Your Brickwork Regularly
Regularly inspecting brickwork is one of the essential tasks that can help prevent costly damages, ensuring longevity. During the inspection, you might spot possible errors or damages, allowing you to deal with them before they’d require expensive solutions. Throughout the process, you should look for signs of holes and cracks, bulging walls, rust stains, flaking, or efflorescence (crystal-like powder). You must also check for internal or external damp patches, water spilling on the brick masonry from gutters, and evidence of using inappropriate sealants, paints, and mortars.
- Watch Out For Moss, Mold, And Mildew
Brickwork is highly prone to mold, moss, and mildew if it rarely finds sunlight or is close to wet areas. It’d be best to remove the buildup of such harmful elements to prevent brick structural damage. You can use the products in your laundry room to tackle this issue. You can mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water, then apply the solution using a sponge or spray bottle to the affected areas. Afterward, scrub the bricks free of mold, moss, and mildew until they’re clean.
- Avoid Abrasive Cleaning Methods
A brick structure might look clean from afar, but a close inspection can reveal debris, dirt, and fresh stains. Bricks are relatively easy to clean; hence, using the appropriate materials and products is essential in ensuring their longevity. However, harsh cleaners and chemicals can ruin their natural look and make them more prone to water damage.
Cleaning brickwork only requires you to scrub it using a natural or synthetic brush and a mix of water and mild detergent. It’d be wise to avoid using a wire brush as it might leave behind some pieces of steel, which might rust over time, causing discoloration. In addition, avoid overly abrasive cleaning methods, like power washing, as they can chip away the bricks’ top surfaces.
- Install Well-Functioning Drainage Systems
It’d be pointless to have high-quality brick masonry if you don’t have a proper drainage system. A well-functioning drainage system should have the capacity to completely drain the establishment and intercept and collect water and other loads quickly within shorter periods. Thus, it should have the right size and be durable.
Therefore, a well-functioning drainage system should help prevent water from overloading the joint, which weakens the brickwork. Controlling water and ensuring it veers from the brickworks protects the structure from excessive wear and tear, keeping it fully functional for many years.
- Unclog Weep Holes
All brick structures have weep holes that help drain moisture to the outside, preventing flooding. They also increase ventilation, minimizing moss, mold, or mildew growth. Unfortunately, over time, weep holes might get clogged, leading to potential brick damage due to moisture. Therefore, regularly inspecting and clearing them would be best.
You can use a wire or compressed air to remove visual clogs. You can then run some water through the weep holes and ensure a steady and clear flow; otherwise, there’d still be some blockage somewhere that you’ll have to clean out.
Bricks have been used in building structures for many years. However, despite their durability, they must be properly and regularly maintained for them to last long. Therefore, regular inspection to spot masonry issues on time is a must to keep them from exacerbating into expensive, sometimes irreparable, problems.
Install well-functioning drainage systems to prevent water from damaging the brickwork. It’s crucial also to avoid abrasive cleaners and cleaning methods. Moreover, turning to professionals for any-brickwork related tasks and repairs would be wise as they’re experienced and know the best solutions.