We are confident that most people have a taste for brick homes, right? They’re nice to look at and give a sense of class. They’re also very tough and durable; at least real brick homes are.
When we say real brick homes, we’re referring to a house built with several layers of brick that also act as structural support. We don’t include brick veneer in that category. Brick veneer is a siding, and while it certainly looks the part, it doesn’t offer the same structural support. That’s the key difference in most cases.
While brick veneer is a more modern solution to gain the same class and appearance as real brick homes, it’s more prone to damage. Most of the damages spring from improper installation, but there can be other causes as well.
We understand how tough it can be to look at a problem with your home and not know what solutions are available for you. To help ease or even prevent that situation, we’ll present a few issues that your brick veneer may have and then give you the real solutions.
Brick veneer can become vulnerable to water over time as it develops cracks or openings. However, even when your veneer is newer, water damage may still occur if installed incorrectly.
Since brick veneer is installed over a wood frame most times, the water may seep in between the siding and wood, causing rot if it can’t escape. So you can prevent that rot when the water is given a way to leave the space. These are called weep holes and should already be on your wall.
However, if you believe that water stays in the walls and causes damage, you can take steps to assess and solve the problem. We suggest that you verify that there aren’t cracks in the mortar joints or between the mortar and brick. Then install a clear sealer on the brick veneer.
A good way to do that is by hiring a professional to look at the wall and point out problem areas.
After that, you should start by getting the highest-quality brick sealer that you can. The more silicone, the better.
If you don’t want to do it yourself, hire a painter to spray it on. Just be sure that whoever does it uses a very generous amount. If done correctly and there are no other issues, this solution will last you a few years.
Spalling is the term used to describe the process of moisture seeping into the brick and then freezing, which can cause the brick to expand and crack. If too much moisture seeps in and too much cracking occurs, it can lead to losing the outer layer of the brick.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to repair that individual brick if that happens. So what do you do?
The most commonly suggested method is to replace that brick with a new one completely and then take measures to ensure the same fate doesn’t befall the new one, like sealing, for example.
The sealing will make sure that spalling doesn’t creep up on you, but you should still keep an eye on a few of the problem areas where it often occurs. These include areas near or around downspouts and other drainage systems. Other areas you should look out for are beneath window sills, around doors or stairs, the lower half of walls and bricks covered up by soil or dirt.
The Loss of Mortar
When the mortar is mixed and handled right, it will last for many years without falling apart in any way. Sadly, when jobs aren’t handled by seasoned professionals, it can mean the mortar won’t mix properly, and as a consequence, it won’t have that strength, especially in colder climates that experience a lot of freezing and thawing.
If you start to notice your mortar falling out in bits or chunks, you need to do something before the problem can advance further.
You can repair this problem by repointing the brick veneer. That’s when you reapply mortar between the bricks using the point on a trowel. Note that it’s done best by somebody familiar with pointing, as you don’t want your bricks covered in mortar.
Seasoned Professionals Will Make It a Lot Easier
Likely, you don’t know too much about bricklaying or masonry, and that’s okay; you rarely need to. However, whatever the problem or situation you’re currently facing, having the help you can trust will go a long way.
At Ray Arnold Masonry, we provide just that. We’ve seen these issues before and we understand how to deal with them quickly and thoroughly. So before you stress yourself out with all of the little details that come with repairing these problems, contact Ray Arnold Masonry today for all your masonry needs.