For centuries, brick has been used as a popular building material. In fact, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) gives brick masonry a 100-year life. There are a number of other reasons why brick is used all across the country for building. From countless recycling options to being naturally energy efficient, brick offers a number of benefits that you cannot get from many other types of building materials. While brick is very easy to maintain, you still want to keep it up to ensure the structural integrity remains. Maintaining your brick can also help with your home's resale value. In an effort to ensure your brick remains aesthetically appealing and functional, here are some tips to help maintain it.
Remove any Efflorescence
One of the most common problems you will encounter with your brick exterior is the presence of efflorescence. This is often seen after rainy winters when the water moves through the brick in order to carry the salt to the surface. During humid seasons, the water will evaporate before it reaches the surface leaving the salt deposits underneath the brick so you cannot see them. Cooler months, the water will make it all the way to the surface and then evaporate leaving the presence of the salt deposits also known as efflorescence. Muriatic acid can help remove the salt deposits off the brick. You want to make sure you use water before and after to flush the acid off the brick. If left on there too long, it could eat into the brick.
Check for Moss or Mold
In an effort to maintain your brick, you'll want to look for any signs of moss or mold on the exterior. The best areas to check are places where the house does not get a lot of sunlight. Additionally, if you have vegetation around the home that remains damp, you could also get mold and moss collecting on the brick. With moss, you have to be careful that you are not just removing the visible growth. If so, it could easily grow back. To remove the surface level of moss, you want to use a broom to scrape it off. This will not remove the source, but it will make it easier to get to the source. You then want to mix bleach and water in a spray bottle and spray it onto the moss and mold. After letting it soak, you then want to spray the bleach solution off with water. Cut back any vegetation to keep mold from growing in the area.
Repair Cracked or Damaged Mortar
Over time, the mortar in between your bricks can become soft or cracked. On average, homeowners spend about $812 to $1156 on brick work repair. To minimize these costs, many homeowners can do the maintenance, like repointing the brick, themselves. To do this, you want to remove the old mortar and replace it with new mortar. To avoid harming the integrity of the structure, you want to work in sections. Using a trowel, you can place the mortar into the brick work to stabilize it and keep it strong. \
For more information, contact a company like Central Arizona Block.