Brick homes have been a popular choice for hundreds of years because they are aesthetically pleasing and relatively easy to maintain. There are simple steps you can take to keep the exterior of your home looking good, but remember that severe damage should be taken care of by your local professional brick suppliers.
Clean Your Bricks
You will occasionally have to clean the outside of the house. Once a year, spray the sides with a water hose to clean up loose debris. As you clean, keep an eye out for mold or mildew, which will require a different cleaning solution. Thoroughly soak the wall with a water hose, then mix one cup of bleach with a gallon of water and use that to scrub the area with a synthetic brush. If that doesn’t work and you need to apply a stronger solution, call one of your local brick suppliers first before risking damage to your home.
Inspect Weep Holes
You’ll want to inspect the walls while you’re cleaning the-beautiful-home them. You’ll find some small holes, called weep holes, for moisture to drain. Clean these holes to be sure there’s no water build-up inside, which could cause damage.
Check For Efflorescence
If you see a chalky substance on the outside of your house, it means water is getting under the surface and leaving salt crystals behind when it dries. This process is called efflorescence. You can clean the salt crystals with a stiff brush while dry, or if that doesn’t work, you can spray water on the surface at an angle, then scrub. Spraying the water straight on will only push the salt crystals back inside, and you’ll have the same problem all over again.
Prune Vines And Plants
Ivy and other vines growing on your house may give it a nice look, but they’ve very damaging because they adhere to the bricks and erode them. If there are any plants growing from your home, cut them as close as you can to the surface and let them fall off the house naturally. Do not pull them off because this will cause further damage.
Replace Damaged Sections
You may occasionally have to replace damaged sections of the exterior of your home. To replace a damaged brick, you’ll first need to remove it by chiseling out the surrounding mortar. Dampen the opening with water or a bonding agent, and then spread new mortar on the bottom of the opening. Place the new brick in the opening, mortar the sides and top, and then finish it by running a finger along the new mortar to form a small depression. Next, clear off any remaining residue. Replacing damaged mortar is very similar. Chisel out the bad section, dampen the good mortar with a bonding agent, apply the new mortar, and finish it by running your finger along the new mortar. Again, clean off any leftover residue.
Brick is a beautiful building material that is relatively easy to maintain, but it does require some occasional upkeep to prevent damage. You can do a lot of the maintenance yourself, but if at any time you’re uncomfortable, give one of your local brick suppliers a call for professional assistance.