Brick may seem durable and tough; after all, when you think of old cities, don’t you think of brick buildings and cobblestone lined streets? However, water can wreak havoc on brick, whether it is part of a walkway, driveway, home front or interior. Without proper sealant, brick can be very porous, absorbing water like a sponge, and over time, water can cause damage such as crumbling, cracking, moss growth and more. To prevent future damage and keep your brick looking beautiful, you will want to apply masonry sealer to the area.
Why Apply Masonry Sealer
You may wonder what the point of a masonry sealer is for your brick and stonework. Brick and stone were some of the earliest building materials, and remnants of hundred-year-old buildings can still be seen today. Isn’t brick pretty durable?
Elements like water can be deceptive in their strength. Over time, even something as durable as brick and stone can be worn away by the elements. While it may be strong, brick is also porous, which allows the material to absorb water. Over time, as water is absorbed, it may cause the brick or stone to corrode, crack or crumble.
Additionally, water creates a favorable environment for mold and fungus. Mold likes to take root on hard surfaces like brick, especially where there is a regular flow of water, like runoff on a driveway. The spores of mold and fungus can weaken the structure, as well as ruin the aesthetic of the brick area.
If the brick is an integral part of your home, such as a chimney structure, water damage can put the integrity and longevity of your home in jeopardy. Adding a layer of sealant and regularly caring for the brickwork can make all the difference to protect your bricks and stone, as well as your home.
Preparing for Masonry Sealing
It is important to prep the area you plan to seal before applying the product. Just like with any paint or sealer, if the workspace is not clean, it will be harder for the sealer to stick and may have gaps in coverage when you are finished. The pores of the brick must be open and free to allow the sealer to fully penetrate the brick.
To start, remove any old, flaking paint with a paint scraper. Pull away any shrubbery, weeds, vines or other greenery to clear the area, making sure grass is trimmed back away from the brick. Sweep or rake dirt, rocks and other debris off the surface if it’s a place such as a walkway.
Clean areas with mildew or moss, using a mild cleaner and scrub brush.
You can also use a power washer to clean the brick or stone. Start spraying from the top or on the highest part of the brick, moving in a steady, sweeping motion downward. If you use water to clean the brick, allow it to completely dry before moving forward with sealing.
Applying Masonry Sealers
The process of applying masonry sealer is fairly simple; all you will need is a high-quality sealer product and a low-pressure sprayer.
As with applying any product on your home or walkway, you will want to cover any plants, decks, railings or walls that you do not want to apply the sealer to using drop clothes, plastic and painters tape.
Fill the pump sprayers with the sealant and spray on the masonry work, using steady, even motions. If you notice runs or drips, use a paint roller or brush to immediately spread these out.
Do not allow the sealer to pool up anywhere.
After covering the full brickwork, allow the sealer to dry completely before applying a second coat.
Be aware of the time of day when you apply sealant products. Brick and stone pores often close up at temperatures below 45 degrees, so sealer will not absorb if it is too cold much like wood absorbing stain. Spring and early summer are usually the best time to apply sealers, so the temperatures of the masonry are between 60 and 90 degrees.
Also, ensure your brickwork has time to dry before potential rain or dew. Check the weather forecasts and be aware of humidity levels before starting your project.
Finding the Right Sealant for the Job
If you are searching for the right products to apply sealant to masonry work, contact the team at Lovitt’s Coating. We are able to help you find the correct masonry sealant and sprayers, as well as other supplies for applying coating products and professional advice to get the job done right.