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How To Protect Exterior Brick

Should Brick Homes Be Sealed?

The topic of sealing brick homes has sparked a debate. Opponents argue that brick homes should be allowed to breathe, while proponents highlight the potential damage caused by water.

Regardless of the perspective one holds, the main concern is the infiltration of moisture. The problems caused by moisture include deterioration of the joints and the development of fungal growth in the form of mold. Today, we will discuss each of these situations and introduce a third option that we support at LIME Painting of Cincinnati.

Letting Your Surfaces Breathe

The argument supporting the use of exposed brick is grounded in the design of walls. A properly designed brick home features a gap between the outer brick layer and the inner layer. This gap effectively blocks moisture from entering the interior of the home.

During wind-driven rain, the brick in this design becomes wet but dries out once the storm passes. The water only penetrates the brick and does not reach the inner part of the house, thanks to the cavity. This helps prevent the formation of mold in any materials used for the inner leaf of the house.

As a homeowner, it is important to be aware that over time, the brick and mortar of your home will deteriorate due to exposure to the elements. The effects of wind-driven rain and snow are particularly noticeable in the joints, where the mortar may even recede almost an inch from the face of older homes. Additionally, you may also observe wear on the smooth surface of the bricks.

Additionally, there is a possibility of moisture being retained in the bricks. If there is a sudden change in temperature, this moisture may freeze and cause the bricks and mortar to develop small points of weakness. These weaknesses can worsen over time and become more troublesome.

Sealing Exposed Brick

Those who support sealing exposed brick understand the impact of weathering on their homes. They aim to reduce the damage and expenses associated with repairing mortar joints and preventing structural issues.

When a fresh brick sealant is applied correctly, it can prevent mold formation and slow down the formation of alkali and efflorescence on the bricks. It also has cosmetic benefits.

The sealant wearing away unequally over time causes problems. Some parts of the brick will start to breathe again while most of the wall remains sealed. This slows down the drying process of the brick, increasing the risk of mold forming in the future. The wear is not easily noticeable, making the risk more hidden.

Breathable Sealant – LIME’s Third Option

LIME Painting of Cincinnati utilizes a specialized breathable coating for masonry work. These coatings effectively protect against direct moisture, such as snow and rain, while still allowing air to pass through the brick-and-mortar. This air also includes any evaporated moisture in the form of water vapor.

Breathable coatings offer protection against wear caused by wind-driven rain and snow, as well as preventing moisture from settling and freezing in the brick. Additionally, they allow airflow, aiding in the drying process and preventing mold formation.

LIME Painting of Cincinnati utilizes high-quality products from Sherwin-Williams and Romabio to achieve a durable and aesthetically pleasing finish. Our preferred products include Loxon XP, ConFlex 7% Siloxane, and Romabio Classico Limewash.

  • Loxon XP is a type of coating that can be applied to bricks without the need for a primer. It protects against wind-driven rain, alkali, and efflorescence, while also adding a unique touch to your home.
  • ConFlex 7% Siloxane is a suitable choice for individuals seeking to safeguard both new and old masonry by repelling water while maintaining its original appearance.
  • Romabio Classico Limewash is a slaked-lime paint that is specially formulated to achieve unique whitewash effects. It also provides a breathable, long-lasting finish. Over time, it develops a patina that creates a distinctive look. Additionally, it offers various tints for customization.

LIME Painting of Cincinnati specializes in protecting brickwork and masonry in throughout Cincinnati area. We offer a complimentary in-home consultation to assess your project and provide a detailed analysis of your property. Contact us today to schedule your free estimate and learn more about our services.