Water Damage On Brick – Contractor in Lake Oswego, Oregon
Water damage on brick can be an eyesore and a costly repair if left untreated. Brick is a material built to last but still calls for maintenance. While most cases are better left for the professionals, there are many ways for homeowners to maintain and prevent further water damage on brick. These simple maintenance tips will help keep your brick, and your house looking brand new.
Water Damage On Brick – The Proactive Approach
From stately colonials to simple ranch style homes, brick has remained as a popular building material for centuries. Its energy efficiency and aesthetic appeal are an added bonus in terms of resale value. Brick is relatively maintenance free, but occasional cleaning, spot checks for water damage, and repointing are necessary in order to ensure long-lasting structural integrity.
The least aggressive approach should be your first plan of action when it comes to cleaning brick. Just like soiled clothing, different types of dirt on your home’s exterior will require a different cleaning agent. If it’s in good condition, with no water damage on brick, once a year use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to remove any loose dirt.
If a particular side of your home receives little to no sunlight and nearby vegetation is damp, be on the lookout for moss, mold or mildew growth. A solution of one cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water can be applied and then scrubbed with a natural or synthetic bristle brush – wire brushes leave traces of steel behind that will rust and discolor the bricks. Before applying the bleach solution to brick, give the area a thorough soaking. This will help prevent the brick from absorbing the bleach.
Water Damage On Brick – The Reactive Approach
Water damage on brick is caused by one of the two conditions: splash back or rising damp. In splash back, the continuous beating of rain against the brick causes the rain to soak into the mortar, making the mortar joints or the bricks to crack. Rising damp results when ground water seeps up from below, leaving behind what is called a tide line. The moisture above the tide line will eventually evaporate, but the salt crystals that remain will eventually cause the bricks and mortar to break down. Freezing and thawing cycles can accelerate water damage on brick, so repainting problems right away will prevent more extensive repairs in the future. Look for water damage on an annual basis, and budget for some repointing every five to ten years.
Repointing is necessary in places where the mortar joints have become soft or the mortar itself is cracked or damaged caused by water damage on brick. The damaged mortar is removed carefully so as to not disturb the surrounding brickwork. Fresh mortar is applied in layers. When repointing, the depth of the new mortar should be twice the width of the mortar joint. Mortar applied directly to the damaged surface will not hold up.
Owners of older historic homes will want to make sure that the fresh mortar matched the original. A contractor will take a sample of the mortar, crush it and dissolve it in acid. This process removes the binder and leaves behind the sand aggregate, making it easier to identify the proper shade.
Aggressive treatments, like chemical applications used to remove chalk, calcium carbonate, and rust are best left to a professional when trying to repair water damage on brick. Chemicals must be spot tested in various concentrations. Too high of a concentration can etch the surface of the brick, damage window glass or cause discoloration.
Water damage on brick can be difficult to clean, that’s why I recommend calling a professional, like Champion Property Improvement. They are a fully licensed and bonded commercial and residential contractor, specializing in pressure washing and graffiti removal.
Water Damage On Brick – Local Areas We Serve
Oregon: Beaverton, Bend, Canby, Central Oregon, Clackamas, Dayton, Dundee, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Hood River, Keizer, Lake Oswego, McMinnville, Newberg, Oregon City, Portland, Sherwood, St. Paul, Tigard, Troutdale, Tualatin, West Linn, Wilsonville, Woodburn and more.
Washington: Bellingham, Bremerton, Camas, Centralia, Chehalis, Edmonds, Everett, Federal Way, Fife, Kalama, Kelso, Kent, Kirkland, Long Beach, Olympia, Pasco, Port Townsend, Ridgefield, Seattle, Vancouver, Woodland and more.
Champion Property Improvement is a preferred masonry and pressure washing contractor in Oregon. Call us today for a free consultation at 503-969-6613. We’d love to earn your business!