Knowhow-Now Article

Ways to Reduce Brick Maintenance Cost

By Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson

Brick is comparatively more expensive than other siding materials. However, its expected useful life, high resale value, and low maintenance requirement compensate for the initially high cost of investment. Brick offers the best value in exterior finishing. In some ways, building owners can considerably bring down brick maintenance cost while the property rises in value.

Qualities of a Good Brick

Brick is the oldest building material known to man. Many ruins and historic structures stand as good evidence of its use and durability that withstood many civilizations and generations. Brick is virtually maintenance free – it doesn’t need painting, never rots, never infested by termites, and never dents. Brick keeps the structure cool in the summer and provides warmth during cold days, making it energy efficient. There’s more to its aesthetic charm, making it a popular choice for a building material. Building with brick creates a statement of beauty and elegance that is why anything that has brick in it has higher resale value by as much as six percent.

How to Save on Brick Maintenance Cost

Properly installed brick requires little or no maintenance during the building’s lifetime. However, there are approaches to keep the material looking good and in shape to maintain its premium qualities.

bricks make pretty walls

Once masonry work is complete, excess mortar and other dirt must be removed from the surface immediately. It’s a good practice to keep the area clean to lessen the scope of cleaning that will be later required. To care for the newly installed masonry safely, a brush and a bucket of water are enough cleaning implement. Never use wire brushes for obvious reasons. If pressurized water and chemicals are to be used, consult with the experts before proceeding. Such methods need pre-testing and must be supervised by professionals.

Improper cleaning using abrasive materials and harsh solutions can result to unsightly stains. It can even affect the brick surface or damage large part of the wall. It is for this reason why muriatic acid is not a recommended cleaning product for bricks. Some impurities may be introduced into the surface that can cause permanent staining or burning

While brick has low maintenance requirement, it doesn’t mean there’s no need to safeguard its form against natural elements. The weather may bring unfavorable and harmful elements, but with proper maintenance and care, brick can be expected to last for over a century. In the meantime, during the brick’s useful lifetime, conduct periodic checks for any sign of damage or water retention. Here are some invasive elements to look for:

  • Efflorescence: A glaring sign of water penetration characterized by white, salty deposit is called efflorescence. If the condition has not been that long, scrubbing it with brush and water is enough. When hardened deposits have formed, a chemical cleaner is required but do not use power wash.
  • Plant Growth: Do not pull, but cut plants that have grown up into the wall. Cut as close to the roots as possible.
  • Weep Holes: Drain the small holes at the bottom of the brick structure. This will dry the moisture out of the wall.
  • Mortar: Mortar can be maintained through a process called re-pointing. This involves chipping the old mortar and replacing it with a new one. Ideally, re-pointing can be regularly undertaken every 25 years, but it can also depend on the type of climate.
  • Damaged Bricks: Replacing a damaged brick requires the removal of the surrounding mortar to a depth of four inches. Clean the area where the brick has been dislodged then apply the new mortar before installing a new one. A temporary repair can also be made by rendering the surface with a sandy cement mixture.

Brick’s renowned durability and almost zero maintenance requirements are some of the reasons why it is allowed to be recycled as a building material. These remarkable qualities are also the reasons why we desire to keep the brick in perfect condition by providing it with all possible care and maintenance. While we don’t want to be spending much for brick maintenance cost year after year, the least we can do is to prevent the occurrence of whatever damage that can affect the material for our shelter.

The weather can hurt but with proper maintenance and care, brick can be expected to last for over a century.

brick walls are quite weather-resistant

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