Step-by-Step Guides: Keep Your Brick & Masonry Looking Great
- 1. Choose the Right Look & Deck Protection
- 2. Preparation is Critical
- 3. Applying the Coating/Treating the Surface
Choose the Right Look & Protection For Your Surface
Brick, concrete, stone and other masonry products are porous, therefore, water can be a menace to its longevity. These surfaces at some risk of cracking and spalling due to the freeze/thaw cycles.
As a result of the trapped moisture, you may also experience issues with stains from algae, mold, and mildew. In the case of brick pavers, you might end up with dirt and grime, and even oil or grease stains. In all of these cases, waterproofing the porous surface with a dependable waterproofer can extend the life of the surface and help keep it looking great longer.
First step is to test the brick, concrete or masonry surface to see if it needs protection. Be sure to check all steps and patios.
- Take a knife and scrape along the edge of a brick/masonry wall or concrete patio. If the surface flakes and crumbles, it's already been weakened by water damage and needs immediate attention.
- You can also perform the "splash test" by splashing water against the brick, concrete, masonry surface and if the area becomes dramatically darker or immediately absorbs the water, it is time to waterproof your surface.
- It is important to waterproof brick, concrete and other masonry areas where water stands or pools. Thompson's® WaterSeal® Clear Multi-Surface Waterproofer will protect your surface from damaging effects of the environment.
Is there a white powdery residue on your brick? This residue - called efflorescence -- often results when water soaks into the surface and dissolves the alkaline salts in the brick (or concrete). When the water evaporates, the salt deposits remain on the surface. Waterproofing will help avoid this condition.
- Do not allow de-icing salts to stay on brick, concrete, or masonry surfaces too long. If the salts are left on for an extended period of time, they may have a negative reaction with the surface causing it to erode and crumble, leaving pits and holes.
- Examine all brick, concrete, or other masonry surfaces. Do you see fine cracks or pits? These are just the beginning of a bigger problem - spalling. Spalling results when the top layer of concrete wears away, exposing the aggregate (the rough rock beneath the smooth surface). If you have large cracks or damage, be aware that you will need to patch the concrete before waterproofing it.
Preparation is Critical
Cleaning is a crucial step to long-lasting protection for any type of surface. Having a clean surface prior to applying a sealer will allow for the best waterproofing performance and improve the durability of the coating.
Brick, concrete, and other masonry surfaces must be free of dirt and loose and excess mortar.
For a gentle, oxygenated chlorine-free cleaner concentrate, you can use Thompson's® WaterSeal® Oxy Foaming Action Exterior Multi-Surface Cleaner, which will remove stains from dirt, mildew, algae & fungus from your porous brick, concrete or masonry surface.
You can spray the product on with a plastic garden sprayer, let sit for 10-15 minutes, and then scrub with a stiff bristled brush. Rinse the surface well, using either a garden hose with a nozzle, or a pressure washer for heavily soiled surfaces.
Applying the Coating/Treating the Surface
When applying a coating, be sure to read all label instructions carefully. For the best results, both the surface and air temperature should be 40° F when applying the product.
- Be sure to apply the waterproofer to your brick, concrete or masonry surfaces in shaded areas.
- It is important to protect your brick, concrete, or masonry surfaces that are in direct sunlight as well as shaded areas. By using Thompson's® WaterSeal® Waterproofers, you will provide a mildew resistant coating with the most powerful protection against water damage.
TIP: DO NOT apply a surface coating product like a varnish or polyurethane to exterior brick, concrete, stone or other masonry surfaces. Most varnishes and polyurethanes cause discoloring and make these areas slippery when wet.