Make Your Masonry Beautiful
Brick, concrete, stone and other masonry products are porous; therefore, water can be a menace to its longevity. These surfaces are at some risk of cracking and spalling (breaking into smaller pieces) due to freeze/thaw cycles. Waterproofing the porous surface with a dependable waterproofer can extend the life of the surface and help keep it looking great, longer. Testing the brick, concrete or masonry surface to see if it needs protection is essential before starting your project. Be sure to check all steps and patios.
Take a knife and scrape along the edge of a brick/masonry wall, concrete patio, or driveway. 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 surface. If the area becomes dramatically darker or immediately absorbs water, it’s time to waterproof.
A white powdery residue - called efflorescence - often results when water soaks into a brick (or concrete) surface and dissolves the alkaline salts. When the water evaporates, the salt deposits remain on the surface. Waterproofing will help avoid this condition. Before beginning any project on a hard surface like brick, concrete or masonry, you have to be sure there are no cracks or pits, as these may be part of a bigger problem - spalling. If there are any large cracks or damage, you will need to patch the spots before waterproofing.