Brick homes are often valued due to their durable and attractive exterior. Unfortunately, time can still take a toll on this exterior option, leading to worn and damaged brick. The good news is that brick rarely requires a full replacement. Usually, you can simply have it restored so that it is once again strong and beautiful. The following guide will help you better understand the options for basic masonry issues.
Brick discoloration typically occurs because of dirt, algae and moss growth, or a bad paint job in the past. This is one of the simplest types of damage to reverse. Power washing is the method of choice, but you will want to have it done by a professional. This is because hitting the bricks with overly high pressure can cause the mortar joints to crumble.
Dirt generally comes off with just the water. Moss and algae may also require a fungicide treatment to ensure they don't grow back. If water alone doesn't remove the paint, then your masonry restoration professional may need to use a chemical paint remover followed by a thorough power washing.
Cracked, crumbling, and broken bricks aren't uncommon, especially on older buildings. As long as the damage is only affecting a few bricks and isn't extensive, it can usually be repaired. This is done by chiseling out the mortar from around the damaged brick. The brick is then replaced and fresh mortar, mixed to match the surrounding area, is used to affix it in place.
There are two options for replacement. The preferred options is to remove the chipped brick and use the undamaged back side. This option ensures that you have a perfect match. The other option is to try and find a brick that matches closely. If this isn't possible, then the restoration professional may remove a brick from a hidden area and replace with with the closest match possible, and then use the removed brick to repair the more visible area.
Mortar doesn't last forever. If the mortar joints are beginning to crack or crumble, it's time to have them replaced. This is done using a technique called tuck pointing.
The top inch or so of the mortar is chiseled out from between all of the bricks. Then, a fresh mortar is mixed and applied. This is a good time to alter the mortar color, if desired.
For more help, contact a masonry restoration contractor in your area or visit websites like http://www.mararestoration.com.