How Do I Stop Water From Coming Through Brickwork?
When water begins to leak through the cracks in your brickwork, you may come to believe that water is your enemy, despite the reality that water is a necessary component of life. Don't worry; there are several things you can do to redirect water away from your house's foundation and keep it from seeping through the brickwork. Let's take a look at some of the more common causes that contribute to this problem, as well as potential solutions.
What Can Cause Water Damage Behind Brick Wall?
Brick walls have always leaked and absorbed water since the first brick house was built. That is why there are procedures in place to aid moisture absorption so that bricks do not fall apart too soon. Furthermore, it is critical to understand the sources of water damage behind brick walls in order to identify better concerns that require repairs before they worsen.
Common Causes Of Water Damage Behind Brick Walls
Water can enter brick in three ways: directly through the brick surfaces, through the mortar surfaces, or through the contact zone between the mortar and the brick. Leaks are quite common through vertical seams because one side of every brick has some weakness due to the usual brick installation procedure. Water can also infiltrate masonry from the inside out, for example, through a leaking pipe in the wall.
Turn off all water sources inside and outside your home to see whether you have a leak. After that, examine your water metre to determine if the leak indicator is moving. Another method is to examine the water metre when the water is being used and again after turning off the water for 1-2 hours.
Wind-blown rain is another major source of water behind brick barriers. Moisture intrusion typically occurs through vertical joints between brickwork or head joints. As the rain continues, the wind's pressure pushes the water against the wall with increasing force. As a result, water flows into the wall.
As a result, proper measures must be in place to capture and redirect water before it reaches wood framing or causes damage to other wall components. This comprises flashings and waterproof membranes that divert water to the brick wall's exterior. Weeping holes, which can be found at the bottom of a brick wall, are part of this system. Do not plug in weep holes if you see them. Weep holes are vital because they help remove moisture and keep it from accumulating behind the brick.
A number of building difficulties enhance the likelihood of water entering into bricks. One example is creating mortar with an excessively high moisture content. As a result, the mortar will shrink more as it dries, forming small gaps in the surface that allow moisture to readily seep inside. A well-built brick wall will require repairs over time to prevent water from entering via holes and cracks in the wall and causing worse problems.
How To Prevent Water Damage Behind Brick Walls
Water damage behind a brick wall can be difficult to detect at first. Water will begin to accumulate before the outer wall displays evidence of deterioration. That is why high-quality construction is critical, as it can help prevent water damage in the first place. Every brick is engineered to allow some water penetration and water release when it evaporates.
Although good construction is the greatest way to minimise water damage behind brick walls, water damage can occur regardless of how well-built anything is. Water can permeate a brick wall in a variety of ways, causing damage from the inside out. For example, a cracked chimney cap may have allowed water to enter your chimney walls. Perhaps a plumbing leak is allowing water to seep into a brick wall.
Leaky walls are most commonly caused by vertical joints between bricks. Water damage behind a brick wall can be difficult to detect at first. Water might begin to accumulate before the external wall displays evidence of deterioration.
How To Waterproof Bricks
Unsealed brick absorbs water, causing the porous brick masonry and mortar to deteriorate. Sealing and waterproofing the brick on the exterior of a property increases the value of the home by extending the life and attractiveness of the masonry work, especially in damp climates. Sealing properly also decreases the grittiness that is frequent on interior brick floors and outdoor paved areas. However, not all sealers give waterproofing, which is essential in humid areas like the Bay Area, so carefully check the label to ensure your pick provides moisture protection.
- Before sealing, properly sweep or dust the brick. Remove dust and grit from mortar joints and areas where it tends to accumulate.
- Scrub the brick with a rag and warm, soapy water. To absorb extra moisture, use towels. Allow the brick to dry completely before continuing.
- Fill a paint pan halfway with brick sealer. On most brick surfaces, use a regular masonry sealant. Choose a chimney brick sealer that has been specially developed for this purpose. Chimney sealers allow moisture to flow from within the chimney while sealing the outside.
- Using a paint roller, apply the sealant to the brick surface. Apply a sealant to the mortar lines using an angled brush. Allow up to eight hours for the sealer to dry completely.
- Allow 24 hours for the second layer of sealant to dry before stepping on or touching the brick surface.
Common Causes Of Brick Leaks
Water leakage, often known as seepage, is one of the most common causes of construction faults. If water leakage issues are treated immediately, about 80% of construction faults can be eliminated. While there are many places in a building where water might leak, walls are one of the most vulnerable.
Brick walls have always leaked and absorbed water since the first brick house was built. This is why systems are in place to ensure good moisture absorption in order to prevent the home from any water damage. If bricks fail to absorb moisture, they may crumble quickly. Furthermore, it is critical to understand the reasons of wall leaks and the potential damages behind brick walls in order to identify concerns that require repair before they worsen.
Before That – Signs Of A Water Leak Behind Walls
The majority of water leakage occurs behind closed doors, however there are numerous indicators that can assist you in detecting it. Here are a few frequent indications that water is leaking behind your walls.
- Mould Development - Mould growth is one of the most prevalent indications of water leakage. Molds typically form in high-moisture locations such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, but if moulds appear on walls or ceilings that are not near any plumbing fixtures, there is most likely a leak.
- Stale Odors - When excess moisture or water is absorbed into building components, it can produce a stale odour. If you notice a strong odour near a specific location of your wall, there could be a water leak.
- Staining - When water leaks through the wall, it absorbs the building material and leaves a visible stain. If these stains continue to grow in size, this is an indicator of a leak.
- Paint and wallpaper that is peeling or bubbling - Too much moisture behind the walls will eventually cause the paint and wallpaper to peel or bubble.
- Stained Ceilings - Examine your ceilings for stains, and if you find any, look for signs of water damage on the adjoining walls.
A water leak behind a wall necessitates prompt action. To find a solution, you must first determine what is generating the leaks. To expand on this, consider the most typical sources of wall leakage.
Common Causes Of Brick Leaks
There are numerous ways for water to enter your brickwork quickly. It can pass through brick surfaces, mortar surfaces, or the contact zone between the brick and mortar. Furthermore, leaks are highly usual to enter through vertical joints. Here's a quick recap:
- Several flaws in the structure enhance the likelihood of water penetration in the bricks. One of the most typical examples is adding too much moisture when making the mortar, which causes shrinkage after it sets. This shrinking causes fissures on the surfaces, allowing moisture to enter.
- Water can enter through exterior wall flaws such as joints, honeycombs, spills, weak areas, holes, punctures, debris residues, and external wall component movement.
- External wall finishes that are defective, such as loosened mosaic tiles, cracked ceramic tiles, and paint surface; bad cladding or curtain wall constructions; or paleness in water-resisting components.
- One of the biggest causes of wall leakage is leaking pipes. Simply turning off all water sources inside and outside your home can reveal this.
- Wind-blown rain is another major cause of wall leaks. Moisture intrusion can occur readily through vertical joints between brickwork or head joints. The wind's pressure forces the water within the wall with great power.
- If you have landscaping dirt at the base of your brick home, the water will most likely seep within the wall. This is even more likely if the soil is placed too high up on a brick wall.
- The drainage system around the house has a significant impact on how water affects the brickwork. It is critical that water drains away from the house and does not accumulate or flood the lowest areas of the wall. If a drainage pipe spills over a section of a brick wall on a frequent basis, it will keep the bricks moist, causing significant damage to the wall because it will never dry out.
Pros And Cons Of Exposed Brick Walls
Exposed brick interior walls are currently one of the most popular home design concepts. Assume, however, that you have brick walls behind your drywall or plaster, or that you are thinking of adding exposed brick into a new-construction home. In that scenario, it's critical to understand that, like any other aspect of house design, this style option has advantages and disadvantages.
With that in mind, here's a review of the benefits and drawbacks of exposed brick walls to help you decide which option is ideal for your living situation.
Why Exposed Brick Walls Can Be A Smart Idea
Exposed brick is a fantastic concept for a few reasons:
Exposed brick or block walls may be incredibly appealing, making an otherwise dull space look warm and inviting, not to mention unique, especially in your living room or other regularly used areas of the house. This is especially true in older homes, where exposed brick that has been masked by drywall can bring out the home's historical sense. Many individuals prefer the look of white brick walls to typical red brick walls, which can be produced by painting exposed brick.
They can make your home more appealing to potential purchasers.
Well-maintained exposed brick can make your property significantly more appealing to prospective buyers, making it easier to sell. While there isn't much concrete evidence that exposing brick walls increases a home's value, it can undoubtedly appeal to purchasers who seek a warmer, more pleasant living area than drywall or plaster can provide.
My children have made holes in my drywall three times since we moved in five years ago. This is not an issue for my friends who have exposed brick walls in their living rooms. Brick walls are significantly more durable and can endure misuse than almost any other building material.
Potential Downsides Of Exposed Brick Walls
Exposed brick walls, on the other hand, aren't for everyone, as are most design selections. So here are a few things to think about before making a selection.
They're Tougher To Decorate
To be sure, picture frames and artwork can be hung on an exposed brick wall (particularly, by drilling holes in the mortar between the bricks or using a brick clip), but the technique is far more difficult than with drywall or plaster. Also, if you want to change the look of your walls frequently, an exposed brick wall may not be the ideal choice for you. However, exposed brick can create a great backdrop for hanging artwork, so not everything is a bad.
They Can Hold Dirt And Water
To protect your exposed brick wall from moisture and debris, apply a sealer or a coat of acrylic paint. Brick, like the mortar between the bricks, is a porous building material that can collect moisture and cause mould problems if not properly sealed. They can also collect debris and make cleaning difficult without causing water damage.
They're Not Energy Efficient
There's a reason why older homes' brick walls were eventually covered. Drywall and other insulating materials are used. By revealing previously covered masonry on internal walls, you could significantly reduce the energy efficiency of your property.
Alternatives To Exposed Brick
If exposed brick isn't already beneath your drywall, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to add to an existing home.
There are numerous faux-brick wallpaper alternatives that are made to seem like exposed brick walls. And don't assume they'll look tacky or cheap; some modern brick wallpaper materials are textured with raised designs and can be difficult to distinguish from the genuine thing unless viewed up close.
There are also faux-brick wall panelling styles that mimic exposed brick, as well as brick veneers that mimic exposed brick.
Some brick substitutes, or faux-brick solutions, have a similar appearance to the genuine thing but without some drawbacks. For example, you may use raised brick wallpaper to make mounting picture frames more easier.
The Millionaires Bottom Line
Exposed brick walls can be a stunning design element in a room or across your house, but they are not without problems. For many homeowners and builders, modern alternatives can look just as nice as exposed brick walls while avoiding some of the problems that come with them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brickwork
For some lucky homeowners, stripping away drywall reveals beautiful brick walls, which impart timeless texture, warmth, and character to a space. That's why it's so important to apply a sealant or acrylic-based paint to your interior brick and mortar to help protect against humidity.
Waterproofing Your Exterior Brick Walls Helps Solve any External Damp Issues. When your external walls are exposed to a water source such as rain, this water can enter your masonry, in some cases travelling laterally from your external walls to your internal walls.
Since brick is porous, it will absorb any water that it comes in contact with. Thus, the brick is capable of keeping that water inside itself. But, if so much water is absorbed that the brick becomes saturated, then the water can flow through the brick.
Concrete blocks and cinder blocks are much more permeable to water and water vapour than poured concrete. As a result, cracks in the concrete blocks and mortar joints are exposed where water easily makes its way through.
Protecting a brick wall from moisture can be done by placing a barrier to prevent moisture from ingression into the wall's foundation, as it is one of the main concerns with having soil close to a wall. Additionally, topsoil can be prevented from splashing onto brick walls by using mulches and fabric ground cover.