How to Seal Brick – Waterproofing Brickwork the Right Way
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Bricks and masonry are known to be the most extensively used materials in construction. Although the structure of brick walls offers increased stability and durability, weather damage is always a risk over time. Brick sealant can prevent the moisture from soaking into concrete and bricks, which can, in turn, avoid the onset of damp, cracks, and other damage. Using the best brick sealer provides an additional protective shield to a wall surface, for a more permanent finish. If you would like to find the best masonry sealer for your needs, simply follow the comprehensive brick wall sealer guide that follows.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Brick Sealant?
- 2 Types of Brick Sealers
- 3 How to Seal Brickwork
- 4 Tips and Tricks for the Best Brick Sealer
- 5 Considerations for Choosing the Best Brick Sealer
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Brick Sealant?
Brick sealer is a specialized product that prevents moisture from penetrating brick surfaces. Bricks are commonly produced from materials such as stone, clay, ceramic, concrete, and other suitable substances. Over time, degradation will occur slowly when materials such as these are exposed to extreme conditions. Primarily, the problem is when moisture penetrates the surface of bricks or concrete, causing it to crack and fracture.
The application of sealant over the raw constructed surface can avoid this damage from taking place. Brick wall sealer provides a protective, water-resistant coating which also maintains the overall stability and image of your brickwork. The best brick sealer products available are generally clear coatings that will either create an external protective layer or seep in beneath the surface. The resulting coated appearance is very discrete, but it will certainly ward away moisture.
Types of Brick Sealers
The best brick sealer types may all have similar characteristics in their usage, however there is a wide range of products on the market. As you decide on the brick waterproofer that best suits your purpose, it is useful to be able to discern between the different commonly used products.
Penetrating or Sealing
The most prominent distinction between brick sealant types is that some coat the exterior, while others are absorbed. You apply penetrating sealant to the exterior of the bricks and it seeps deep beneath the surface. This in turn protects the bricks, preventing water damage from moisture penetrating the sealed porous interior. These brick sealant variants are invisible, however, they provide an internal protective system.
The other main type of brick sealant forms a layer over the surface of the masonry, that creates a durable, water-resistant coating. Once applied this sealant dries to a tough and lasting surface coating. This brick sealant type is known as a clear brick sealer, which allows the original surface color to show through beneath the coating. Some sealant types do produce certain sheens when they set, like a shiny, high-gloss finish.
Usually, the best masonry sealer types for exterior use have a degree of seepage and penetrate deep into the surface. Interior brick surfaces are often effectively sealed using a product that produces a surface coating.
What the Sealer is Made Of
The best brick sealer products are available in a range of various options. Your first choice is between oil or water-based sealants. A simple guideline to keep in mind with oil-based sealants is that they are pricier, more toxic, and have longer drying times, but they offer longevity and high durability. Water-based sealants are safer, more cost-effective, and easily removable but do not possess the same level of durability.
When deciding on a type of brick waterproofer, there is a range of acrylics, silicones, urethane and epoxy coatings, and various others to choose from. Ensure you do your research, and look into the brick sealer reviews of the sealant types you are considering, as this way you will find the best masonry sealer for your needs.
How to Seal Brickwork
As we have been over the best brick sealer reviews and found out what qualities to look for in this product, we can now learn the application process. Sealing brickwork is a simple process to do at home, without the help of a building contractor. If you follow the steps, the guide that follows will allow you to seal brickwork with no trouble at all.
Check the Weather
Begin by checking the forecast for the week ahead to ensure you have an extended dry period to work with. The application will require selecting a day without any rainfall or extreme weather conditions. The recommended temperature range is approximately 4-32℃ (40-90℉), while working in temperatures above this may cause the blistering during the application.
Prepare the Brick Surface
Next, you will need to prepare the brick surface for the application. Trim away and remove any grass, weeds, or vines from the brickwork to begin with. Ensure the entirety of the brickwork surface is exposed for a simple application process. You should also get rid of any paint from the surface with a scraper.
Should you find any mildew or mold present, use a mildewcide to take care of this. You will then need to clean the brickwork to remove any marks or dirt from the surface, ideally using a high-pressure cleaner. Begin with the upper area of the surface, working your way down gradually to ensure the entire region is covered. This will ensure the surface pores are completely clear and ready for the sealant coating.
Finally, take the precautionary measure of covering any areas you’d like to avoid getting brick sealant on. You can make use of newspaper, tarp, plastic sheeting, or tape for this. Be sure to protect any doors, window frames, floors, gutters, or shelves.
Apply the Brick Sealant
There are three application methods used to seal brickwork. You can make use of a sprayer, paint roller, or brush for this process. We suggest the choice of the sprayer as this will produce the most even finish. It makes the application far simpler and less time-consuming, allowing you to effectively produce an excellent surface coat. Using a roller or brush is higher intensity labor and also produces a thicker coating layer, which is prone to dripping or running in the process.
When using a sprayer, fill it with the brick sealant and begin applying it to the surface. Remember to begin working from the upper to lower areas, in a constant motion as you spray. Lingering over an area will result in a build-up, causing the coating to drip and run. So keep your hand moving to be sure the coating is spread evenly over the entire surface. To add extra surety to your application and work the sealant deep into the pores of the brickwork, use a roller over the sprayed area.
When you have finished coating the entire surface, allow it to dry. Numerous sealant types will need the application of additional layers, while some only require one. Read over the product guide so you make the correct choice for your chosen sealant.
After this, allow the brick sealant to seep in effectively and complete its drying process. How long this takes is dependent on the air temperature, the surface type, and the product you are working with. A brick sealant can take roughly 4 to 12 hours to dry, but it is ideal to allow up to 48 hours before the coating is completely dry.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Brick Sealer
Achieving the best brick sealer finish depends on your application process, your surface type, and the product you are working with. We have outlined some pointers to assist you in achieving an excellent application result.
- When working with newly constructed brickwork, allow up to 28 days before applying sealant. This provides sufficient time to neutralize alkalinity within the mortar for optimum sealing.
- Once the brick surface is clean, ensure it is totally dry before proceeding. Any moisture will prevent the sealant from seeping in effectively and reduce adhesion.
- We suggest using a roller in combination with your spray application. This will easily smooth any runs or drips and work the sealant deeper into the surface of the brickwork.
- Remember to apply the sealant in thin, even coats without allowing any build-up. To achieve a completely even finish, the application must be gradually and carefully done.
- Using an acrylic sealant is an ideal option for wall surfaces, but not floors. When applying sealant to floors, oil-based sealers offer higher durability for this purpose.
- We suggest using a sprayer for clear brick sealer application, but a brush is also well suited to covering smaller areas. It will also prove useful for indoor areas, as there is less risk of overspray and mess.
- Consider your safety at all times. When using a sprayer for applications, the risk of fume inhalation is high, even in exterior situations. So ensure you wear an effective respirator in these areas. We also suggest wearing safety goggles and latex gloves when applying any chemical agents in the cleaning process.
Considerations for Choosing the Best Brick Sealer
When deciding on the best brick sealer for your needs, we now know there are a range of options to choose from. To seal brickwork effectively, we must consider that each situation is different and requires making a choice that will be ideally suited to your purpose. Keep this in mind when deciding which is the best brick sealer for the job.
The Surface You Will Be Working On
Ideally, the best masonry sealer will be suited for use with a wide range of surfaces. Ensure that your choice of product is appropriate for application in the area you wish to use it. The various types of brick and masonry are produced with specific substances, so it’s useful to keep this in mind. A multi-purpose brick sealant allows application on concrete, tiles, stucco, wood, stone, and cement.
You will predominantly find clear brick sealer coatings. Each different variant will produce a specific type of sheen or finish. While some sealants seep into the masonry discreetly, others form a high gloss shine when they set. Some types of coatings are matte, or shiny while others produce a transparent film when dry. Ensure you are familiar with the type of finish your sealant will create, so it is well suited to your surface.
Interior or Exterior
To seal brickwork effectively, you must first consider if the application is on an interior or exterior surface. The best brick sealer products are not all well suited to both areas. An exterior brick sealant is labeled as such, and this produces a far higher durability coating, designed to resist exposure to extreme conditions. Once applied, the surface should not degrade from UV exposure and remain unaffected by periods of high rainfall.
Interior brick sealant variants are not quite as durable. They are used to seal brickwork, providing protection against water stains, spills, mildew, and mold. If inappropriately applied to an exterior surface, however, they are likely to deteriorate. Brick sealer exterior coatings possess different characteristics to interior sealants, so keep this in mind.
During application, how thick or thin the sealant is will affect this procedure. A thinner sealer is effective for spraying, however will prove tricky to apply using a brush. Thick sealers are difficult to use over horizontal surfaces, but thin mixtures will result in runs and drips on the surface of the wall. Look over the brick sealer reviews, as these will aid you in the decision-making process.
The brick sealant needs to provide lasting durability, to effectively protect the surface. It should be compatible with the surface type you are working with. Acrylic sealants, for instance, are ideal for interior application, but may not possess the high durability required for use on floors in high traffic areas. An oil-based sealant is a better choice for this, offering lasting protection.
Number of Coats
Several types of sealant require only one application for effective surface coating, while others need two, or more. It is necessary to consider this because applying fewer layers makes the procedure far simpler, especially when working over a large surface region. Single applications are also cost-effective, as you only require half the quantity of sealant. This is a factor to keep in mind when making your choice of which sealant to use as it will affect the quantity needed for the job.
Selecting the best brick sealer will assist in preserving the long-term image and durability of your brickwork. We trust this guide offered you some insight into all that is necessary to keep in mind when working with sealant products.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Lifespan of a Brick Sealant Coating?
This is dependent on the sealant type applied and the type of weather recurring. Usually, the best brick sealers will allow 7 to 10 years before requiring reapplication. This offers your brick waterproofer coating a long lifespan.
Are Brick Sealers Necessary?
Bricks can absorb and hold water and salt due to their porous makeup and could result in fracturing or degradation. Sealing brickwork avoids this, especially in areas with high moisture levels present.
What is a Siloxane Brick Sealer?
This brick sealant seeps into the pores beneath the surface of the masonry, creating a protective shield that prevents moisture from penetrating the bricks.
What is the Drying Time of Brick Sealant?
This is dependent on which product you have used and the weather conditions present. Certain sealant types will dry within 4 hours, however, it is recommended to allow up to 48 hours before making use of the brick surface.