Masonry brick and concrete are among the most durable building components available. However, these materials will deteriorate over time if not maintained properly, especially in our northeast climate with its ever-changing weather conditions. From our experience, coatings can be among the most effective methods of protecting brick and concrete structures from the elements.
Coatings Prevent Water Damage
By sealing the joints in brick and concrete walls, water is prevented from penetrating junctures exposed to severe weather. Clear exterior masonry coatings are considered to be water repellant, but not waterproof. Nevertheless, when properly applied, these coatings change the capillary angle of the pores in the face of the brick masonry wall from positive (suction) to negative (repellency). In certain situations, coatings can also bridge or fill hairline cracks or separations in the face of masonry walls and provide some protection from damaging freeze/thaw cycles.
Advanced Coating Technology
New technology has created coating compounds for brick and concrete structures based on silicones, silanes, and siloxanes. When properly applied, these advanced coatings can be very effective in prolonging resistance to weather deterioration.
The amount of surface protection provided for newly placed brick and/or concrete can significantly influence its longevity. Unprotected patches may allow moisture to enter the structure at the patch edges or through shrinkage cracks.Before applying the coating, make sure the wall is clean, as heavy accumulations of atmospheric dirt may interfere with proper coating penetration or adhesion, and result in poor performance and shorter life. Test the selected coating on wall sections scheduled for treatment. The test areas should be at least 10 feet square.Check the moisture content of the wall at several locations and observe climatic conditions to assure consistency with the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Selecting a Coating
It is important to select a coating produced by a well-known manufacturer with a strong track record. Request references of similar projects and require test reports for relevant performance criteria and a written warranty from the coating manufacturer. Verify the qualifications of the application contractor, and make sure the contractor protects adjacent and surrounding surfaces from overspray as necessary.
For more information about brick and concrete restoration in MA, contact Abbot Building Restoration today at 617-445-0274.