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Does Brick Siding Need To Be Sealed?

Using bricks as siding is a good idea since they quickly evaporate absorbed water. But bricks are also porous, and there is a chance that water will seep into your walls. So, is it necessary to seal your brick siding? We searched for answers, and here is what we discovered.

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It is a good idea to seal your brick siding. Fortunately, sealant can aid in safeguarding your brick or stone masonry. Additionally, it protects from UV rays, which can deteriorate the beautiful stonework on the exterior of your property.

Keep reading as we discuss the benefits of sealing brick siding and how to do it. We'll also talk about what happens when you choose not to seal your siding. Additionally, we'll share the best sealers you can choose from and how much it costs to seal your brick siding. We'll also compare the differences between water sealers and water repellents.

What Are The Benefits Of Sealing Brick Siding?

Here are some of the advantages when you seal your brick siding: 

What are the benefits of sealing brick siding

Eliminates Efflorescence And Spalling

When the water absorbed by the brick evaporates, it sometimes forms a chalky and ugly white film commonly known as efflorescence. This efflorescence is caused by the natural brick salts left behind.

On the other hand, water within the brick expands as it freezes, which is what causes spalling. This issue can soon ruin the brick to the point where it needs to be replaced.

Prevents Water Damage To Your Bricks

Installing siding on the wall of the house under the brick

Long-term exposure to moisture and water corrodes metal connections like studs or other components. This corrosion degrades interior finishes and leaves brick structures subject to water damage, including cold spots, mold growth, dry rot, crumbling, and cracking.

Preserve The Aesthetic Of Your Exterior

You can shield your entire house from the weather and keep the lovely brick colors by routinely cleaning and sealing exterior brick walls.

Instead of changing the color of brick walls like conventional paint does, film-forming sealants and water repellents are transparent coatings that bring out the true colors of the brick.

How To Apply Sealer To Your Brick Siding

Applying a protective liquid on bricks

Here is a brief yet useful guide on how to seal your exterior brick siding: 

Clean The Surface You Want To Work On

Before starting the task, ensure that the surface is clean from the dust, dirt, and other impurities that might get in the way of your work. Cleaning also improves the permeability of the bricks so they can efficiently absorb more products. 

First, apply a paint scraper to old, flaking paint to remove it. With a weed eater, trim the growth and remove vines from the brick. To make it easier to spray, rake the dirt, rocks, and other debris away from the brick's bottom edge.

Lather the area with a chlorine and water mixture. Scrub the dirt, mold, and mildew away from the surface. For the removal of stains caused by oil and grease, use a degreasing solution. The brick's pores must be open to allow for sufficient sealer penetration.

To stop muddy water from splashing onto the spotless surface below, start spraying from the top and work your way down. Finally, let the brick thoroughly dry.

Cover The Areas/Things You Don't Want To Seal

In this step, cover anything you don't want to get sealer on using drop cloths or painter's plastic. Include covering windows and doors that might be affected by the task. Also, remove your vehicle and move it away from the siding you wish to seal. 

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Check The Weather Conditions

After cleaning, let the surface dry for 24 hours. If it's too cold or too hot, don't proceed with the sealing task. Always remember that the ideal temperature to apply a sealant to your brick siding is between 40ºF and 90ºF

You can always check the required application temperature with the manufacturer's guide. 

Start Sealing The Siding

Put on your protective gear such as your mask, rubber gloves, and eye protection. Then, load the sealant onto a pump sprayer before you apply it to the siding. 

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Using a paint roller, spread lines, and drips while they are still wet. Keep the sealer from pooling. Once the sealer has been applied entirely to the block, keep spraying and rolling. Give the sealer the time to dry that the manufacturer has advised.

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As directed by the manufacturer, apply the next coat of sealant. Remember that not all jurisdictions require solvent-based sealers to be compliant with volatile organic compounds. Consult your state and municipal laws or those of the United States.

Check with the Environmental Protection Agency to see if the product you're using complies with local VOC laws.

Finish Up

After you finished sealing the surface, it's now time to clean up. Use mineral spirits or soapy water. Put it in the pump sprayer, then drain it to clean the inside of your tool. 

How Much Does It Cost To Apply Sealer To Brick Siding?

The cost to seal brick is between $0.19 and $12 per ft². However, the cost depends on what type of sealer you are using, the area you want to seal, and if you do it yourself or hire experts to do it. 

So, if you have a 1000 ft² area that you want to seal, then the cost will range from $190 to $12,000. 

Water Sealer Vs. Water-Repellent- What's The Difference?

If you're confused about whether to waterproof or just make your brick siding water-repellent, here is a comparison between the two.

Water Repellent

Water repellents, as opposed to sealers, seep into the masonry and coat the holes, fissures, and crevices where the bricks and mortar are located.

Pros

  • This prevents the formation of a continuous barrier while yet providing water resistance for the masonry.
  • This keeps the masonry gas permeable while allowing trapped water to dissipate.
  • They are less vulnerable to corrosion or UV deterioration as they penetrate deeper into the brickwork.

Cons

  • They require reapplication and are not permanent treatments like sealants. 

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Water Sealers

Water sealants create a thick, continuous barrier that covers the full surface of the stonework. A typical example of a water sealant is paint.

Pros

  • In addition to preventing water from entering the structure, these chemicals also stop gas and water from escaping through any holes or fissures in the bricks or mortar.
  • Water sealers capture any existing moisture inside the bricks and prevent the bricks from being permeable to gas due to the continuous barrier they create.

Cons

  • Even after the chimney has been waterproofed, damage from the freeze-thaw cycle may continue.

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What Is The Best Sealer To Use For Sealing Your Brick Siding?

The best protection for all masonry materials, including brick, is offered by silane/siloxane sealers. They generate a hydrophobic barrier inside the pores by chemically reacting with the surface.

They also aid in reducing moisture absorption-related damage such as discoloration, mold and mildew growth, and water absorption.

But how do you know that the silane/siloxane sealer you choose is of high quality? Here are some tips you should know: 

  • Look for the solids content of the sealer. A good rule of thumb is that the best water-repellent sealers comprise 20% to 40% solids by weight. Additionally, high-solid solutions outperform low-solid ones in terms of durability.
  • The only way to know the quality of hybrid sealers is by trial and error method since these sealers do not necessarily imply an equal distribution of silane and siloxane in the mixture.
  • Make sure that the sealer you will use has undergone testing and received approval for use in industries.
  • When choosing what sealer to use, take a look at the product's VOC content and the base used. The application of water-based products is simpler and safer. Additionally, products with low VOC content produce lesser fumes and are less susceptible to catching fire. 

How Many Coats Of Sealer Should You Apply?

A natural stone covered with a protective liquid from moisture and mold

While some sealers only need one layer to function correctly, some can need two or even more

On the one hand, applying fewer coats is much simpler, especially if you are covering a huge area. Due to the fact that you only need to apply the sealant once, it is also significantly less expensive.

You should be aware of this before purchasing your sealant because it will enable you to calculate how much you require.

How Long Does Brick Sealant Last?

Panorama frame Corner brick wall to a building with two bins

Both the product being used and the weather have an impact. The best brick sealers typically need to be reapplied every 7-10 years. As a result, your waterproofing will last for a long time.

In Summary

Sealing your brick siding has a few advantages. Not only does it protect your material from water damage, but it also preserves its natural look. 

Aside from that, it is also easy to apply. You can do it by yourself, or you can employ a professional to do the job. A good sealing job can last up to 9 years before the reapplication. 

If you enjoyed this post, you can check out our other articles here: 

How To Remove Paint From Brick [7 Steps]

What Color Siding Goes With Red Brick?