Masonry waterproofing is essential for preserving brick and masonry’s integrity, appearance, and longevity. Water damage caused by vapor diffusion and rain is preventable with proper masonry waterproofing.
Unlike ordinary sealants that produce a film on the surface, true masonry stains and waterproofers penetrate deeply into brick. Protects the walls from moisture penetration, which helps prevent hairline cracks and other damage.
Prevents Water Damage
Brick and stone are rigid materials, but they need care to protect them from water damage. Water leaks or dampness can cause hairline cracks, mortar deterioration, and hazardous mold and mildew growth. The best way to keep your brick structure healthy and protected from moisture intrusion is to use masonry waterproofing products.
Masonry waterproofing can be applied as a liquid or cream product. Liquid waterproofing sealants offer a single coat of high-quality protection lasting 10-15 years, while cream waterproofing products penetrate deep into the surface to provide 20-30 years of protection.
They ensure that surfaces are clean and dry before the application is recommended for the best possible outcome. Any hygroscopic salts should be removed from the surface, and any existing paint that may prevent the penetration of masonry waterproofing products should be removed by wire brushing, sandblasting, or other methods.
Prevents Mold and Mildew Growth
Fungi, such as mold and mildew, can rapidly grow in areas with moisture. It is essential to be aware of the presence of moisture to prevent the growth of such fungi. While these organisms have a crucial role in our environment by destroying dead organic material and enriching the soil, living in a home prone to mold and mildew can be very unhealthy for humans. It can cause respiratory problems, eye, nose, and throat irritation, and even severe health conditions.
While the specific types of mold that grow in homes vary (from white to green to black), they all need two things to thrive: a damp environment and organic material to feed on. That’s why they often grow in areas with a lot of moisture, like cellars, crawl spaces without basements and clothing closets.
Masonry waterproofing helps prevent these issues by blocking rain and stopping water from penetrating brick or stone walls. Using a facade cream that has been specially designed to work with older natural stone buildings, rain is prevented from entering. In contrast, the building can breathe, preventing condensation and other potential problems.
The white, powdery substance, efflorescence, results from water penetration in masonry walls. It can look unsightly and may indicate a more significant problem with moisture that could lead to damage.
Efflorescence is caused by water-soluble salts transported to the surface of building materials like brick, concrete, and pavers. When moisture evaporates, it leaves the mineral salts behind as white, chalky blotches on stone or masonry surfaces.
Proper design and construction practices can minimize the chance of efflorescence in a masonry project. For example, using water-soluble admixtures and implementing capillary breaks by placing polyethylene sheeting between a wall and soil can help.
Also, using an impregnating hydrophobic sealant to prevent water absorption can decrease the likelihood of moisture and salts entering the material. It is best to avert efflorescence rather than try to treat it after it occurs. The latter method requires extensive cleaning and drying and can be costly.
When masonry is exposed to extreme conditions, it will eventually develop cracks in the mortar. These cracks are a dangerous entry point for rainwater and moisture.
Waterproofing protects the integrity of a brick structure by sealing the cracks to keep out moisture and rainwater. It also reduces the risk of hairline cracks in mortar or masonry, which can lead to severe structural damage.
Load-bearing walls can also develop deterioration problems such as spalling or chipping in the bricks. These problems can occur because of a loss of form-release compound, freeze-thaw weather cycles, or corrosion in steel lintels.
Builders often build movement joints and slip systems into masonry structures to guard against these problems. When a crack forms in a masonry wall, it’s essential to immediately fill it with a waterproofing product to prevent further damage and water penetration.