Water penetration through brick walls can lead to serious issues in a property, including rising damp inside the building. Many homes in the UK deal with damp problems due to the abundance of rain in the country throughout the year, but if your brick walls are not protected enough to eliminate the risk of water penetration, extra protection will be necessary.
Inspect the Brick:
Firstly, conduct a thorough inspection of the outside of your property, checking for any damage or cracks to the bricks and mortar. This will help you spot where water is getting in and shows you where repairs are necessary. You can also conduct a splash test by splashing water on the brick. If it immediately absorbs the water or turns darker in colour, a waterproof coating is needed.
Cleaning and Preparation:
Wash the brickwork using a high-pressure washer to remove any dirt and dust on the walls. A clean surface will ensure that the waterproof coating you apply will be able to perform at its best. It is also advisable to use a treatment on the brick walls to minimise the problem of algae growing on the brickwork.
The next step of the process is to make repairs to any cracks, holes, or other damage to the bricks and mortar. You can do this by simply filling in the cracks and holes using a mortar mixture and trowel or silicone caulk. If there are holes and cracks in the bricks themselves, mix brick dust into the mortar or apply it to the wet silicone to achieve a continuous look throughout.
Types of Waterproof Coatings:
There are two types of waterproof coatings that you can apply to your brick walls to reduce water penetration. These are:
Water repellents: Waterproofing the external brick is the most recommended option since these treatments are designed to continue allowing air to permeate through the wall. They allow water vapour from the inside of the property to evaporate to the outside therefore reducing the risk of damp build-up on interior walls.
Non-breathable sealants: While these treatments will reduce or even eliminate the risk of water penetration in brick walls, they are not typically recommended for UK homes since they do not allow water vapour from inside the home to evaporate to the outside. As a result, they increase the risk of damp and mould inside the home.
Either treatment is not permanent and will need to be reapplied. The best time to apply is during the summer to ensure that your home is protected for the wetter winter months.