BricksBrick is a man-made building material formed by the firing of clay after it has blended and mixed with water. This vitrification process fuses the clay particles together which gives brick its strength. Depending on the type of clay used bricks can be a variety of colours ranging from white, grey to dark red. Bricks have been used for the construction of buildings for centuries for its hardness and durability.

Typical Uses of Brick:

Indoor:   

Veneer walls:  Veneer brick walls are used to enhance the design of an interior space rather than for structural purposes. Brick veneers require low maintenance which makes it a cost effective and stylish choice of wall.    

Fireplace: A brick fireplace can add a rustic feel to a room to match the warmth radiating from a fire. The building material’s strength means that brick fireplaces will not deteriorate over time.  

Outdoor:

Walls: Brick walls are a highly sought after feature for homes and commercial buildings. The material’s appearance is as desirable as its toughness. Brick walls also serve a functional purpose, providing good insulation and absorbing noise – perfect for cold winters or loud neighbours.

Patios: The use of brick for patios is chosen because it has a high resistance to abrasion and requires low maintenance, making it a cost effective and durable building material. 

Typical brick house

House with brick walls

Finishes:

Smooth: As the name suggests, the face of the brick has a smooth, consistent texture. This finish is ideal for patios and other outdoor flooring areas.

Tumbled: The rounded, uneven edges give the brick the appearance it was hand-made. The versatility of this material; means this finish will look great indoors or outdoors. 

Common Problems of Brick

Efflorescence ­­

Brick that is located outdoors can be susceptible to a condition known as efflorescence. It is caused by water moving through the substrate of a material collecting and carrying minerals and salts found in the mortar bed, grout, soil or the stone itself. When the impure water reaches the surface of a material and evaporates, the minerals and salts will be left behind. Through a reaction with carbon dioxide in the air, these form those white marks commonly seen on unprotected porous surfaces.

If detected early, efflorescence can be removed using a stiff bristle brush or a mild acid. Although wetting the affected area will temporarily remove the white substance, the cycle will just continue as more minerals are left on the surface when the water evaporates.  Time is essential, the longer efflorescence is left to cure the more difficult it will be to remove. However, the best treatment for efflorescence is prevention. Dry-Treat’s STAIN-PROOF Original provides permanent water and oil repellency. The sealer deeply penetrates into the pores of a material, permanently bonding through a chemical reaction. This creates a water-repelling barrier which stops water ingress. The pores of the material are not blocked so moisture trapped in the substrate can escape as vapour, preventing the salts and minerals reaching the surface.   

Stains

Although different types of bricks may range in porosity any stain left on the surface will eventually be absorbed into the material. 

Dry-Treat™ has a number of products that can protect against staining and remove those difficult deep stains. 

  • STAIN-PROOF™ Original provides superior water and oil repellency, which will help prevent staining from food and liquid spills on all granite surfaces.  The invisible, impregnating sealer permanently bonds to the pores of granite through a chemical reaction. This means a treated surface will not be affected by traffic, exposure to UV radiation or commercial cleaning processes.   
  • Oxy-Klenza™, part of Dry-Treat’s HANAFINN range is perfectly suited for removing stubborn stains. The powerful, oxygen based cleaner can be made into a closed poultice which can remove stains that have had time to sink into dense stones such as granite. Refer to our maintenance guide for how to apply a closed poultice to a stain.  

Salt Spalling

Brick, like all porous materials has millions of interconnected pores which absorb water and dissolved salts and minerals. However, because brick is a very porous stone it is more likely to incur spalling. When water evaporates it leaves salt crystals behind below the surface. When these crystals grow close enough to the surface they break off microscopic pieces of the material. This allows more water ingress which accelerates the spalling over time until the brick is visibly damaged. 

Freeze-thaw Spalling

In cold climates, water that has been absorbed into the pores of brick can freeze. Frozen water can expand by up to 9 per cent. When this happens close to the surface microscopic pieces of brick can break off. As with salt spalling, over time this can cause visibly deep damage.

To protect against salt and freeze-thaw spalling DRY-TREAT 40SK can be used. The invisible, impregnating sealer is specially designed for soft, porous materials in freeze thaw climates and salt water environments. Brick treated with DRY-TREAT 40SK will have permanent water repellence. The protective barrier will significantly reduce water ingress and subsequent freeze-thaw and salt spalling. DRY-TREAT 40SK is also an excellent consolidator, able to strengthen this stone by up to 30 per cent.   

Mold

There are thousands of species of fungi that can be classified as mold. Molds are highly resilient organisms which can survive in almost any environment but warm, damp or humid areas are where it thrives. This means that mold can be grow on your natural stone indoors and outdoors. The fungi can not only ruin a brick surface but it also has health risks. The effects of exposure can range from mild eye and skin irritation to severe lung infections. 

Although mold can live in a range of climates, it cannot survive without water.  Applying an impregnating sealer like STAIN-PROOF Original to your brick surface can significantly reduce the amount of water absorbed, inhibiting the growth of mold, moss, mildew and other biofilms. 

Moldy brick

Protecting your brick surfaces

For protection against stains, efflorescence and the enhancement of brick surfaces:

For natural look:

STAIN-PROOF™ Original - 2 coats

For protection against water and oil-based stains and efflorescence we recommend using STAIN-PROOF™ Original. The sealer’s deep penetration into the pores of your material will provide superior water and oil repellency. This will stop food and liquid spills from causing permanent staining and significantly reduce the formation of efflorescence. STAIN-PROOF™ Original creates a chemical bond inside the pores, permanently becoming part of your material. 

 

META-CRÈME™ - 1 coat

For indoor applications, we recommend using META CRÈME™ for protection against water and oil-based stains and efflorescence. The ultra-low VOC sealer chemically bonds to the lining of a material’s pore structure, providing permanent protection. META CRÈME™ deeply penetrates into the pores which creates an excellent water and oil repelling barrier. This sealer is easier to apply, requiring only 1 coat, and is suitable for smooth surfaces.


For enhanced look

INTENSIFIA™ - 2 coats

For superior color enhancement of a surface whilst providing protection against water and oil-based stains, we recommend using INTENSIFIA™.



Maintaining your brick surfaces

For everyday and heavy-duty cleaning of your brick surfaces: 

Maintenance is an important part of owning a natural stone or other hard porous surface. Being diligent about the condition of your surface can minimize the need for regular, heavy-duty cleaning. There are a few simple actions that can be taken such as:

  • Wiping up spills as soon as possible.
  • Regularly washing down areas such as pool surrounds with fresh water after use.
  • Frequently removing leaves, branches and other plant matter from patios. If left for long enough, some leaves will bleed tannins, staining the surface.
  • When symptoms of efflorescence occur, clean the blooming patches with a metal brush or stiff bristle brush.

 

For outdoor cleaning:

Oxy-Klenza™

For regular outdoor cleaning of organic stains such as grease, motor oil, mold, plant and animal waste Oxy-Klenza™ can be used. Oxy-Klenza™ is a powerful triple action outdoor cleaner and stain remover for natural stone and other hard porous surfaces. The oxygen, alkaline and detergent based cleaner breaks down organic stains and soiling.

For indoor cleaning:

Rejuvenata™ ACTIVE

For regular indoor cleaning of organic stains such as oil, mold and food grime Rejuvenata ACTIVE™ can be used. The powerful active enzyme cleaner concentrate is specially designed for natural stone and other hard surfaces.

For efflorescence, rust mark, limescale, and grout haze:

Eff-Erayza™

Inorganic stains can ruin the appearance of a surface and can be extremely difficult to remove. The longer mineral deposits such as efflorescence, limescale, rust and grout haze are left on the surface, the harder they will be to remove.

Eff-Erayza™, the ultimate safe acid can be used to remove these mineral deposits from non-acid sensitive surfaces. The powerful cleaner performs like a strong acid without the harmful chemicals. Unlike muriatic acid cleaners Eff-Erayza™ is much safer to use. The natural mineral and acid-based cleaner out-performs phosphoric acids, loosening and dissolving unsightly deposits from the surface.

Make your surface self-cleaning!

Sola-Kleena™

For a hands-free, hassle-free cleaning solution Sola-Kleena™ should be used. The innovative light-activated cleaner breaks down organic dirt, grime and other pollutants. Sola-Kleena™ absorbs sunlight and uses it to continually clean hard, porous surfaces for months.

©2014 Dry-Treat Pty Ltd All rights reserved.
The names Dry-Treat, STAIN-PROOF, ENHANCE-PLUS and DRY-TREAT 40SK are all trademarked and the property of Dry-Treat Pty Ltd.
The information on this site is for the use of Dry-treat Pty Ltd and its affiliates in the pursuit of sales and positive exposure of Dry-Treat products only.
http://www.drytreat.com.au/surfaces/brick.html

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