While bricks are an incredibly robust material, there are instances in which they need to be repaired or restored in order for them to be suitable for continued use in a renovation.
This process used to do this is known as brick restoration and is a form of masonry restoration.
We share the ways in which brick restoration can be achieved, and in which applications it is worth doing.
Brick restoration is a process of restoring bricks in terms of their structural integrity or appearance, and often for both. Usually the brick restoration process will involve repairing any damage there is to the bricks themselves, as well as the mortar. Brick colour can be revitalised, and loose bricks replaced altogether.
There are a number of advantages to brick restoration. Bricks are hardy and provide a lot of benefits when used in building a property, such as being non-combustible, being sound proof or reducing sound, being energy-efficient and, for most of their life, low maintenance. Restoring them can pay dividends, extending the life of the brickwork for decades.
It is particularly beneficial in commercial properties as it can generally be cost-effective and causes less disruption than replacing and rebuilding the brick structure would cause. In addition, architectural brickwork or elaborate structures are costly to knock down and replace, especially when repairs may be relatively simple when completed by a skilled brick worker.
Your brick work specialist can advise as to whether brick restoration would be suitable for your project.
While brickwork is a robust material, exposure to the elements such as rain and sun, mould growth, dirt, pollution, accidents or repeated knocks, or lack of upkeep can all lead to the deterioration of bricks.
Restoration can be achieved in a number of ways, such as replacing loose bricks, bringing the colour of the bricks back to life, and fixing mortar that has broken away.
Colour revitalisation is a popular brick restoration technique. This is done by completing a thorough scrub and clean to remove debris and dirt followed by a masonry stain.
Brick replacement can be done by a brick restoration professional without compromising the structural integrity of the other bricks or brickwork. This is done by chiselling away the mortar in the areas that need repairing, removing the brick, cleaning the cavity and replacing it. Sometimes the brick itself can be repaired and replaced; other times it will need to be replaced all together.
Replacing loose bricks is a timely process, but it is worthwhile if done properly and the surrounding wall is in good condition.
It is not uncommon for mortar to break down overtime. Pointing is the name given to the finish between each brick, so when this wears away, the brick restoration process used to repair mortar is called brick repointing.
It is essential that the repair of mortar is done by a professional, as improper application can compromise the integrity of your structure.
Once any restoration has been done, it is advisable to waterproof the brickwork using a waterproof sealant as bricks absorb moisture which can weaken the bricks over time. Often very old brick work has not been waterproofed previously, or has worn away over time. Generally, waterproofing should be done every 5 to 7 years to limit preventable damage and extend the life of your bricks.
Looking for experienced professional bricklayers to help you restore your commercial or residential project? Get in touch with the team at Solutions Built. We are more than happy to offer advice, quotes and work on projects anywhere in South East Queensland. Take a look at our portfolio to see how we use brickwork to enhance commercial and residential buildings.