Maintaining any house is important. It’s not just about ensuring the value of your property remains as high as possible. Maintenance ensures the property is properly sealed and insulated, helping to reduce energy bills. It also ensures that pests can’t get in and helps you to prevent any damp issues.
Of course, the amount and type of maintenance that you need to perform will depend on the structure of your house. One of the most popular options in Australia is brick, it’s durable and will last for years, all you have to do is implement the following maintenance steps.
A key part of maintaining any property is to inspect it regularly. This means walking around the outside of your property to look at the walls. Specifically, you are looking for gaps that will allow wind and pests in. You should also look for cracks, in many cases these are superficial but a crack can be an indication of a structural issue. If you have any concerns it is important to get it checked out.
As you inspect the house you may find sections where the mortar between bricks is disappearing. This is normal as it is under constant attack by wind, rain, and even sun. Once the mortar is gone the wall will be weakened. You’ll need to remove approximately an inch of mortar and push the new mortar into the gap to strengthen the wall and restore the look of your property. It’s a process known as repointing and it’s a good idea to get specialists in brick repointing to do the work for you.
Watch your Plants
Many homeowners position plants near the walls of their home, even though this is not a good idea. The roots from these plants can damage the foundations of your home and climbing plants will attach themselves to the walls. In the process, they will cause the bricks to erode. You need to get them off but the best way to do this and avoid damage is by cutting them at the root and letting the plant die. Pulling them off the wall when they are alive is more likely to damage your walls.
Find Your Weep Hole
Every brick wall should have a weep hole. This is where moisture in the wall can escape. You may find a series of weep holes near the ground. It’s natural for moisture to build up in the walls, the weep hole allows this moisture to escape. Without one, you are more likely to suffer damp related issues in your home. Locate your weep holes and make sure they are kept clear to do their job. It’s worth noting that a chalky deposit on your bricks tells you that there is moisture inside it. You’ll want to scrub the chalky residue off and deal with the moisture issue.
Replacing Damaged Bricks
Monitoring your house can generally prevent bricks from becoming damaged but it does still happen. If you see a damaged brick it needs to be replaced. That means scarping out the mortar around it and sliding the brick out so that you can mortar a new one in position. These simple steps will help to ensure your brick house stays looking great.