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Brick is a beautiful construction material that can give your home a sophisticated atmosphere or bring out its rustic charm. It’s also extremely durable, capable of standing up to the elements for centuries with a little routine maintenance. Below are a few tips for getting the most out of your brickwork.

How to Maintain Your Bricks

1. Check the Mortar

While bricks will last for centuries, the mortar holding them together isn’t as durable. Fortunately, most problems can be prevented if they’re detected early, so carefully inspect the mortar at least once a year. After hosting the mortar down, look for discoloration, mold growth, or mortar crumbling between the bricks.

2. Keep the Mortar Clean

Dirt buildup between the bricks holds moisture, which can create the ideal breeding ground for mold. Mold growth eats away at the mortar, eventually allowing bricks to work loose. Fortunately, mold is fairly easy to remove with a synthetic wire brush and a solution of water and household bleach.

3. Remove Plant Growth

Ivy and other vines may give brick walls a stately, Old World appearance, but their roots and the moisture they hold can be extremely destructive. While these plants should be promptly removed, avoid pulling them away from the wall, which can damage mortar and loosen the bricks. Instead, cut the vines close to the ground. Eventually, the vine will die and fall away from the wall naturally.

4. Schedule Repairs Promptly

Weakened mortar will rapidly deteriorate, so even small problems can eventually cause widespread structural damage throughout a brick wall or chimney. Repointing is the process of removing and replacing softened mortar without disturbing the bricks. Scheduling repointing and other repairs at the first sign of trouble will keep your brickwork strong and beautiful for years to come.

As always, be sure to contact your local masonry experts for chimney repairs, fireplace repairs, tuckpointing, waterproofing and stone work of all kinds! Call Oberer Construction Company today at (513) 829-5270.

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