Brickwork always looks best when it’s newly-laid and nice and clean. In fact, one of the best things about buying a new build property is the brand new, clean walls. How do construction workers ensure that this new masonry stays looking great for as long as possible and is protected from the elements?
You may not have heard of it, but there is in fact a Brick Development Association which has strict recommendations that builders need to consider when laying new brickwork and other masonry, especially when building during the cold and damp conditions of the autumn and winter seasons.
Clean and dry
One of the most important factors when laying bricks is to keep them clean at all times. This means preventing, where possible, the splashing and smearing of mortar on new bricks and protecting them from the cold, wet weather.
Waterproof sheeting is the perfect solution to protect new bricks from damage caused by the rain and even snow. It only takes the shortest time for the heavens to open, ruining all the lovely dry bricks you’ve just begun to lay. This is why bricks need to be protected at all times.
It doesn’t stop with new bricks either, as maintaining brickwork in later life is also important to keep it looking in excellent condition. Masonry cleaning services and products are available such as Masonry cleaning services provided by Stonehealth.com.
The Brick Development Association warns that brickwork is especially at risk during winter building. Anyone laying bricks should cease building if the temperatures drop below 3 degrees Celsius. A common problem during winter is persistent overnight frosts, so keeping a close eye on the weather forecast is important. Any overnight frosts predicted should be planned for by covering and insulating any unset mortar. Hessian material is useful for this purpose to stop the mortar from cracking. A waterproof polythene sheet is also advisable to keep out the damp. Any dampness penetrating the brickwork could make it unsafe, ruining all previous hard work and need replacing.
Excessive heat can also cause similar cracking issues with unset mortar. The same process of using hessian and polythene membranes will help to ensure the bricks do not dry out too quickly, leading to damage and cracking. Wetting the bricks to avoid drying out should be avoided as this will cause the bricks to stain.