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How to Stop Damp Coming Through Walls with Masonry Waterproofing

5th February 2024
POSTED IN How to guides
How to Stop Damp Coming Through Walls with Masonry Waterproofing

Penetrating damp is one of the most challenging types of damp to treat. Protecting your brick and masonry with brick sealers and masonry waterproofing cream allows you to keep your brickwork safe and aesthetically pleasing for longer.

This guide looks at the value of safeguarding your masonry and brickwork, the best products, and the proper application methods.

Keep Getting Wet-Looking Spots on Walls?

Waterproofing a wall is important because mortar and bricks aren't entirely waterproof. Penetrating damp or water entering from the outside impacts modern homes, even ones constructed with hollow walls and mostly impermeable materials. Excessive moisture and dampness in brick and stone structures can result in internal harm and the dreaded black mould. Using a wall coating is a great way to prevent this.
Pollutants in the air, precipitation, storms, and algae and lichen growth on walls can seriously harm your home in several ways. This includes corrosion, lichen and algae infestations, loss of structural integrity, and damage to wood components. These are all serious issues that need to be addressed swiftly. Selecting a reliable product when masonry waterproofing is crucial, regardless of whether you are trying to lower the danger or have noticed signs of penetrating dampness.

Keep Getting Wet-Looking Spots on Walls?

What is Spalling Brick

When brick masonry starts to deteriorate, brick fragments fall off the building, known as spalling. Small cracks that initially appear as spalling develop into larger ones until the surface deteriorates. If treatment is not received, this issue will worsen and eventually compromise a building's general stability and safety. Bricks that have started to spall in one place increase the likelihood that nearby bricks will follow suit. For this reason, it's critical to address the issue as soon as it emerges.

Bricks can split for various reasons, but water is the most frequent cause of damage. Water may damage brickwork and degrade surfaces. The freeze/thaw cycle is brought on by an excessive amount of water that becomes trapped within masonry constructions. Moisture expands and freezes in colder temperatures, while water thaws and loses volume in warmer temps. Masonry is subjected to excessive pressure, which, when repeated, causes it to crack and spall.
Water can cause spalling in several different ways. Rainwater will eventually erode brickwork if it consistently makes direct contact with surfaces. Also, water continuously leaking from the roof over surfaces due to poor drainage may eventually destroy brick surfaces such as the wall and chimney. Additionally, rising damp or constantly moist soil can absorb water and possibly be related to water seeping into your home's foundation. Even something as seemingly innocent as water vapour can allow moisture to enter.

What Causes Mould and Mildew

Growing mould and mildew on interior walls is a typical problem in homes, frequently brought on by an abundance of moisture and inadequate ventilation. Even though these terms are commonly used synonymously, there are a few key distinctions between mould and mildew.

What Causes Mould and Mildew

Mildew on Walls

Mildew is typically white or grey and has a flat, powdery appearance. Though not as dangerous as mould, it can cause allergies in some individuals and leave your house with an awful, musty smell. If you notice mould and mildew growing on your interior walls, you probably have an underlying moisture issue that has to be fixed. The following are a few typical causes:
Condensation is the process by which warm, humid air condenses into droplets of water when it comes into contact with a cold surface. Condensation is frequently found around windows and on bathroom walls.
Moisture can enter a space through leaky pipes, roofs, or even gaps in the outer walls, making it perfect for mould and mildew growth.
Mould and mildew thrive in environments that retain moisture in the air due to inadequate ventilation. This is particularly typical in kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.

What is Efflorescence

Efflorescence on brickwork is the term used to describe the powdery or crystalline deposits that may show up on the surface. The salts in the mortar or bricks migrate to the surface, leaving these observable traces behind. Efflorescence usually has a white or greyish appearance, although it can also have yellowish, brownish, or even greenish tones, depending on the particular salts involved. It is often crystalline or powdery, with occasional fuzzy patches or cobweb-like appearances.

Causes of Efflorescence include:

  • Moisture - The main offender is the moisture in the mortar or bricks. This can originate from several places, including condensation, groundwater, rain, and construction water.

  • Soluble salts - Naturally occurring soluble salts such as carbonates and sulphates can be found in bricks and mortar. The crystallised deposits are left behind when water evaporates and dissolves these salts, which then rise to the surface.

If left untreated, prolonged efflorescence may sometimes indicate underlying moisture problems such as leaks or inadequate drainage, which may cause more severe harm. This is why an effective efflorescence remover is important.

What is Efflorescence

Waterproofing Brickwork & Stone Walls - Some Good Tips

How to Treat Wall Dampness

Treating the underlying source of penetrating moisture is crucial to safeguarding your house against it. It is necessary to fix any building flaws, fractures and bad mortar before proceeding with brick waterproofing.
After your walls' structural integrity is satisfactory, you can apply a waterproof masonry protection cream to create an invisible shield between the outside of your house and the elements. This shields your home from pollution, possible frost damage, and driving rain. Learn more about external wall damp proofing.
Homes can be constructed using various materials, including granite, brick, and cob - a mixture of clay, sand, and straw - but many can be safeguarded similarly.

Masonry Protection Cream and Brick Sealers

How Does a Brick Waterproofing Cream Work?

If you are unsure whether the water repellent is appropriate for your type of stone or masonry, please consult a professional, such as Smartseal. Specific substrates impervious to water cannot fully absorb the active components. To check compatibility, it is generally best to apply a tiny amount of masonry sealer to a region that is not noticeable.
How to Fix Damp Walls with Creams & Sealants for Unpainted Brickwork
You can apply a single application of masonry cream, our professional-grade Climashield Masonry Protection Cream, to an external wall that is made of exposed brick or unpainted render to prevent water infiltration for up to 30 years. Brick sealer is a highly effective way of protecting your walls.

How Do Masonry Waterproofing Creams Work?

Creams that repel water seep into the substrate - bricks, stone, etc. - Because of the cream consistency, there is no chance of run-off since the active components can sink deeply into the wall. Lining the masonry's capillaries with these active chemicals decreases water absorption, safeguarding the substrate and creating an invisible, long-lasting barrier against water penetration. You still get the added benefit of letting your walls "breathe." Without breathability, the moisture already present in your walls won't be able to escape and let the wall dry out.
Water-repellent lotions and interior brick sealers that dry clear preserve the original appearance of any exposed brick. Before applying the water-repellent paint, the base needs to be sound and untreated or unpainted. Any structural defects such as cracks, cracked joints, defective connections, bridged DPCs / rising damp and hygroscopic salts must be remedied first.

How Do Masonry Waterproofing Creams Work?

Should You Seal Interior Brick Walls?

What Products Should I Use to Seal an Interior Brick Wall?

Water-repellent sealers offer excellent water protection. They also help to prevent spills and splashes; they are perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, and areas near fireplaces. These products are both stain- and dust-resistant, providing advantages similar to breathable sealers.

What is the difference between damp-proof paint and masonry waterproofing cream?

  • Damp-proof paint isnít designed for external use - itís best used internally to protect against damp.

  • Damp-proof paint isnít transparent - white, black or grey, whereas masonry waterproofing paint dries transparent.

  • Damp-proof paint isnít porous and doesnít allow walls to breathe.

Brick Wall Cleaner

When cleaning harsher substances from brick, such as cement and paint, brick acid cleaner is ideal. Before applying interior brick sealer or exterior brick sealer, you should ensure the brickwork is clean. Waterproofing bricks and masonry is most effective when the surfaces are clean, safe, tacked, and healthy.

Smartseal offers a range of products to protect and preserve brickwork and masonry.

Brick Wall Cleaner
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Products Used
Efflorescence / Salts Remover (5L & 25L)
(Available in 5 & 25 litre) Removes salts and mineral whiteness from block paving, brickwork & patio slabs
In Stock
Brick Sealer 10yr+ Protection Breathable & Waterproofing 'DRY' Finish Sealer
Highly Water Resistant Impregnating Sealer Safe & Easy to Apply
In Stock
Masonry Protection Cream 25Yr+ Protection Highly Effective Brick and Stone Walls
Easy to Apply, Dry Finish. Protects from Water Ingress.Breathable Waterproof Formula.
In Stock
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