Bricks deteriorating and decaying can be a serious concern for a building’s safety and integrity. The older the building, the more you may need to worry about the state of your brickwork and understanding what causes brick decay, spalling and damage, can be the first step in preventing it. Brick restoration is possible in many cases but first, let’s look at some of the most common causes of brick decay.

Old brick building with ornate brick column details

Moisture

Wet bricks are never a good thing. Water and moisture can lead to brick decay and spalling in a number of ways.

If rainwater constantly directly hits the surface of a brick, it will degrade over time. Drainage issues can also be problematic and cause brick decay. If drips and leaks consistently spill down over surfaces the wall, chimney and other brickwork will erode as time passes.

Finally, if water is absorbed by consistently wet soil in the foundations or around your building, the bricks can be eroded from below. This is known as rising damp and is quite common when looking at brick restoration and repair. Moisture can be extremely damaging to brickwork especially if it hasn’t been cared for properly.

Non-Breathable Sealants

We’ve discussed why painting brickwork is a bad idea, but this also applies to covering bricks in other sealants.

Sealants are often sold as a solution to stop water getting inside of masonry, but it usually just does not work. Brick can naturally absorb and release water through its natural pores, but this process is limited if not stopped entirely when a sealant is used.

Stopping the bricks from “breathing” and naturally expelling moisture means the water is trapped within the bricks and may be stuck there indefinitely, damaging the integrity of the brick, and eroding it slowly over time. There are breathable sealants on the market.

Low Grade Bricks and Workmanship

If you have had low quality brick repair and restoration carried out, then you may soon see the damage this can cause. Perhaps workman have replaced your hand-crafted bricks with cheaper, lower grade alternatives and this can impact the overall structural integrity of your building. Similarly, if bricks are improperly laid or out of place, even if only a single brick, can lead to further decay and significant damage.

Incorrect Cleaning Processes

The right type of cleaning for your building will depend on the age of the bricks, the age of the building and many other factors. High-pressure cleaning is not the correct process for every kind of brick. Some materials may require a more specialist, sympathetic, sensitive cleaning solution such as steam cleaning, to ensure the bricks are thoroughly cleaned without risk of damage.

Summary

Brick repair and restoration can be a long process and for many buildings it can be avoided if the façade is properly cared for. The structural integrity of historic, period properties and commercial buildings can be reliant upon the masonry so ensuring it is cared for and decay is managed, if not avoided, is essential.



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Building Transformation’s unquestionable honesty and enthusiasm for ensuring the client receives the correct whole-life solution (rather than a quick fix) resulted in us being able to ensure the building was not only returned to its former glory, but will stay that way for years to come. I would recommend them to anyone.

Kenny Gash - Carillion Amey

The work provided by Building Transformation was excellent. Their product and building exteriors knowledge is detailed, comprehensive and practically applied to the client’s needs. They offer a professional, detailed, high-quality and customer- focused service which meets the short, medium and long-term needs of the client, and provides practical, cost-realistic advice.

Kerry Quinn - Echo Arena

Customer service is paramount to Building Transformation and they invested vast amounts of time in providing me with a programme to facilitate what was a very complex and time-specific programme of work for the site. The quality and level of support provided by Building Transformation is priceless to any client/contractor.

Marc Blow MCIOB MBIFM - Carillion Amey

The approach and advice on setting up the works at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre were first-class. Building Transformation’s attention to detail was excellent and the RAMS were followed meticulously to every detail. We were delighted with the works and service, and would not hesitate to use them again, nor hesitate to recommend them to any organisation.

Kevin Egginton - Wolverhampton Council

A 200,000 sq. ft., four-storey leisure venue in the heart of Nottingham city centre surrounded by major traffic routes needed work to be done overnight to deal with the traffic issues, while the site remained open throughout. The project took around three weeks to complete and went exceptionally well; the Building Transformation staff were flexible and able to work round dynamic operational issues. The clean was of a high standard and has made a significant different to the image of the building. A very difficult job done well.

Suzanne Green - Land Securities

May & Co have worked with Building Transformation on a number of projects which have included external building cleaning and refurbishment. They provided a great service, supported by the high level of documentation from the initial quotation to books and industry-related guidance, all relevant to our project.

Anton Theobald - May & Co

I am very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. Also the level of cleaning provided and attention to detail is much appreciated.

Waqas Bin Tahir - Ibis Southampton

I am using Building Transformation’s work to help justify façade restoration works around our business.  They have produced excellent presentations on what can be achieved and is a brilliant piece of informed marketing that is helping slowly win people over in our business to take façade cleaning and restoration more seriously.

Needless to say Building Transformation is a name that is now becoming known and respected.

Simon Attwood - Broadgate Estates Ltd.

Building Transformation gave great communication throughout our projects.
It will be my pleasure to recommend Building Transformation.

Sarah Cameron - My Hotels Group

Just signed off the job with Richard. Myself, the bosses and the tenant all are very pleased with the work. It definitely looks rejuvenated just a case of painting the concrete window surrounds in the new year to finish it off. Have found your company and staff very professional and helpful which has facilitated a project with minimal inconvenience and disruption to our in situ tenants.

Mark Hollinshead - Headruddy Property Development

I had a walk around today with Dave and am impressed with the work so far.  Dave and the team have done a great job.

I’d certainly love to work with you in the future so perhaps before the job is completed we could look at what opportunities there are for the future.

Marie Green - Novotel Sheffield

At this stage, from my point of view your team has been extremely professional, informing us of what was happening at all times and most importantly no disruption whatsoever to our guests and business.

Ludovic Verzi - Novotel Leeds

We are very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. The operatives on site were very professional and communicated to us at all times.

Maria Pinana Mateu - Science Museum

The team at Building Transformation understood our challenge of finding a facade cleaning solution that would initially restore the glazing to its original state, protecting our building for years to come. Through intelligent and thorough testing right through to the full restoration of Block D, we have been very satisfied with the project management and delivery of the cleaning programme.

Colin Pilkington - Renaker Build Limited

Thank you for all the work that you carried out in cleaning the outside of our school.  We are delighted with the results.  You have managed to completely remove heavy staining from many areas around the building.

We found you extremely easy to work with: your quote was reasonable, you carried out the work quickly and you were very flexible in terms of timings.

Tamsin Griffith - Courtney Road Primary School, Bristol

have worked with Building Transformation on several projects within the hospitality industry and have found
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Stephanie LE COUTEUR - ARTELIA UK

e will definitely be working with you again! Your engineers were very polite and accommodating every time they visited site and have done a first class job. I will be recommending Building Transformation to everyone!

Mark Healy - One Facility

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