Reasons to be Wary of Painting a Brick Exterior

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Home Improvement

Reasons to be Wary of Painting your Homes Brick Exterior

1.) You'll Probably Destroy the Brick
Brick “breathes.” Trapped moisture is the main issue in the relationship between brick and paint. Brick is the ultimate “coat” for your home, protecting it from all the elements while letting it breathe, too. Putting paint on it is like encasing it in plastic.

2.) You Can Cause Serious Structural Damage
If you paint exterior brick and there’s moisture trapped in it, once you go through a freeze-and-thaw cycle, the brick can degrade as moisture freezes inside it. When exterior brick erodes — and if the mortar between the brick erodes — your home’s structural integrity is at risk.

3.) It Can Look Really Bad, Really Fast
As the bricks begin to degrade, the paint starts to peel and flake away — making your house look neglected and nasty. That’s bad news. Really bad news. That means the damage mentioned above is well under way — and it’s showing up on your home’s face

3.) You Can't Easily Go Back to Unpainted
The time and money it takes (plus the risk to the brick’s integrity) to remove existing paint makes it a very challenging task. Power-washing or sandblasting can damage the brick, so it all has to be painstakingly stripped away using chemicals.

When it’s okay to paint brick

1.) If It’s Already Been Painted
Most painted brick needs regular repainting, and compared to removing the old paint, it’s typically the lesser evil. Just be sure to use the right paint. Use a mineral-based paint or a silicate paint that’s designed to be breathable, and is recommended for brick, such as the brand KEIM.

2.) If the Brick is Inside
Indoor brick isn’t subject to harsh outdoor elements. If you were to paint your fireplace surround you won’t have the issues of moisture and humidity.