Building maintenance always comes down to a few factors: protecting an investment, reducing repair costs and improving aesthetics. All of these are in play when it comes to routinely cleaning and sealing masonry surfaces. Removing the plants, grime, mold and pollutants that can choke a building’s façade is an important task. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of building masonry cleaning.

Overall Appearance

Most owners find the outward appearance of their buildings to be important. A façade should be visually appealing, inviting and attractive to potential buyers if the building is on the market. When it comes to cleaning a masonry structure, some owners might clean just the bottom floors so that foot traffic sees the cleaner section. Structures with fewer floors likely need to be fully cleaned. In urban environments, it can be best to clean all the exterior walls if possible, instead of just the front. Rural buildings come in contact with fewer contaminants, so a power wash might be sufficient to clean them.

Damage Prevention

Masonry cleaning can cut down on structural damage in a lot of different ways. First, dirt, oil or plants on buildings tend to hide larger problems such as cracks, stains and other signs of water damage. Second, the pollutants and grime that grab on to masonry surfaces and accumulate over time will also eat away at the surface itself. Finally, clean surfaces will help those doing inspections to check the condition of the substrate behind the masonry work as well as the brick itself. If leaks or structural problems exist, it’s a safety requirement that they be addressed immediately. Building owners who want to extend the life of their properties have a vested interest in making sure dirt, grime and damaging chemicals are removed on a regular basis.

Importance of Sealing

The final factor in building masonry cleaning plans is to apply sealant. Only after a structure is cleaned and the masonry properly repaired is the building ready for its protective coating. High-quality and comprehensive repairs can ensure the masonry is in good, safe condition, but that masonry only goes so far in protecting the building’s envelope. Coatings and caulk that are specifically formulated for masonry applications are vital to long-term structural health. The products must allow the brick to flex and facilitate water evaporation to give longer life to the masonry.

The cleaning and sealing of masonry buildings should be part of a routine maintenance plan. The appearance, longevity and safety of the structure likely depend on it.

For more information on masonry maintenance in the Boston metro area, give us a call at 617-622-5946.

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