In this day of house flipping and DIY upgrades, you might be turning a scrutinous eye to your home's exterior. How can you enhance its look? What will make your home stand out? We all know a fresh coat of paint almost always refreshes a house, but if you have a brick exterior, don't jump on the paint train just yet. Painting outside brick is rarely a good idea. Read on to find out why.
Benefits of Unpainted Exterior Brick
Unpainted exterior brick is one of those rare set-it-and-forget-it items. It doesn't peel or bubble, even when the weather gets scary. Its natural color is already beautiful, and as it ages, it just gets more and more appealing.
Paint Can Damage the Brick
Brick is notoriously difficult to paint, so if you apply paintbrush to brick, you may end up doing shoddy work. Beyond aesthetics, however, a shoddy paint job can damage your brick surfaces. Clay and shale make brick porous, which means brick walls will naturally expel moisture from your home during wet weather. It's a great material that actually adjusts to the weather to protect your home.
When you slap paint over those porous materials, the brick stops breathing. It begins to hold onto the dampness, and your bricks end up deteriorating and crumbling. This can, alarmingly, cause structural damage to your home. The only way around this is to use high-quality, vapor-permeable masonry paint and to be meticulous about how you apply the paint.
Maintenance Costs (and Time) Will Go Up
Once brick has been painted, it will need to eventually be repainted. And repainted. Paint flakes off brick, which just looks plain bad. But flaking paint is also an indication that the brick is beginning to deteriorate, which is even more bad news. Maintaining this crumbling problem is a huge hassle for you as a homeowner, and it will make it harder to sell your home down the road.
Changing Your Mind Is Not as Easy as It Sounds
If you decide to paint your brick house, but want the paint removed later, you're in for a big hassle. Chemical treatments or sandblasting are the methods of paint removal from brick. These techniques are not only expensive and difficult, they can actually damage your brick.
What If Your House Has Already Been Painted?
So you bought a brick house that had already been painted? In this case, the best move is to continue repainting the house, using appropriate paint for the job. Find a mineral-based or silicate paint that's recommended for brick. This type of paint is designed to be breathable, and is your best option. It's best to hire professionals for the tedious job.
What to Do Instead of Painting Your Exterior Brick
If you're itching for a change to your house's exterior, think outside of putting paintbrush to brick. Instead, pressure wash your bricks for a clean, grime-free look. Repaint your trim or doors for a fresh update. Upgrade your landscaping and add window boxes full of greenery and flowers. Or consider using a subtle finish like lime wash or stain to give a slight change of color to your brick without destroying the surface.
At New Life Painting, we thrive on stress-free experiences. Whether you're dealing with painted brick or any other surface of your Santa Maria home, give us a call for a beautiful, professional look. Call us at (805) 937-9836, or visit us online for a free quote.