Household Paint Tips: What To Do When Paint Peels From Masonry/Brick

When paint peels from masonry or brick, it is a sign that a problem exists. Find out how to remedy the problem and repaint the surface so it won't peel again!

Masonry and brick are commonly used for building basements of homes, garages, and even some public buildings. They are both strong, durable materials, but, just like other types of building materials, they can have problems with paint adhering to them.

If you have masonry or brick in your home, and the paint is peeling from its surface, the problem can be caused by a number of factors. The most common cause can be attributed to the lack of surface preparation before it was painted. Proper surface preparation is a necessity with any paint job, but even more so when the surface is masonry or brick. "Masonry" includes stucco, cinderblock, and cement block. Bricks consist of a mixture of clay, lime, and sand that are kiln - dried. Because these materials are porous, they need a sealer, or more than one coat of primer, as well as more than one coat of finishing paint. If the masonry or brick to be painted was already painted, or it was bare, but old and discolored, it should be cleaned thoroughly first. A stiff wire brush and a power washer could have cleaned off any existing dirt, debris, and flaking, loose paint.

Oftentimes, masonry and brick can be affected by a problem called "efflorescence". Efflorescence is a white, crusty, crystal - like deposit. It is created by the alkaline salts in the building material. Damp weather conditions cause the salts to come to the surface. The efflorescence must be completely removed prior to painting any masonry or brick. If it's not removed, the paint will peel and otherwise not adhere to the surface properly.



Here is a tip you can use: to remove any efflorescence problem you may be experiencing, you will need to scrub the white crystals off with a stiff wire brush. Or, you may use a cleaning solution of thirty percent phosphoric acid solution. (Don't forget to wear proper eye protection and heavy, rubber gloves while cleaning with the acid solution.) In either case, you should rinse the surface clean afterwards with cool, clean water from a garden hose.

If you have masonry or brick that was painted, and it is now peeling, you will probably want to fix the unsightly problem. Even though it is impossible for you to determine what caused the paint to peel, you should check for any water problems. Excessive moisture can / and does cause the paint on masonry and brick to lose its holding power. Here is a tip you should use: on the outside of your building, you should look for holes, cracks and other places in the masonry and brick that can be allowing water to leak into the walls. Check the gutters and the downspouts to see if there are any leaks there too. On the inside, inspect the walls for holes, cracks, and other openings. Repair any openings you may find with waterproof cement. Repair -or replace if needed- the gutters and downspouts.

Then, you will need to clean the entire surface with a stiff wire brush to remove the peeling paint. The surface then needs to be cleaned so it is free of dirt, debris, grease, mildew, and all other surface contaminants. A solution of one cup of household bleach mixed with a gallon of tap water and a scrub brush should do the trick on interior walls. On exterior walls, a power washer can work effectively. Rinse the masonry and brick surface thoroughly with plenty of clean tap water. Allow it to dry thoroughly, then you should apply a good - quality primer or sealer to the surface. Follow the manufacturer's direction on the container in order to achieve the best results. This application will help protect the new paint from peeling ruined due to moisture - related problems.

After the sealer or primer has thoroughly dried, the next step is to paint on a good - quality paint that is especially made for masonry and brick. Here is a valuable tip: acrylic latex paints are a good choice because they offer a protection that helps resist moisture and efflorescence problems. Acrylic latex paints are also effective in hiding surface blemishes.

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