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Painted brick after one has begun shaling.

3 Reasons Why Painted Brick Might Fail

Brick is a popular exterior siding option for homes. It has a classic appeal, it’s very durable, and it rarely requires any maintenance. However, not everyone is in love with the red or brown aesthetic of brick, so many people choose to get it painted.

Painted brick exteriors look lovely and they can give your home a transformative new look. However, there is one downside. Painted brick can be prone to failure. If this has happened to you, read on to learn more if you have ever asked yourself “why did the paint on my brick chip off?”

When you see chipping paint on the brick it usually means just a handful of things.

Reasons painted brick will chip

#1 The brick was never primed

#2 The brick is oft & shaling

#3 External forces

 

#1 The brick was never primed

White paint flaking off of brick with no primer underneath.

Priming is a critical part of any paint process, and that’s doubly true if you are painting a brick exterior. Primer ensures that the new coat of paint will adhere to the surface, which is crucial when you’re dealing with something as rough and uneven as brick. Just like any other surface, if the brick is not primed it has a higher probability of failing.

Masonry primer doesn’t just help with bonding, though. It also protects the color of the paint. The lime in mortar has a high pH balance, which can “burn” the color of the top coat. A premium masonry primer will help prevent this.

The color on painted brick fading due to pH burn.

Basically, if the fresh paint on your brick is chipping off or starting to fade, it may be because it wasn’t properly primed. That’s why it’s always important to ask about someone’s process when you’re hiring a contractor.

 

#2 The brick is soft & is shaling

Painted brick can fail if the brick begins shaling.Another common reason painted brick can chip is due to shaling. Also called spalling, this is when the face of the brick begins to crumble away. So what causes this? Well, brick is porous, kind of like a sponge. As such, it can pull in and release a lot of moisture. Most of the time, shaling is caused by heavy rain that the brick soaks up, which can cause the outer layer to become brittle and break away.

In that sense, it isn’t really the paint that is failing, but the brick itself. If the paint on your brick is chipping off from shaling, it just needs a new coat of primer and paint to protect it from damage. A high quality masonry primer will also help resist shaling.

 

#3 External forces

External forces like bad weather can cause paint to chip.

Bad weather can also take the top layer of brick off, including any paint you might have put on. As we said above, heavy rainstorms can cause your brick to shale, but hail and other extreme weather can also chip away at the paint.

This can also happen if the surface has been hit with a hammer or other object, whether on purpose or by accident.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything one can do to prevent these acts of nature, but usually the repair work is as simple as adding a new layer of paint.


And that’s what can cause paint to chip off of brick exteriors. In truth, brick is just as durable and capable as any other exterior siding. It is just unique in the way it holds up. Painting your brick siding can have some stunning results.

If you’re interested in getting an estimate on your brick home, give us a call today or fill out the form below to learn more about what Heritage Custom Painting can do for you. You can also read more on which paint brand is best for you.

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