This post was most recently updated on January 26th, 2022
Update – How to Seal a Brick Wall
In this updated article, we explain How to Seal a Brick Wall. If you have encountered any issues and have any suggestions or have any questions, please comment below.
There are just as many different types of bricks as there are uses for it in construction. Most commonly, bricks are used in exterior home construction. For example, an entire house may be brick or just part of the house for added curb appeal. Brick can also be used for pillars or columns, mailbox structures, a chimney, or a retaining wall. In most exterior brick applications, it is recommended to seal the brick to protect it from water damage, efflorescence, fading, mold/mildew, dirt, grime, and other contaminants that can be harmful or take away from the brick’s appeal. For interior brick walls, sealing is also beneficial to the brick and will enhance its natural beauty.
To seal a brick wall, you first need to wash it. In areas surrounded by landscaping, be sure to cover and protect any shrubbery that may be harmed. Use a quality brick and masonry cleaner according to the directions. Be sure to wear protective gloves and safety glasses.
Apply the cleaner and use a stiff brush or pressure washer to agitate and break loose the unwanted contaminants. Use a rust remover where any irrigation rust or other rust stains may be present. Interior brick walls are best cleaned with a safe cleaning solution and a scrub brush. Wipe the wall clean using cloths or towels if rinsing with water is not feasible. Once all the stains are gone from an exterior wall, rinse the brick wall well with plenty of water. Let the brick wall dry for a minimum of 24 hours after cleaning.
Brick sealers come in many different finishes. A matte finish will seal the brick and make it water repellent without altering its appearance while a gloss finish will give the brick a more “wet” look while providing protection and water repellency.
Once deciding on a quality masonry and brick wall sealer, and the brick wall is thoroughly dry, protect surfaces below the brick with plastic or a drop cloth. Use a brush, roller, or quality sprayer and starting at the top and working down, apply a coat of sealer to each brick. Be sure to coat the mortar joints as well. Remove any excess drips or runs with a brush or roller.
Apply a second brick sealer coat if necessary allowing the suggested drying time between coats. Once the final coat of brick sealer has been applied, let the brick wall dry according to the manufacturer’s suggestions.
Sealing a brick wall with a brick sealant is important to its longevity. Unwanted water and moisture can severely damage brick and cause crumbling of the mortar joints. Protect your investment with a quality brick wall sealer and have peace of mind that your brick structure will last for many years to come.
Best Sealer for Brick Walls Video
As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing, concrete sealing, and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior restoration. Scott and his restoration Michigan company have restored over 10,000 projects in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the restoration industry and has contributed to numerous restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.
can you use concrete sealers on brick walls either solvent or waterbase ?
Not always. Use a brick wall sealer for best results.
Can you paint the brick after you have sealed it? Or is there a good outdoor brick paint that also has a true sealer in it?
No, you cannot paint over a sealer. Never heard of a brick paint.
what is best type of sealer. water base or chemical?
Both are fine. We normal use a water based version.
Does anyone know whether the process described above will really work for any long term if the existing wall is already about 25 years old?
Yes it will work as long as the wall is a solid foundation and the bricks are not previously coated.
What if you aren’t sure if the bricks have been previously coated but there is water seeping through them?
If the water soaks into the bricks then they are not currently sealed.