How to Lay Brick to Prevent Water Pooling

When it comes to laying bricks, one crucial aspect to consider is preventing water pooling. Pooled water can lead to serious structural issues over time, such as deterioration of the mortar, cracking, and even potential water damage to the surrounding areas. To ensure that water is diverted away effectively, several techniques can be employed during the bricklaying process. These include employing suitable foundational measures, creating an adequate slope, incorporating weep holes, installing flashing, using proper mortar mixes, and implementing appropriate sealing techniques.

Why Is the Brick on My House Staying Wet?

Another potential factor contributing to wet brick is the presence of cracks or gaps in the mortar between the bricks. These openings can allow water to seep into the walls, further exacerbating the saturation problem. It’s crucial to regularly inspect and repair any damaged mortar to prevent water infiltration.

If the water-resistant barriers or sealants applied during construction or renovation are defective or insufficient, water can seep into the bricks and remain trapped inside. In such instances, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance to assess and rectify the waterproofing system to eliminate the water retention problem.

Burst pipes, leaky faucets, or faulty plumbing fixtures can result in water infiltration, subsequently leading to damp bricks. Consulting a licensed plumber to inspect your plumbing system and promptly repair any leaks or damages can effectively resolve this issue and prevent further saturation of the brick.

By addressing these potential causes and taking proactive measures such as ensuring proper drainage, fixing mortar cracks, improving waterproofing systems, addressing weather-related concerns, and resolving plumbing issues, you can alleviate the wetness on your brick walls and protect the structural integrity and aesthetics of your house.

While brick walls are known for their strength and durability, they do have limitations when it comes to holding water. Despite the skill of a proficient bricklayer, it’s practically impossible to construct a completely watertight wall. Even the tiniest cracks and imperfections in the mortar or brick can serve as potential entry points for water, as it can infiltrate through gaps as minuscule as 1/100th of an inch. As a result, it’s crucial to acknowledge the inherent permeability of brick walls and take appropriate measures to mitigate water penetration.

Can a Brick Wall Hold Water?

A brick wall, while sturdy and reliable, can’t hold water in the same way a container can. Even the most skilled bricklayer can’t create a completely watertight structure. This is due to the inherent nature of bricks and mortar, as well as the imperfections that come with their construction.

Water has a remarkable ability to find it’s way through even the tiniest gaps. Cracks as small as 1/100th of an inch are enough for water to make it’s way into the wall. These minuscule openings can exist in the mortar, allowing water to seep through the joints. Additionally, small ledges and imperfections in the brick itself can create pathways for water to penetrate the wall.

Despite the best efforts of a bricklayer, it’s virtually impossible to eliminate all imperfections in a brick walls construction. Bricks vary in quality and shape, leading to irregularities that can affect the overall integrity of the structure. Furthermore, the mortar used between the bricks is susceptible to shrinkage, expansion, and general wear and tear, which can create additional avenues for water infiltration.

The challenge lies in striking a balance between aesthetics and functionality. While a well-built brick wall can provide strength and durability, it can’t completely resist the forces of nature. Over time, weathering and environmental factors will inevitably contribute to the degradation of the walls sealing capabilities.

To mitigate the issue of water infiltration, additional measures may be taken. Waterproof coatings or sealants can be applied to the exterior surface of the wall to provide an extra layer of protection. Drains and weep holes can also be incorporated into the walls design to facilitate the drainage of any water that does penetrate the structure.

Possible Causes of Water Infiltration in Brick Walls

Water infiltration in brick walls can occur due to various reasons. One common cause is poor construction practices, such as the incorrect installation of flashing or the absence of adequate waterproofing materials. Inadequate mortar joints or improperly sealed openings can also allow water to penetrate the brickwork. Additionally, deteriorating mortar due to age or harsh weather conditions can create gaps that allow water to seep in. Poorly designed drainage systems or landscaping that directs water towards the walls can further contribute to water infiltration. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help prevent and address water infiltration in brick walls.

Furthermore, other methods such as waterproof coatings or sealants may also be used to address small leaks in a brick wall. However, if the leakage is severe, it’s crucial to consider more extensive repair options including removing and replacing affected bricks or implementing a comprehensive waterproofing system.

How Do You Fix a Leaking Brick Wall?

When faced with a leaking brick wall, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage. For minor leaks, a possible remedy involves using caulk to seal any gaps or cracks in the mortar. By applying a thin layer of caulk along the affected areas, water infiltration might be successfully deterred, as the caulk creates a barrier to stop water from seeping through.

In cases where the leak is more severe, it may be necessary to replace the deteriorated mortar altogether. This entails carefully removing the damaged mortar with specialized tools, such as a chisel or mortar rake. Once the weakened mortar is removed, fresh mortar is then mixed and applied to the gaps, ensuring a tight seal that prevents water from penetrating the brick wall. This method requires meticulousness and expertise to ensure proper adhesion and a long-lasting repair.

However, when the leakage becomes extremely problematic and the brick itself appears compromised, more drastic measures might be required. In the most severe cases, it may be necessary to remove the damaged bricks entirely and replace them with new, less porous ones. This approach aims to tackle the issue at it’s core, eliminating any potential weak spots that could further compromise the structural integrity of the wall. This process, commonly referred to as brick replacement, demands skilled professionals who possess the knowledge and experience to seamlessly integrate the new bricks into the existing structure.

To avoid future leakage, proactive measures can be taken. Applying a waterproofing coating to the exterior surface of the brick wall can act as a safeguard against any potential water intrusion. These coatings, commonly made of silicone or acrylic, create a protective barrier that repels water, ensuring that it doesn’t penetrate the brick and exacerbate any potential leaks. Additionally, ensuring proper drainage around the foundation of the wall, including the installation of gutters and downspouts, can help divert water away, minimizing the risk of future leaks.

Source: How to Find a Water Leak in a Brick Wall – Standard Restoration

Bricks aren’t immune to the effects of moisture. Unsealed bricks have a tendency to absorb water, leading to potential weakness in both the brick masonry and mortar. The freezing of this water within the pores and cracks of the brick can further aggravate the situation, causing damage and cracks that may compromise the structural integrity.

Do Bricks Hold Moisture?

Bricks, being a porous material, have the propensity to absorb moisture if left unsealed. This absorption of water can lead to several issues, primarily weakening the brick masonry and the mortar that holds them together. Unsealed bricks, over time, can become saturated with water, making them vulnerable to damage caused by freezing and thawing cycles.

The moisture absorption in unsealed bricks can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These fungi thrive in moist environments, and bricks that hold moisture provide an ideal breeding ground. The presence of mold and mildew not only affects the aesthetic appeal of the brickwork but also poses health risks to occupants, as exposure to mold spores can trigger allergies and respiratory problems.

Furthermore, the continuous presence of moisture in unsealed bricks can create a favorable environment for efflorescence. This is the white, powdery deposit that forms on the surface of bricks when water-soluble salts migrate and crystallize as water evaporates.

To mitigate these issues, proper sealing of bricks is crucial. Sealing the brickwork with a suitable sealant or masonry sealer creates a protective barrier that prevents water absorption, reducing the risks of structural damage, mold growth, and efflorescence. It acts as a preventative measure, preserving the integrity and longevity of the brickwork, while also improving it’s overall appearance.

By taking proactive steps to protect bricks from moisture, property owners can enhance the resilience and aesthetics of their structures.

Different Types of Sealants for Brickwork

Sealants are commonly used to provide protection and enhance the appearance of brickwork. There are various types of sealants available for brickwork, such as silicone-based, acrylic-based, and polyurethane-based sealants.

Silicone-based sealants are flexible and resist moisture, making them suitable for exterior brickwork. Acrylic-based sealants, on the other hand, offer good adhesion and are ideal for indoor brick surfaces.

Polyurethane-based sealants are highly durable and withstand extreme weather conditions, making them perfect for both indoor and outdoor brickwork. They provide excellent resistance to water, UV rays, and chemicals.

When selecting a sealant for brickwork, it’s important to consider factors like climate, desired finish, and the specific needs of the project. Each sealant type has it’s unique characteristics and strengths, allowing for customization and effective protection of your brickwork.

To protect your brick walls from rainwater infiltration, one effective solution is to apply a water-resistant exterior wall coating like SprayCork. By creating a sealed barrier with a thin layer of spray-applied natural cork, this coating prevents any water from penetrating the brickwork, even during heavy rainfall.

How Do You Stop Rain Water From Coming Through Brick Walls?

Water penetration through brick walls can be a frustrating issue for homeowners. The porous nature of bricks allows water to seep in, leading to potential damage and dampness inside. However, there are effective methods to stop rainwater from permeating through brick walls.

One solution is to apply a water-resistant exterior wall coating such as SprayCork. This innovative product utilizes a thin layer of spray-applied natural cork that forms a protective barrier over the brickwork. The cork coating seals off the surface, preventing water from penetrating through even in heavy downpours. Unlike traditional coatings, SprayCork is breathable, allowing moisture to escape while still providing excellent water resistance.

Another effective approach is to apply a waterproofing membrane to the exterior surface of the brick wall. These membranes act as a barrier against water infiltration, and can be a long-lasting solution when applied correctly. It’s important to choose a high-quality waterproofing membrane and follow the manufacturers instructions for proper application.

In addition to external treatment, it’s essential to address any potential sources of water entry from within. Check for plumbing leaks or cracks in the foundation, as these can contribute to water seepage through brick walls. Repairing any existing damage and ensuring proper drainage around the exterior of the building can also help prevent rainwater from entering through the walls.

Furthermore, maintaining the condition of the mortar joints between the bricks is crucial. Over time, these joints can deteriorate, leading to gaps and cracks that allow water infiltration. Regularly inspecting and repairing any compromised mortar joints will help maintain the integrity of the brick wall and prevent water from seeping in.

Lastly, consider improving the overall drainage system around the building. This includes ensuring proper gutters and downspouts are installed, directing water away from the walls. Clearing debris from gutters and ensuring downspouts are functioning correctly will prevent water from pooling near the brickwork, minimizing the risk of water infiltration.


Firstly, ensuring a stable and level foundation is crucial to maintain the brickwork's integrity. Careful placement and alignment of the bricks, coupled with the use of mortar joints, aid in water channeling and runoff. Incorporating effective moisture management techniques, such as weep holes, allows for proper drainage, preventing water accumulation behind the brickwork. Additionally, the strategic incorporation of flashing and waterproofing materials further enhances protection against potential water damage. Overall, employing these methods in brick laying not only ensures aesthetically pleasing structures but also guarantees long-lasting durability by mitigating the risk of water pooling and subsequent structural issues.

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