Using the ‘cream’ of brick-efflorescence prevention

A liquid hydro block product is often all you need to protect and rebuild the original colour and appearance of masonry.

But when, for whatever reason, you need a thicker material with an extra-high content of active nano, silane and silicone, and a more obvious presence after application, the latest masonry creams could be perfect…

Based on years of experience with speciality cleaners, coatings and sealants, here are seven tips to help you get the most out of the latest aqueous, water-based, creamy, hydrophobic impregnating agents when you need to stop brick efflorescence and spalled brickwork for decades ahead.

1. Breathability

Choose a breathable material that will leave the treated surface open to diffusion, while having the desired water resistance and enhancing the thermal insulation properties of the masonry.

2. Good preparation is essential

As with all coatings and sealants, thorough preparation is essential. The surface to be treated must be clean, dry and sustainable. Depending on the specific product, you should be able to treat new surfaces with a masonry cream immediately. But older surfaces, or any masonry that is dirty or overgrown, must be treated with a suitable cleaner-disinfectant. With cleaning finished and the surface dry (typically in about 24 hours), the dry cream can be applied.

3. Recoat within an hour

For many applications, one brush or roller-applied coat of a high quality nanotechnology cream may well be sufficient. However, if a second coat is required, this must be applied within an hour of the first coat. Why? Because the performance of products such as iso dry crème extreme is so good that a second coating simply won’t adhere correctly if the first coat has already gone off!

4. Always apply a test coat

As with any colour-related coating or sealant, it’s always worth applying a small test area of the selected material to make sure that the product and the substrate are compatible.

5. Choose a reputable manufacturer

Your perception of a manufacturer’s integrity might start with something as subtle as selling product by weight rather than volume – especially when 1kg of a coating does not equate directly to 1 litre of the same! Look for demonstrable evidence of experience in the field – including advanced products that use nanotechnology to achieve protection against moisture in walls, frost-proofing, bonding, surface rebuilding and enhanced thermal properties at molecular level.

6. You can actually see it in use

Sometimes, perhaps to visibly demonstrate to a customer that you have applied the agreed surface treatment, it’s advantageous for the coating to remain visible for an hour or so after application. With more fluid invisible treatments, this isn’t so easy. That’s why, as well as having other intrinsic qualities, a thicker masonry cream is useful when you want your customer to enjoy extra reassurance from seeing what you’ve done.

7. Sell the benefits

As well as being technically advanced, the latest hygrophobic impregnating agents offer numerous benefits that can be useful when selling to a property owner. As well as having the water repellence that prevents degradation of minerals, frost attack and efflorescence (on new brickwork), there’s ease of application and up to 25 years’ performance to talk to your customer about. And remember to tell them about the enhanced thermal efficiency and self cleaning properties too. It’s a great brick protection story that a reputable manufacturer can support with test results and certification. Make the most of it!

Application of thicker cream impregnating agencies may use ‘old school’ application techniques such as rollers and brushes instead of higher technology pressure sprays. But the efficacy of these treatments bears out the reliance on such traditional application methods for such a high-technology solution to efflorescence on brick, spalled bricks and other aspects of masonry protection.