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matthewd 12-12-2012 10:04 AM

Moisture through brick wall
I recently purchased a new house and had the previous owner repoint the rear brick wall because there was visible water damage and I assumed repointing the exterior and repairing the interior walls would fix the problem. This past weekend we got a decent amount of rain and now the new plaster is moist again and I can see the water spots grow day to day.

the house was built around 1900. Double wythe brick construction.

Do I need to apply a brick sealer to by rear wall?

joecaption 12-12-2012 10:08 AM

Got a picture?
Is there gutters?
Does the grade slope away from the foundation.
Was the brick sealed with foundation sealer below grade?
Is there a french drain?
Is there mulch or flower beds up againt the foundation?

matthewd 12-12-2012 10:15 AM

1 Attachment(s)
-No gutter, it is a flat roof to scupper/ rain water leader.
-The wall it is coming through is on the second floor away from foundation.
-No french drain.
-No mulch/ flower bed.

The attached picture was taken before the brick repointing, however they replastered this wall and painted. the paint began to bubble and fall off. I scrape off all the paint in this area (easily) and the plaster was still moist. I had them repoint the rear wall, however it doesn't look professional at all, very messy. In the mean time, I scrapped off all the wet plaster and let the wall breath. It dried so I mudded the wall in this location, it rained hard and now it is wet again.

shazapple 12-12-2012 10:21 AM

Is there anything that would cause water to splash against the brick at or above this location? A picture of the outside would help.

matthewd 12-12-2012 10:36 AM

1 Attachment(s)
rear wall, exterior.

This picture is before the 'repointing'
You can see that there is a brick missing to the right of the window, this has been replaced since the repointing, however this looks like where water is entering.

joecaption 12-12-2012 10:43 AM

Anyone been up on that roof to check it?

matthewd 12-12-2012 10:47 AM

only the owner, and he said he didn't see anything (big surprise)
I don't have a ladder to reach the roof.

hammerlane 12-12-2012 10:58 AM

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I had a mystery leak into a 1st floor bay window only during wind driven rains. After thinking it was a flashing issue above the bay window I had the counter flashing replaced. Leaks continued only during wind driven rains. My culprits were the window sills of two windows on 2nd floor above the bay.

-I ended up having all seven rowlock sills replaced with limestone sills on front of house.

At first my worst thought was that the brick veneer was screwed up somehow. I had a local company that does brick restoration come in and he showed be a Rhilem Tube test to demonstrate how the brick can absorb water.

Here is an excellent video demonstrating a Rhilem Tube:

I know in your situation you do not have the window sills as I did but maybe this can assist.

Water repellent vs. Brick sealer is a big big huge difference. I would not take the advice of applying any type of sealer on the brick. That may trap any moisture behind the brick and cause further problems. What you want to do is apply a water repellent...not a sealer.
After learning that brick veneer--mortar joints and bricks--can absorb water, I had a water repellent made by Prosoco called Siloxane WB concentrate applied by to entire front brick veneer of the house. After the application, water beads off of the brick veneer as water woul off the hood of a newly waxed car.

The Prosoco product will not impair the natural breathing characteristics of treated surfaces.

As a note to others reading this. Above I referenced the Siloxane WB concentrate. This needs to be mixed on site with specific quantities of water. The company that applied it for me were the experts so thats what they used. They did tell me if I were to do it myself they recommended the Siloxane PD which is pre-diluted. Its ready to be applied right out of the container.

But because the repellent will not prevent water penetration through
structural cracks, defects or open joints I also spent a few hours paying attention to all the mortar joints....both head and bed where there were any cracks in the mortar. So I bought and brushed on a product from Saver Systems called ChimneyRx® Masonry Crack and Joint Sealant.

look for hairline cracks in all the head and bed joints...see photos below

matthewd 12-12-2012 11:09 AM

Thanks for the images and product links. I hoping the water repellant was that answer. Is this an expensive process...if you don't mind me asking.

hammerlane 12-12-2012 12:07 PM


Originally Posted by matthewd (Post 1071711)
Thanks for the images and product links. I hoping the water repellant was that answer. Is this an expensive process...if you don't mind me asking.

The Prosoco application cost $600 to apply to about 1100 square feet of brick.

hammerlane 12-12-2012 12:16 PM

Another note is to have a reglet cut into the underside of the sill to prevent water traveling down the face of the sill from continuing onto the brick.

shazapple 12-12-2012 12:29 PM

I would look at your scupper, downspout, and roof perimeter first before trying the water repellant. It looks like there has been water running down the wall.

matthewd 12-12-2012 01:19 PM

thank you everyone for your input, i truely appreciate it, i am going to try to get on the roof this weekend and will post what i find.

if you have any more ideas what is happening or how to fix the situation i would greatly appreciate the comments!


hammerlane 12-12-2012 01:53 PM

2 Attachment(s)
the damage to the plaster you show in this photo...where is this inside damage in relation to the outside of the house

matthewd 12-12-2012 02:01 PM

it is at A & D, which has be repointed.
The downspout was removed during repointing.

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