Quick brick fixes

Time for masonry work? Don’t balk – use brick caulk

There are many caulks on the market, so when do you need to reach for brick caulk? One thing is for sure: It will definitely outperform other caulks in your next masonry project.

Brick caulks: The why and wherefore

Brick caulks are designed to form permanent seals that are waterproof and weatherproof. Furthermore, brick caulks are specially formulated for use on gaps and joints in masonry and concrete, meaning they can withstand harsher conditions than many other caulks. Quality brick caulk resists stress resulting from movement, weather, and other sources better than most generic products.

How to use brick caulk

Gather tools. You will need a utility knife, a caulking gun, and a tool to puncture the cartridge seal. Remember to wear gloves to protect your hands.

Joint preparation. The brick caulk depth should be half of the joint width, if the joint is wider than 10 millimeters. Read the product information concerning maximum joint dimensions, which backer rods you can use if your joint is too deep, and essential information about application temperatures and moisture.

Surface preparation. Surfaces must be structurally sound, dry, and free of all contaminants.
If you are re-sealing previously sealed joints, remove all brick caulk mechanically before sealing. The surfaces below the old brick caulk must be clean when you apply fresh product. Depending on which brick caulk you use, you may need to prime the surface.

Apply brick caulk. Load your brick caulk into your caulk gun. Cut the nozzle at a 45-degree angle to desired bead size and puncture the inner seal. Apply the brick caulk with steady pressure, forcing it into the joint from the bottom. Avoid bridging the joint, which could form air bubbles.

Clean-up. Clean tools and uncured brick caulk residue immediately with mineral spirits in a well-ventilated area. You may carefully cut away cured caulk with a sharp-edged tool. Wash your hands afterwards.

Picking brick caulk

You need to make sure your brick caulk can withstand the ambient conditions surrounding your seams. If your bricks will be subject to extreme weather, you need a particularly robust brick caulk. Also make sure your brick mortar caulk can bond to all the building materials involved.

Some manufacturers sell textured brick mortar caulk or even red brick-colored caulk. And while we’re on the topic of color: make sure your product is paintable if you are planning on painting your brick caulk.

Loctite PL Concrete Non-Sag Polyurethane Sealant is specially formulated for projects involving bricks, stone, concrete, and masonry and does not require primers for these materials. You can use it on expansion joints because it remains flexible and thus contracts and expands when construction material moves. This brick caulk forms permanent waterproof and weatherproof seals for all exterior gaps and joints in concrete and masonry. Depending on your project, you might consider combining a brick caulk with a landscape block adhesive like Loctite PL 500 Landscape Block Adhesive.