How to protect your masonry from the elements

There is no arguing that newly-laid brickwork looks fantastic. Clean, tidy, and fresh as a daisy, new walls are one of the nicest things about new houses.

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As with any other element of construction, however, there are certain steps that workers need to take in order to ensure that new masonry is protected from the elements, especially during the building process itself.

The Brick Development Association has certain recommendations for builders to consider when laying brickwork and other masonry, particularly during the cold and damp of autumn and winter.

Keep it clean and dry

The most important thing to do when laying bricks is to keep them clean at all times. This means avoiding, where at all possible, splashing and smearing mortar on new bricks and protecting them from the weather.

Use a form of waterproof sheeting to protect your new bricks against the rain and snow. Even when you take a short tea break, a sudden shower of rain could come out of nowhere and undo all your recent work, so remember to keep it protected at all times.

Keeping brickwork clean in later life is also important if you want to keep it looking in tip-top condition. Using masonry cleaning machines, such as those available from, is an easy and effective way of cleaning even the oldest of masonry.

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Keep out of the cold

According to The Brick Development Association, brickwork is particularly at risk during winter construction.

You might not have much control over the weather, but you should stop laying bricks when the temperature drops below 3 degrees Celsius. In addition, if overnight frost is predicted, any unset mortar should be protected using insulation, such as hessian, to prevent it from cracking. In addition, a protective membrane, such as polythene, will keep the damp out.

This can be a serious problem because rain and cold can penetrate new brickwork and make it unsound, undoing all your hard work.

It is not just the cold your bricks need to be protected from. Excessive heat can damage recently laid masonry. Again, you can use hessian and a polythene membrane to ensure the brickwork does not dry out too fast, which can lead to cracking and damage. Do not be tempted to wet it as this will stain the bricks.

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