5 Tips on How to Maintain a Brick house in Detroit, MI

how to maintain a brick house

Are you a homeowner or resident of a brick house in Detroit, MI, wondering how to maintain your brick house effectively? Maintaining a brick house requires careful attention and proper upkeep to ensure durability and appeal.

With the proper techniques and regular maintenance practices, you can protect your brick house from the elements and preserve its charm.

In this blog post, we will explore seven essential tips on how to maintain a brick house in Detroit, MI, providing you with valuable insights to safeguard and prolong the life of your beloved home.


Tip 1: Perform Regular Inspections

Regular inspection and maintenance are crucial for a brick house in Detroit, MI. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Conduct routine checks to identify damage, wear, or deterioration.
  • Focus on critical areas such as exterior brick walls, roof, chimney, foundation, windows, and doors.
  • Look for cracks, chips, loose mortar joints, leaks, damaged flashing, or settling.
  • Promptly address any issues to prevent further damage and maintain structural integrity.

In addition to inspections, regular maintenance tasks are essential:

Tip 2: Clean and Remove Stains

Keeping your brick house in Detroit, MI, clean and free from stains enhances its visual appeal and helps maintain its overall condition. Here are essential guidelines for effective cleaning and stain removal:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Use a soft-bristle brush or a sponge to remove loose dirt and debris from the brick surfaces. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the bricks or mortar. 
  2. Mold and Mildew Removal: Mix equal parts of water and bleach in a bucket. Apply the solution to the affected areas using a brush or spray bottle. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub the mold or mildew. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  3. Efflorescence Removal: Efflorescence appears as white, powdery deposits on the surface of bricks. Brush off loose efflorescence using a dry, stiff brush. Create a mixture of water and vinegar or a commercial efflorescence cleaner. Apply the solution to the affected areas and scrub gently. Rinse the bricks thoroughly to remove any residue.
  4. Oil and Grease Stain Removal: Absorb fresh oil or grease stains using paper towels or kitty litter. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda or cornstarch on the stain. Allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight to absorb the oil. Sweep or vacuum the residue, then clean the area with mild detergent and water.
  5. Pressure Washing: Consider using a pressure washer for deep cleaning, but exercise caution. Avoid directing the pressure washer nozzle directly at mortar joints to prevent damage. Use a low-pressure setting and maintain a safe distance from the bricks.

Properly cleaning and removing stains from your brick house can maintain its appearance and extend its lifespan.

Always test any cleaning solution or method on a small, inconspicuous area of the brick house before applying it to the entire surface. Consult professionals specializing in brick cleaning and restoration if you need clarification or dealing with stubborn stains.


Tip 3: Waterproofing and Sealing

Waterproofing and sealing your brick house in Detroit, MI, is essential for protecting it from weather elements and maintaining its structural integrity. Follow these guidelines to waterproof and seal your brick exterior effectively:

  1. Inspect and Repair: Before waterproofing, thoroughly inspect the brick surfaces for cracks, gaps, or damaged mortar joints. Repair any identified issues by replacing damaged bricks or mortar and filling in gaps with fresh mortar.
  2. Choose the Right Sealant: Select a high-quality brick sealer or water repellent suitable for your specific climate and brick type. Consider factors like breathability, UV resistance, and durability when choosing a sealant.
  3. Prepare the Surface: Clean the brick surfaces thoroughly to remove dirt, debris, and previous coatings. Use a brush or power washer with low pressure to avoid damaging the bricks. Allow the surfaces to dry completely before applying the sealant.
  4. Apply the Sealant: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application, including proper dilution if necessary. Use a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply the sealant to the brick surfaces evenly. Please pay close attention to mortar joints, as they are vulnerable areas that require adequate sealing.
  5. Allow Drying and Cure Time: After applying the sealant, allow sufficient drying and curing time as specified by the manufacturer. Protect the newly sealed surfaces from moisture and rain during this period.
  6. Monitor and Reapply: Regularly inspect the brick surfaces for wear or water penetration signs. Reapply the sealant as the manufacturer recommends or when you notice a decrease in water repellency.

Proper waterproofing and sealing help prevent moisture absorption, minimize water damage, and reduce the risk of efflorescence or freeze-thaw damage.


Tip 4: Landscaping and Drainage

Proper landscaping and drainage are essential for maintaining your brick house in Detroit, MI. Follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure good grading to direct water away from your home.
  • Use plants and landscaping features to absorb excess moisture.
  • Collect rainwater and divert it away from the foundation.
  • Clean gutters regularly to prevent clogs.
  • Install French drains or trench drains to redirect water.
  • Maintain proper grading and drainpipe installation.
  • Use porous pavers, rain gardens, or gravel beds.
  • Reduce water pooling and aid in groundwater absorption.
  • Avoid overwatering and adjust schedules based on weather.

Tip 5: Pest Prevention

Pest prevention is crucial for maintaining a brick house in Detroit, MI, as pests can cause significant damage to the structure and compromise its integrity.

Here are some essential measures to help prevent pests from infesting your brick house:

  1. Seal Entry Points: Inspect the exterior of your brick house for any gaps, cracks, or openings that pests can use to enter. Seal gaps around windows, doors, utility openings, and foundations using caulk or weatherstripping. Repair or replace damaged screens to prevent insects from entering through openings.
  2. Keep a Clean Environment: Maintain cleanliness inside and outside your house to eliminate food sources that attract pests. Clean up spills promptly, keep food in sealed containers, and regularly empty garbage cans. Trim vegetation and remove the debris near the house to eliminate hiding places for pests.
  3. Proper Waste Management: Dispose of waste properly in sealed trash cans to prevent attracting pests. Keep compost piles away from the house and use sealed containers for composting.
  4. Regular Inspections: Conduct regular indoor and outdoor inspections to identify signs of pest activity. Look for droppings, gnaw marks, chewed wires, or any other signs of pest infestation. Pay attention to hidden areas such as attics, crawl spaces, and basements.
  5. Pest-Resistant Landscaping: Choose plants and landscaping features less attractive to pests. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the house to prevent easy access to pests.
  6. Professional Pest Control: Consider hiring professional pest control services for regular inspections and treatments. Professionals can help identify and address pest issues effectively and provide long-term prevention strategies.



Maintaining a brick house in Detroit, MI requires proactive care and attention to ensure its longevity and visual appeal. Following the five tips outlined in this blog post, you can effectively protect your brick house from damage, stains, moisture, pests, and aging.

Remember, a well-maintained brick house enhances curb appeal and adds value and durability. Make regular inspections a habit, address issues promptly, and develop a proactive maintenance plan. 

Implementing these tips allows you to enjoy a beautiful, long-lasting brick house for years.


Schedule a Free Consultation With Detroit Brick Co.

Ready to restore and strengthen your home’s masonry? Contact Detroit Brick Co. today! Our skilled masons specialize in expert repair and restoration services tailored to your needs.

Don’t wait for further damage—preserve the beauty and safety of your home. Rebuild stronger with Detroit Brick Co. Schedule a free consultation and experience the difference of professional masonry expertise.

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Detroit Brick Co. is a leading provider of residential masonry repair and restoration services in the Metro Detroit area. Founded by Louis Pickner, a highly skilled mason with over a decade of experience, our company is dedicated to delivering top-quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer service.


Detroit Brick Co. LLC
16944 Penrod Dr
Clinton Twp, MI 48035

Mon-Sat: 7:30am – 6:30pm
Sun: Closed

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