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How to:  Clean  |  Seal  |  Restore

Clay Building Brick & Thin Brick Veneer

   Cleaning - Problem Solving - Protection - Care  

help with flooring

brick building
"Face Brick"

brick drivewayPaver Brick

Face Brick - cleaning and sealing

Used Brick - cleaning and sealing

Common Brick - cleaning and sealing

Flashed Brick - cleaning and sealing

brick interior floor

Thin brick veneer as flooring

thin brick

Some of the many varieties and uses of clay brick

Brick are also made of concrete.  However, those have different characteristics and must be treated accordingly.  See Concrete Brick in  Pros/Cons And Pictures Of All Surface Types

There is no need for confusion or problems brought about by misidentification of a surface type, yet it happens all too often. If you would like to see why this is the case and how to properly identify a surfacing material ..... Click here

If you are concerned about doing it yourself - consider that the satisfaction of a project is directly related to your knowledge of what needs to be done and how. Who actually does the work is less important. We estimate that 25% of the usage of Aldon products is by "do it yourself" homeowners and we know they are happy because we hear from them.

MATERIAL DESCRIPTION - With Identifying Characteristics

Typical absorption range = very low to very high

Testing your surfacing for absorption rate

Testing for acid sensitivity

Note this on your worksheet for later reference

  • Brick used for driveway paving are fired at higher temperatures and are stronger and denser than a standard brick.  See "paver" type of brick on the Paver page in  Pros/Cons And Pictures Of All Surface Types 
  • Standard wall brick are approximately 3 1/2 inches high.
  • Paver brick are approximately 3/4" thick.
  • "Thin Brick Veneer" are approximately 1/2" thick.
  • "Used" or "Reclaimed" brick can be a very old brick of very high absorption and softness.   They might also contain old sealers, paints, etc. that can effect sealer penetration and bonding.  Test for highly variable absorption rates.
  • Wide range of colors, textures, and finishes.
  • The correct sealer will increase the strength and durability of brick and mortar.
  • How do you know if the brick is concrete or clay? Concrete will fizz from a drop of swimming pool acid. Clay will not. See testing for acid sensitivity.
  • Some batches of this surfacing can be very absorbent and will tend to soak up a lot of sealer if you just keep pouring it on. Too decrease the amount of sealer required - click here
brick home

  • Traditional beauty
  • The great variety of colors and shapes allow for a wide spectrum of creative design.
  • Thin brick veneer is a very cost effective cladding material. See the Aldon Grout Easy  product page regarding grout pumping and how to drastically lower brick clean up costs.
  • White and very light colored brick have special characteristics covered here.
  • "Flashed" brick have variegated color patterns achieved by formulation differences and higher firing temperatures. These temperatures also create a much denser, lower absorption clay body. Therefore, for sealing purposes, flashed brick need to be considered as being in the "very low" absorption range. See that catagory on the How To Choose The Best Sealer For Your Project and also, the slate page to get an idea of how the sealers look on a similar very low absorption (Vermont type slates) surfacing.
CONSIDERATIONS      (All Are Preventable!)

(Click links for Aldon's solutions to these issues!)

  • Highly textured brick are difficult to clean of residue from grouting. Do not use a sealer as a grout barrier (pre-seal). Prevent grout smears, surface scratching and keep grout residue out of surface texture by coating with Aldon Grout Easy   before grouting. "Grout Easy" is a water soluble coating that comes off easily while grout is being cleaned up with water and a sponge.  This product is used for "Thin Brick" with grout pumping to greatly reduce clean up time.
  • Efflorescence (subsurface originating white powdery stains) happens all the time on brick structures. However, this is easily cleaned and can be prevented from coming back.
  • Fading: . Actually clay brick do not fade. The appearance of fading is actually from light efflorescence and can be stopped by sealing with the appropriate Aldon sealer. See proof here.
  • Very old brick (and its mortar) that are soft, crumbley, powdering - reinforce all of it with the choice of one of Aldon's "solvent based - penetrating" sealers shown below. For more detail - click here
  • For information on paving snow removal issues, click here.

Following are recommendations for products you may need (in sequence of use ) for whichever of the categories applies to you. Please review each and mark your printed worksheet accordingly.

Layed, But Not Grouted

  1.  Grout Easy
  2. Efflorescence            Treatment       
  3. Grout Residue
    (should not be needed after using Grout Easy)     
Grouted, But Not Sealed
  1. Grout Residue
  2.  Efflorescence            Treatment       
  3. .............Sealer ( see below )
  4. Lifeguard
  5. Care ...........

Sealer Has Been Applied

Important! - First - Click here!

  1. Aldon Products Premium Stripper
  2. ...........Cleaners   ?
  3. ...........Sealer ( see below )
  4. Lifeguard
  5. Care ..........

Regarding The Sealer Results Shown Below

An Aldon sealer does far more than just bead water and look pretty! To see what that is click here.

Your results may vary somewhat from these pictures due to variations in computer display and the surface materials themselves. Nevertheless, you will be able to see the differences well enough to make good choices. Different areas of the same piece are used as much as possible to minimize raw material variations. Of all the sealers Aldon manufactures, the ones shown are recommended as best suited to this surface type. (Important: If your project has had any sealer applied in the past, it must be evaluated differently. To see why, Click here!)

Unsealed "Common" Brick

Note immediate water absorption. This brick is extremely high absorption. Allow for higher gloss with less sealer on denser brick.

Common Brick - untreated

"Same Day Sealer"
Water Based - Penetrating Type

Recommended for very low to high absorption brick

Brick is a "Face Brick" type

Absorption rate is medium to high

Top half is raw - unsealed. Arrow points to damp spot that was a water drop immediately absorbed.

Bottom half is sealed. Arrow points to beaded water drop.

  • One Application - Fully Sealed
  • No Color Change or Gloss
  • Note the water drop.
Face Brick with one application of Aldon Same Day Sealer
"Crystal Glaze Sealer"
Water Based - Coating Type

Recommended for very low to medium absorption brick

    Brick is a Dense - low absorption type

    Top Third:
            Raw Brick

    Middle Third:
    • One Application - Fully Sealed
    • High Gloss
    • Color Unchanged
    Bottom Third:
    • Two Applications
    • Very High Gloss
    • Color Unchanged
Dense brick with Crystal Glaze - one and two applications


"S-B-S Sealer"

Solvent Based - Penetrating Type

Recommended for very low to high absorption brick

    Brick is a "Common Brick" type

    Top Third:

    • Raw Brick (note immediately absorbed water drop in center)
    Middle Third:
    • One Application - Fully Sealed
    • No Gloss
    • Color Enhanced
    • Note water drop at arrow
    Bottom Third:
    • Two Applications
    • Two or more applications are fine but do not create gloss or additional color enhancement on a brick this absorbent.
Common Brick - SBS Sealer



"Porous Stone Sealer"

Solvent Based - Penetrating Type

  • Recommended for medium to high absorption brick.

    Brick is a "Common Brick" type

    Top Third:
    • Raw Brick
    Middle Third:
    • One Application - Fully Sealed
    • Medium Gloss Level
    • Color Enhanced
    • Best choice to customize the gloss level in the mid range
    Bottom Third:
    • Three applications
    • Higher Gloss Level
    • Color Enhanced
    • Note below: Mexiglaze creates same high gloss with fewer applications
Common Brick - Porous Stone Sealer


Solvent Based - Penetrating Type

Recommended for high absorption brick.

Brick is a "Common Brick" type
  • One application
  • Color Enhanced - High Gloss Level
Common Brick with 1 application of Mexiglaze


Other care products you might need for this surface type



Dust Whiz

* Note:       will add another level of gloss to any of the above sealed surfaces.
It also prevents traffic wear to the sealers finish.

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