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Exposed brick wall in shower

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Smeckers

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My master bedroom suite is an addition off the original house and the shower has an exposed brick wall (the original exterior). Water seemed to be soaking into the brick and then leaking down onto the lower floors, so we applied a sealant (Behr wet-look) to the brick and surrounding mortar. The leaking seems to have stopped, but I just saw a post under 'Painting' that warned people not to paint over brick because the trapped moisture can cause the brick to break. Should I be worried about this and, if so, what can I do to prevent it?

Thank you!
~First time homeowner
 

james b

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did the paint state safe for use on bricksome paint will alow for the brick to breathe and let the moisture escape.
 

Square Eye

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Youve sealed the brick, you have the climate somewhat controlled in the bath room, I think you'll be alright. Trapping moisture in a brick isn't really a good thing especially on those old flaky mud bricks. On modern bricks that have been baked and sealed, I don't see that much of a problem inside the house. Moisture inside a brick will most likely do damage when the temps get below freezing. The moisture will expand and flake the surface off. That is usually an exterior problem. Unless you like REALLY cold showers.

Reseal the brick every time you think it's getting worn and redo any caulking at the first sign of trouble, peeling, cracking, etc. You have probably got the most high maintenance shower I have ever heard of. That Wet Look sealer will probably be easier to clean with a few coats on.

Hey, could you post a picture or two? That sounds pretty neat. I'd like to see it!

Tom in KY, not going to make a habit of peeking in people's showers.
 

inspectorD

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So your brick is the old exterior. Is it a wood framed home and this is the siding or is this a double brick wall which holds up the house.
What is at the bottom of the shower? Did you just tile up to the brick? And if you did how did you tie in the waterproof membrane?

To answer your question if I paint the wall will it break, I would say no because it is not exposed to the exterior. However you may have just locked in all that moisture and not really solved the problem just covered it and water is penetrating somewhere else.

Someone with a good building background in your area will be the one to call.

This sounds like it could be worse than you think.

InspectorD
 

inspectorD

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SQUARE EYE YOU BEAT ME TO IT AGAIN !!!!You type to fast!!I need some scoolin.
 

nickCO

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Hi All,

I know this is an old post, but I'm hoping someone here can help me out - I have an exposed brick wall in my shower and am looking to re-seal it.

I purchased my first house about 3 years ago, and did some renovations in the first year. I did as much as I could myself, but I'm not the handiest guy out there, so I hired contractors for all the big stuff. When we removed the old shower tile, we got down to a brick wall. I asked the general contractor if it would be possible to have an exposed brick wall in the shower - he said yes, as long as a good sealant was used. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what kind of sealant he used, and am no longer able to get a hold of him. It's been 2+ years since the brick was originally sealed, and it seems to be holding up well (with daily showers), but there is a part of the wall that gets the most splash when the shower is used, where the sealant (which has a bit of gloss to it) seems to be wearing off and I've noticed a couple tiny spots of mildew have formed. However, the brick doesn't seem to have stained/discolored, deteriorated or softened at all.

I was planning to scrub the mildew spots, then let the brick dry for 24-48 hours and apply sealant, but I had a couple questions:

1) Have I done any damage at this point? Is there anything I need to worry about or repair?
2) Do I need to do any prep before applying sealant?
3) What kind of sealant should I use? I found one forum online that specifically recommended an acrylic sealant like TileLab Gloss Sealer and Finish:
http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/products/care-maintenance/enhancers/tilelab/tilelab-gloss-sealer-finish.aspx

Or Glaze N Seal Grout Sealer:
http://www.glaze-n-seal.com/sealers.html

Or I also found Saver Systems MasonrySaver Acrylic:
http://www.saversystems.com/products/masonry-water-repellent-products/masonrysaver-acrylic-waterproofing-sealer.html

However, I also had a friend recommend using a marine masonry sealant. Searching online I found these two products that seemed like they might fit the bill:

http://www.seal-once.com/eco-friendly/marine-concrete-masonry
http://www.saversystems.com/products/marina-products/marine-seal-concrete-pier-sealer.html

4) Any other recommendations/advice?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Nick
 

nealtw

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Hi All,

I know this is an old post, but I'm hoping someone here can help me out - I have an exposed brick wall in my shower and am looking to re-seal it.


Nick
Welcome to the site. Without any knowledge on exposed brick shower. It looks like any one of those products will work, perhaps a call to their reps would be helpfull.
I can't imagine how you seal the brick to the shower floor, but like I said, never seen it done.
 

matt94gt

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nickCo we just purchased a house with a brick wall in the shower, it needs to be resealed as the bottom bricks are starting to blacken, did you ever have any luck or a product that seems like it worked well? I know this post is ages old but hoping your still able to see this. Thanks in advance!
 

joecaption

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Brick as a shower wall is just a horrible idea!
How in the world would you even clean it?
As mentioned several times how would you even seal it at the bottom?
Please post a picture so we can see what your seeing.
 

matt94gt

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Sorry for the terrible photo quality, we do not have possession but happy to take photos when we do. Its radiant heated floors which would help with the drying I suppose. It's all concrete behind the shower. And yes it wouldn't be too easy to clean, apparently they put on about two dozen coats of sealer but that was 6 years ago now, I plan to clean it, fully let it dry for a week or so, then re-seal it. It is odd I agree, but kinda cool at the same time.

contemporary-bathroom.jpg
 
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Sparky617

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nickCo we just purchased a house with a brick wall in the shower, it needs to be resealed as the bottom bricks are starting to blacken, did you ever have any luck or a product that seems like it worked well? I know this post is ages old but hoping your still able to see this. Thanks in advance!
Matt, nickCo has made one post back in 2014 and hasn't been back so don't look for any update from him. I'd be curious how you keep the brick clean in the shower. Outside brick doesn't need to deal with soap scum. To clean it prior to resealing you might want to try an electric pressure washer.
 

slownsteady

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It is a cool look for a shower, but I don't know if it is worth the work to keep it sealed and clean. The original poster mentioned that his was the old exterior wall. But in your case, do you know if this is solid full size brick or a veneer? A brick sealer that is designed for exterior brick like lithium silicate or sylane (spelling?) would deep seal the brick. You might also want a surface sealer to help keep it clean.
 

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