LESLIE: Marshall in North Carolina is having some trouble with the bricks on his home. What can we do for you?
MARSHALL: Thanks for taking my call.
Yes, the outer layer of bricks, the cosmetic part of it, the texture and the color is – the outer layer of about an eighth-of-an-inch is chipping off the outside of my bricks.
TOM: Marshall, that’s called spawling. And how cold does it get down in your part of the country?
MARSHALL: Not too cold. It usually drops down to about maybe 19 or 20 sometimes but very seldom.
TOM: But when it gets below freezing, typically, if the bricks are very wet, that will happen because water that’s in the bricks will expand and crack off chunks of it. Now you can put a sealer on the bricks, a water-repelling sealer. You have to use one that’s vapor-permeable; in other words, it breathes.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) So that they can breathe.
TOM: Because this way the moisture can get in and get out. But if you can reduce the amount of moisture that gets into the bricks, that will stop some of that wear and tear. It’s a fairly normal failure pattern for bricks; eventually you have to replace them. But if you can keep the moisture at a minimum, that will stop some of that from happening.
MARSHALL: It will last longer.
TOM: It certainly will.
MARSHALL: Very good. Thanks for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Marshall. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.