Prep Your Bricks
Improper handling can damage your bricks and make storing them a waste of time.
You should not place bricks directly on the ground. Bricks can absorb salts from the soil and from water. These salts discolor bricks with what is called efflorescence, a powdery scum that appears after construction, months to years later. Usually efflorescence is white but it can be brown, green, or yellow. When moisture containing salts enters bricks, it can seep up to the surface of the bricks through the natural pores. On the surface, this moisture evaporates and leaves salt deposits that create efflorescence. Sometimes these salts can come from water used in mortar and grout mixtures. Using purified water can help prevent efflorescence.
Dirt on the bricks can cause mortar to be unevenly spread because the soil displaces mortar. This reduces the bond strength of the mortar. Keep bricks off dirt and away from moisture during construction. Place the bricks on pallets or wood, not the ground.
Clean Your Bricks
Sometimes bricks need cleaning before storage. You can clean them either manually with chiseling (to remove old mortar) or with chemicals (to remove efflorescence). Muriatic acid diluted with water is the conventional formula, along with manual removal techniques such as “scrubbing the bricks.”
Be careful and use safety equipment such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants, gloves, and safety eyeglasses. Read and follow manufacturer instructions and safety warnings before using any equipment or chemicals.
Store Your Bricks
Storing bricks appropriately is important.
- Keep dirt and water from reaching bricks to avoid efflorescence.
- Choose a storage unit that is watertight and climate controlled to avoid moisture or dirt.
- Store bricks on wooden pallets to keep them off the floor of the storage unit. Placing bricks on pallets can help avoid moisture or dirt that may come under a door that lacks weatherstripping.
- Store different brick types, such as clay bricks and clay fly bricks, separately to keep them organized. This separation prevents bricks with different hues from brushing against others and contaminating colors. Perforated bricks, hollow bricks, and solid bricks should be stacked separately to avoid damage.
While we may not be able to accommodate all your building supply storage needs, we can store a heck of a lot at our Pasadena STORBOX units. Call a friendly storage counselor today for more information at (626) 407-3439.