Damp proofing for brick fences

Brick fences are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low Maintenance requirement. However, bricks are still susceptible to water damage and dampness, particularly in areas with high rainfall and humidity. If left unaddressed, this could lead to the gradual deterioration of the brickwork and compromise the integrity of the fence. In this article, we will explore solutions to prevent dampness and water damage in brick fences.

Understanding the Causes of Dampness and Water Damage

Dampness in brick fences can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Poor drainage: Water may accumulate at the base of the fence if the area surrounding it does not have adequate drainage.
  • Faulty mortar joints: Mortar joints between the bricks may crack or deteriorate over time, allowing water to seep into the bricks and causing dampness.
  • Splashback: Splashback from rainwater hitting the soil or other surfaces may cause the lower portion of the fence to become damp.
  • Groundwater: Groundwater may rise and soak into the bricks, causing them to become damp.

Water damage, on the other hand, refers to the damage caused by prolonged exposure to moisture. This can include:

  • Cracking or chipping of the bricks
  • Discoloration
  • Efflorescence (white deposits on the surface of the bricks)
  • Structural damage (in severe cases)

Solutions for Preventing Dampness and Water Damage

To prevent dampness and water damage in brick fences, consider the following solutions:

1. Improve Drainage

Ensuring good drainage is the first step in preventing dampness in brick fences. Here are some ways to improve drainage:

  • Sloping the soil away from the fence: Ensure that the soil surrounding the fence slopes away from it to prevent water from accumulating around the base.
  • Installing drainage systems: Installing a French Drain or other drainage systems can help to redirect water away from the fence.
  • Using porous materials: Using porous materials such as gravel or sand in the area surrounding the fence can improve drainage and prevent water from pooling.

2. Repair Faulty Mortar Joints

Faulty mortar joints that allow water to penetrate the bricks can lead to dampness and water damage. Repairing these joints can be done by:

  • Raking out the old mortar: Rake out the damaged or deteriorated mortar joints using a chisel or grinder.
  • Replacing the mortar: Mix fresh mortar and apply it into the joints using a pointing trowel.
  • Finishing the joints: Use a jointing tool to finish the joints and match the existing mortar finish.

3. Apply Waterproofing Solutions

Waterproofing solutions can help to repel water and prevent it from penetrating the bricks. Some of the available solutions include:

  • Silane/Siloxane sealers: These penetrate the bricks and create a water-repellent barrier that allows the brick to breathe.
  • Acrylic sealers: These form a protective film over the brick surface, preventing water from penetrating the brick.
  • Cementitious waterproofing coatings: These coatings create a barrier that prevents water from penetrating the brick and are suitable for use in highly wet areas.

4. Install Brick Veneers

Installing brick veneers on the fence can provide an added layer of protection against water damage. Brick veneers are thin slices of brick that are applied over the existing bricks, effectively creating a second layer that acts as a barrier against water.

5. Choose the Right Brick Type

Not all bricks are created equal, and some may be more resistant to water damage compared to others. Bricks with high absorption rates, for example, are more likely to become damp and suffer water damage. When choosing bricks for your fence, consider those with lower absorption rates and a higher density, which are generally more water-resistant.


What is efflorescence, and how can I prevent it?

Efflorescence refers to the white deposits that appear on the surface of bricks when they are exposed to moisture. To prevent efflorescence, ensure that the bricks are dry before installing them and use a waterproofing solution to prevent moisture from penetrating the brick.

Can I paint my brick fence to prevent water damage?

While paint may provide some level of water resistance, it is not recommended to paint a brick fence as it can trap moisture within the bricks, leading to more severe water damage in the long run.

How often should I inspect my brick fence for dampness and water damage?

It is recommended to inspect your brick fence for signs of dampness and water damage at least once a year, particularly in areas with high rainfall or humidity.


Dampness and water damage can compromise the durability and aesthetic appeal of brick fences. However, taking steps to improve drainage, repair faulty mortar joints, apply waterproofing solutions, install brick veneers and choose the right brick type can go a long way in preventing water damage and ensuring the longevity of your fence. Regular inspections and maintenance can also help to detect any early signs of dampness and water damage, allowing for timely repairs and preventing the problem from escalating.

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