Brick veneer plaster overlay

Thanks to the leaky building syndrome, brick veneer wall cladding become very popular now days. One thing people often ask, is how can we make brick veneer house look smart?

One option is to apply overlay on brick veneer surface.

But this overlay system is not as simple as normally peope thought. Due to the nature of the brick veneer, which is britle, subjet to movement, cracking etc, the system has to be robust to handle that movement, so to minimise settlement cracks on plaster surface. 

Hear is a product which is designed for this type of application:


Masonry render system
Brick Veneer overlay plaster Manual.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.2 MB

Brick veneer maintenance

Not much maintenance is required for brick veneer. But certainly no cladding is maintenance free. Few things to be kept in mind when maintaining brick veneer:

  • When washing, do not water-blusting brick veneer, as water can easily get into cavity behind. 
  • Make sure do not block bottom weep holes. Avoid planting around house perimeter, specialy building vegetable boxes against brick veneer.
  • Minor cracks along joints and deteriorated mortars can be repaired by re-pointing, which is a typical retired brick layer's job. This is time consuming and requires a lot of experiences. Do not try to do it yourself unless you are a mason. 
  • When the overal of your brick veneer is still good, you may have loose sill bricks under windows and doors. Check the out and re-point them.
  • Generally, repointing is based on careful removal of existing damaged mortar while not disturbing or cutting the existing brick. Direct repoint on top of loose or deteriorated mortar may cause further trouble and make the repair more expensive. 
  • Again, morbar repointing is not theory base, it is experience based. Do not try yourself if not competent.
  • Tricks in

How repairs are done for brick veneers:

Bricklaying and blocklaying manuals

Related webs:

What makes a good brick work:

  • Overhang to foundation perimeter no more than 20mm
  • Mortar thickness in between 12mm - 8mm with small amount of exceptions between 7mm-13mm
  • Weeping holes not just on the top and bottom, but also accross openings. 
  • All bricks are from the same batch
  • Well blended to achieve consistent appearence on all elevations.
  • Well planed layout without excessive small bricks (no smaller than 60mm)
  • Well tooled mortar joints
  • Sill overhang with the same size (30-50mm) and at the same degree (15 degrees min)
  • Size of bricks even on sills
  • Clean surface maintained
  • Clean cavity


Moisture issue around mid floor when ground floor is framed using reinforced concrete blockwork and second level is clad with brick veneer:

There is no simple solution for that. Can try to waterproof brick veneer, but the only permenant solution will be applying proper waterproofing and forming proper sitting rebate by taking at least two courses of brick veneers off.


Reference book:

John Oliver's Brick Book



Bagged brickwork Rough brick surface paint-finished look achieved by applying mortar slurry with a hessian bag. 
Brick slip Thin brick face slice 
Perpend A vertical mortar joint
Stack bond Brick laid with perpends lined up
Spalling Segmental damages on ends of bricks
Tuckpointing Re-pointing 
Vanadium salts Common salt found on brick surface