An Independent Test of Popular Brick Sealers

Written by Daniel Woodley. Reviewed by Paul Farley. Published to Products on: 13th April 2023.

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Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer

Brickwork can be susceptible to moisture, which can lead to an array of issues, such as dampness, efflorescence, spalling, and even structural damage. To combat these problems, homeowners and professionals alike have turned to brick sealers as a way to protect and preserve their investments.

In this comprehensive review, we will examine four popular brick sealer products on the market, evaluating their effectiveness, ease of application, appearance and overall value for money.

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right brick sealer for your project.

Four Brick Sealers We Tested 

Here are the four brick sealers we independently tested:

Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream (Sold via Amazon) – We chose this based on the number of positive reviews online, the BBA approval certificate and because it’s verified by the Energy Savings Trust.

Climashield Masonry Protection Cream (Sold via Amazon) – We selected this as it’s sold via SmartSeal who are an industry leader in surface protection products and it was cheaper than Stormdry.

Everbuild 402 Water Seal (Sold via Amazon) – We selected this brick sealer as it currently has over 3400 reviews on Amazon, with 86% of customers rating it 4 or 5 stars out of 5. It’s also one of the cheapest products on sale.

Emperor Exterior Masonry Creme (Sold direct) – We chose this as it was recommended by a friend who works in the damp industry, and it’s verified by the Energy Savings Trust. It’s similar in price to Stormdry.

What We Looked For

As part of our independent testing and research into brick sealers, we looked for:

  • Cost per square metre of wall.
  • The number of coats required.
  • Ease of application.
  • Drying time.
  • Waterproofness.
  • Penetrating depth.
  • Appearance after it dried (i.e. any colour change).
  • Certificates from recognised organisations.

We will test the four products on house bricks on a 1980s property and also on loose bricks.

Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream

Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream

Stormdry tub

Testing Stormdry on side of a brick

We tested Stormdry on a brick

Read our in-depth review of Stormdry here.

Key Points:

Type: Cream | Cost: £4 -£5 per Sq Mtr of Wall | Coverage: Up to 5 Sq Mtrs Per Litre | Use on: Brick, Masonry, Concrete and Stone Walls | Coats Required: 1 Coat | Sold via Amazon |

Key Selling Point For Us:

We conducted thorough independent research for this guide to brick sealers and Stormdry is the only product we could find that’s been independently tested by the BBA (British Board of Agreement), and part of the testing included:

  • Condensation (passed).
  • Durability (25 years).
  • Freeze/Thaw resistance (passed).

The most important selling point for us is its ability to resist condensation – cheap sealers that block the wall’s ability to breathe can cause damaging condensation in the home. While this is more likely to affect solid walls without a cavity, we feel the BBA certificate is evidence this won’t happen on any property.

StormDry accreditation certificate

Test Results

We tested the Stormdry sealer on two different bricks (one loose and also a wall), here’s how we did it and what happened:

1) We first brushed off any dust from the bricks and we feel this is an important step as it ensures the sealer can absorb into the brick unhindered. If the bricks were contaminated with moss, mould or algae we would treat them with a surface biocide first and then brush off the moss/algae etc.

2) Next, we applied the cream via a brush, although a roller could be used for larger areas. We found the product very easy to apply and unlike water-based alternatives, it didn’t drip at all.

3) The cream didn’t immediately absorb into the wall, at first it left creamy marks on the bricks, which looked slightly darker.

4) After a few hours, the wall absorbed the cream, and its appearance was much lighter and closer to the original colour.

5) After a week, the bricks looked similar to their appearance before the treatment and after a month, there was no obvious difference.

We tested Stormdry on a wall

Stormdry immediately after application

How Stormdry looked after one month of out test

Stormdry after 1 month (very very minor colour change)

How the loose brick looked after one month

Closeup of Stormdry after 1 month (no colour change here)

6) Waterproofness – Water beaded on the surface of the brick after a few days but we waited 28 days and tested it again.

As you can see from the photos below, the bricks repelled the water:

Stormdry beading water

Water beading on the brick after 1 month

Water beading on the wall after Stormdry had dried

The treated brick wall repelling water

7) Odour – Stormdry didn’t leave an unpleasant odour on the walls.

8) Penetrating depth – the manufacturer states that Stormdry will penetrate into soft bricks by up to 12mm. We snapped one of our coated bricks after 28 days and put water droplets onto the sides, we could clearly see which part of the brick absorbed the water and which repelled it, and by using a tape measure, we could see that the penetrating depth of Stormdry was around 8mm into our bricks, which were a fairly hard type.

Summary – Stormdry

Stormdry was one of the most expensive products we tested; it currently costs between £21 and £25 per litre, depending on whether you buy the 5-litre or 20-litre tubs.

During the test, we found it very easy to apply. The cream clung well to the brush and didn’t drip easily. We could imagine that on a larger surface area, such as a huge wall, it would go down easily and quickly with a roller, and the user would only need to use a brush near window and door frames.

Coverage is something that’s very difficult to test as every brick is different, and some of the softer absorbent types will soak up the brick sealer more than harder bricks. We measured the area we tested Stormdry on and calculated the coverage rate to be 4.3 square metres per litre but the bricks on your home could absorb more or less and how thick you apply it will obviously affect the coverage rate too.

Stormdry only requires one coat, and we found that it was touch-dry after a few hours and water repellent after two days and largely water resistant after 28 days.

On the bricks we tested Stormdry on, we could see that it had penetrated to a depth of about 8mm, but on more absorbent bricks, it may go deeper and on harder engineering-type bricks it may not go as deep.

Stormdry did cause the bricks to change slightly darker, but over time we could see the colour gradually going lighter and closer to the original. After 1 month, there was only a minor difference.

After 1 month, we tested the bricks on the wall by spraying them with water and could see the water beading and rolling off.

On the loose bricks, we pooled water on them for 30 minutes and then checked them – the water was still there.

We also weighed a brick, coated it in Stormdry and left it outside on a rainy day; when we weighed it again, the weight was the same – indicating it hadn’t absorbed much water, if any.

Stormdry is Our #1 Choice

Stormdry is our #1 choice and we recommend it because:

  • It did everything we expected it to.
  • It was less messy than we thought it would be.
  • It has been tested by the BBA who confirmed it won’t cause condensation and should last 25 years.

See More Photos From Our Test of Stormdry Brick Sealer

Here’s how the four bricks looked after we applied the brick sealers during our test:

Comparing brick sealers

Each week, we could see the colour returning to normal and here’s what the wall looked like after a month:

All bricks after one month

We selected Stormdry as our #1 choice and applied it to an entire wall:

Applying Stormdry to a wall

Here are photos of the sealer repelling water, which beads on the surface:

Waterbeading on the treated wall

Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer

Climashield Masonry And Brick Sealer Cream

Climashield test pot

Climashield test pot

Climashield test

Climashield immediately after we applied it

Key Points:

Type: Cream | Cost: £3 -£4.50 per Sq Mtr of Wall | Coverage: Up to 5 Sq Mtrs Per Litre | Use on: Brick, Masonry, Concrete and Stone Walls | Coats Required: 1 Coat | Sold via Amazon |

Key Selling Point For Us:

While Climashield doesn’t currently have the BBA approval and to date, doesn’t have Energy Savings Trust approval either, it worked out 36% cheaper (20-litre tubs) and 22% cheaper (5-litre tubs) than Stormdry at the time of our test. We looked at the ingredients and the performance of both products in our tests, and we feel they are very similar.

Testing Climashield

As with our previous product, we tested Climashield on two different bricks; one loose and also a section of wall on our 1980s house.

1) We first brushed off the dust so the surface was ready for the brick sealer.

2) Next, we applied the cream via a brush and found the texture very similar to Stormdry, it wasn’t runny and was easy to apply.

3) Just like Stormdry, the cream didn’t immediately absorb into the wall and at first the wall looked a bit darker with cream marks.

4) After a few hours, the wall absorbed the cream, and over the next few hours, we could see the original shade of the wall coming back.

5) After two days, the bricks looked almost identical to how they looked before the treatment, but we waited a month before photographing the bricks again.

Testing Climashield on a brick wall

Climashield immediately after we applied it

c

Climashield after 1 month (barely any colour change)

6) Waterproofness – Climashield offered protection from rain within a few days, but we waited a full month to give it a chance to cure fully. We then tested it by spraying water onto the wall and by pooling water onto the loose brick.

We also weighed a dry brick, coated it and then, after a month, left it in the rain. It was a similar weight when we weighed it again, indicating it hadn’t absorbed any significant amounts of water.

The two photos below show the brick after one month and also it repelling the water:

Climashield brick sealer

Climashield after 1 month (no colour change)

Climashield brick sealer beading water

Climashield repelling water

7) Odour – No problems here, it didn’t leave an odour during our tests.

8) Penetrating depth – the manufacturer states that Climashield will penetrate into some bricks by up to 17mm. I snapped a treated brick in half after a month and found it had penetrated by 9mm. (There are hundreds of different types of bricks and some are more porous than others).

Summary – Climashield

Climashield performed well in our tests and was comparable to Stormdry.

The only differences we could tell were:

  • Climashield tubs were 22-36% cheaper (see prices on Amazon).
  • Climashield doesn’t have BBA/Energy Savings Trust approval (at the time of testing).
  • Climashield appeared to penetrate the brick by 1mm more (negligible).

We found that Climashield didn’t dramatically alter the colour or shade of the bricks and was as easy as Stormdry to apply.

Smartseal's Climashield - A Masonry's 25 year Protection Cream Waterproof Sealant - Professional Quality Brick Sealer Exterior And Interior - Easy To Apply Solvent Free Brick Sealant (10 Litre)
Smartseal's Climashield - A Masonry's 25 year Protection Cream Waterproof Sealant - Professional Quality Brick Sealer Exterior And Interior - Easy To Apply Solvent Free Brick Sealant (10 Litre)
Smartseal's Climashield - A Masonry's 25 year Protection Cream Waterproof Sealant - Professional Quality Brick Sealer Exterior And Interior - Easy To Apply Solvent Free Brick Sealant (10 Litre)
Smartseal's Climashield - A Masonry's 25 year Protection Cream Waterproof Sealant - Professional Quality Brick Sealer Exterior And Interior - Easy To Apply Solvent Free Brick Sealant (10 Litre)

Everbuild 402 Brick Water Seal

Everbuild water seal

Everbuild water seal bottle

Everbuild brick sealer after we applied it

What the brick looked like immediately after application

Key Points:

Type: Liquid | Cost: £0.50 – £0.70 per Sq Mtr of Wall (per coat) | Coverage: Up to 5-8 Sq Mtrs Per Litre Per Coat | Use On: Brick, Masonry, Concrete and Stone Walls | Coats Required: 1-2 Coats (2nd coat must be applied before the first dries) | Sold via Amazon |

Key Selling Point For Us:

The key selling point for us is the price, at 50-70p per square metre of wall, it’s substantially cheaper than the other three products we tested and it has very good reviews online.

Testing Everbuild 402

As with the previous products, we tested Everbuild 402 on a wall of bricks and also on an individual brick.

1) We first brushed off the dust so the surface was ready for the brick sealer.

2) Next, we applied the liquid via a brush, and we found it quite messy to apply. The liquid was very runny and dripped down the wall and onto the floor. During our test, we had to be far more careful in applying this product than the other three. The manufacturer states a sprayer can be used, but we’re unsure how messy that could turn out – we really didn’t want to try.

3) The manufacturer also states that a second coat may be required but that this must be applied before the first has dried. We believe that this may be challenging if you have a large area to cover, as you may need to treat the wall in sections rather than in one go.

4) The bricks absorbed the liquid quickly, much sooner than the cream-based brick sealers.

5) We did notice some colour change during our test, but it was very mild.

Everbuild on a wall after application

The wall immediately after we applied it (dripping because it’s very watery)

Everbuild brick sealer after one month

The wall after 1 month (slight colour change)

6) Waterproofness – As you can see from the bricks, the water pooled and beaded on the surface, so the product did work.

We also weighed a dry brick, coated it with Everbuild and then, after a month, left it in the rain. It was slightly heavier when we weighed it again (+0.9%), indicating it had absorbed some water, more than any other product we tested.

As you can see from the photos below, the bricks did repel most of the water but there was some discolouration:

The brick one month after treatment with Everbuild

The brick after 1 month (mild colour change)

Everbuild brick sealer beading water

This brick sealer repelling water

7) Odour – No problems here; it did smell at all.

8) Penetrating depth – The manufacturer states that it will penetrate into the brick, but I couldn’t find any claims of depth. I snapped a treated brick in half after 28 days and tested the exposed surface – Everbuild appeared to penetrate to a depth of 3mm. This is the shallowest of all the brick sealers we tested.

Summary – Everbuild

We found Everbuild very runny and messy to apply, it penetrated to the shallowest depth of all the brick sealers we tested and it did alter the brick colour slightly, but it was by far the cheapest product we tested.

In fact, Stormdry was around 3.3 times the price of Everbuild, and that figure includes the second coat of Everbuild.

We feel that Everbuild is best for those on a tight budget or who have a garden wall or other low-value structure they want to waterproof cheaply.

Everbuild 402 Water Seal – High Performance – Long Lasting Protection From Water Damage – Solvent-Free Formula – Water Repellant – 5 Litre
Everbuild 402 Water Seal – High Performance – Long Lasting Protection From Water Damage – Solvent-Free Formula – Water Repellant – 5 Litre
Everbuild 402 Water Seal – High Performance – Long Lasting Protection From Water Damage – Solvent-Free Formula – Water Repellant – 5 Litre
Everbuild 402 Water Seal – High Performance – Long Lasting Protection From Water Damage – Solvent-Free Formula – Water Repellant – 5 Litre

Emperor Masonry Creme

Emperor masonry cream pots

Tester tubs

Applying Emperor brick sealer during our test

Testing Emperor brick sealer

Key Points:

Type: Cream | Cost: £4.80 – £5 per Sq Mtr of Wall | Coverage: Up to 5 Sq Mtrs Per Litre | Use On: Brick, Masonry, Concrete and Stone Walls | Coats Required: 1 Coat | Sold Direct |

Key Selling Point For Us:

This brick sealer was recommended to us by a friend who has previously used it and the product contains very similar chemicals to the other cream-based sealers we tested. 

Emperor Masonry Creme is also verified by the Energy Savings Trust.

Testing Emperor Masonry Creme

As with our previous products, we tested this brick sealer on a brick wall with fairly modern, hard bricks and also on individual bricks.

We struggled to tell the difference between Emperor, Stormdry and Climashield. If anything, Emperor left the brick slightly darker, but not by much.

All of these cream-based products seemed very similar:

  • Didn’t smell bad.
  • The same or similar consistency.
  • Similar water repellency.
  • Near identical penetration into the brick (8-9mm ish)
  • Same coverage.

Here are some photos from our test:

Emperor brick sealer on a wall

Testing emperor on a wall

Emperor brick wall after one month

The wall after 1 month (slight colour change)

How the brick looked one month after treated with Emperor brick sealer

The brick after 1 month (deeper colour change)

Water beading on the surface after we tested the brick sealer

This brick sealer repelling water

We also weighed a brick after coating it and leaving it in the rain – the weight increase was negligible, which indicates very little water uptake.

Summary – Emperor Masonry Creme

So Emperor’s Masonry Creme performed very well, much better than Everbuild and comparable to Stormdry and Climashield.

It’s terms of performance and ease of use etc, there was very little between the three, if anything, Emperor was a little runnier and left the brick a bit darker, but only just.

Then there’s the price – Emperor was significantly more expensive than Climashield and nearly the same as Stormdry.

We Recommend These Brick Sealers – Here’s Why

Stormdry is our #1 choice as it’s currently the same price as Emperor’s Masonry Creme, but it has been tested by the BBA, which carries extra weight with us. There is also a ton of documentation on their website, more than any other product we looked at.

Climashield by Smartseal comes in second place – it was significantly cheaper than Stormdry and Emperor’s Masonry Creme and performed just as well in our tests. The manufacturer also has lots of documentation on their website but it doesn’t have the certificates.

Emperor’s Masonry Creme performed just as well as the first two brick sealers but, like Stormdry, it was the most expensive. However, it didn’t come with BBA approval and left the bricks slightly darker in our test.

Everbuild was a cheap and cheerful brick sealer that we feel is best suited to those on a tight budget or for use on garden walls or other low-value surfaces, such as garages or brick sheds etc. It was very runny and didn’t penetrate deeply into the brick. It also left the brick slightly darker.

FAQs

Can the wall be painted after it's sealed?

We have researched this and have seen mixed answers.

Smartseal, in their documentation, states that the wall can be painted with some types of paint but not others, while one of their representatives gave me a straight “no” answer when we asked if the wall could be painted.

We suggest erring on the side of caution and not painting over the treated wall.

There are breathable wall and masonry paints on sale that would be suitable.

Can these sealers be used to floodproof a home?

All of the sealers we tested are designed to keep out rain and wind-driven rain.

Any water that is placed under significant pressure will push through the sealant and the bricks.

These brick sealers can help floodproof a home if they are part of a system, but they shouldn’t be relied on solely.

Can brick sealers be used to waterproof pots, troughs or similar?

The brick sealers we tested should only be used on bricks, mortar and some types of stone. They work by repelling water under no significant pressure and allowing the wall to breathe. They shouldn’t be used to seal tubs, pots, troughs or similar that will hold water under pressure.

Will brick sealers seal gaps in the brickwork?

The cream-based sealers we tested will seal gaps up to a few millimetres, but if your wall has many larger gaps, these should be repaired before applying the brick sealer.

On some walls, the consumer may need to repoint the mortar first if it’s in poor condition.

How long will it take before I see water beading on the surface?

Based on the results of our tests, it can up to 28 days* before rainwater beads on the surface of the bricks so if you don’t see this straight away, you may need to wait a little longer.

*some manufacturers state that it can take up to two months but we saw it after 28 days. 

Can I apply a second coat?

The cream-based brick sealers we tested only require one thick coat, while the liquid sealer required two with the caveat that the second must be applied before the first has dried – this is because all brick sealers repel liquids, including second coats.

Do brick sealers change the colour of the wall?

We noticed a slight darkening of the brick colour, but this gradually turned lighter over the 28-day test period until it was barely visible.

We suggest testing a small area first to see the colour change, if any.

Can brick sealer be applied to painted walls?

Brick sealers should only be applied to unpainted walls as the paint will repel the sealer.

Can brick sealers be used on driveways and paths?

Wall brick sealers shouldn’t be used on any trafficked surfaces.

There are dedicated products that will repel oils and fuels and these would be better suited to driveways.

Do brick sealers block 100% of the water?

No, if you seal all sides of a brick and leave it in a bucket of water for a short amount of time, it will repel the water, but after prolonged exposure to water, especially under pressure, it will seep through.

Brick sealers are water repellers rather than waterproofers, and there is a big difference between the two.

Do brick sealers reduce heating bills?

Wet walls cost more to heat up than dry walls, so if you have solid walls and they are subject to frequent wind-driven rain, you could make a small saving on your heating bill.

If you have a modern house with a cavity wall, the cost saving will be negligible as the cavity acts as a barrier protecting the inner wall from the moisture.

Can a brick sealer protect cavity wall insulation from getting wet?

If rainwater penetrates an outer wall and soaks the cavity wall insulation material, it can lead to severe damp problems that can cost many thousands to remedy.

A brick sealer can stop the water from entering the cavity, but only if the wall is sound.

If you’ve previously had issues with damp cavity wall insulation, I recommend repairing the wall so there are no gaps, cracks or missing mortar. Only then should the wall be sealed with a brick sealer.

Meet The Author: Daniel Woodley

Daniel has over 18 years of experience in the construction, home improvement, and landscape garden industries.

He previously worked as a project manager and has experience in managing teams of tradespeople and landscape gardeners on both small and medium sized projects.

Daniel is also a keen gardener and enjoys growing unusual plants and tending to his lawn.

More About Daniel Woodley.

Daniel Woodley

Why You Can Trust Us: Our Experience and Testing Methodology

We follow a detailed, rigorous process to create content that is helpful, factually correct and meets the highest standard of integrity.

Our 5-step process is:

1) We select a topic that we feel will help our readers.

2) The author creates the content based on their knowledge and experience of the subject.

3) We then ask an expert with qualifications in the relevant area to fact-check and review the content, which we update accordingly, if applicable.

4) The content is checked by the site owners and published.

5) We review the content yearly to ensure it’s still correct and relevant.

This guide was reviewed and fact-checked by Paul Farley, as he has experience in the building industry.

Explore: Paul’s profile and qualifications.

How We Selected The Best Brick Sealers

We selected these products based on online reviews and a recommendation from a friend who has used one in the past.

The Testing Period

We tested the brick sealers over a 28-day period, starting in 2023.

Where We Tested These Brick Sealers

We tested them on two types of bricks:

  1. A hard brick wall on a 1980s house.
  2. Loose bricks.

Why We Weighed the Bricks

Water is heavy, and some bricks are very absorbent. We weighed the bricks after exposing them to rainfall to see how much moisture they soaked up. As brick sealers are water repellers rather than waterproofers, we knew that some water would be absorbed, but we wanted to compare each product’s performance.

Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer
Stormdry Masonry Waterproofing Cream (5 Litre) 25 Year BBA Approved Exterior Brick Sealer. Breathable, Colourless Brick, Concrete, Stone, Mortar, Sandstone & Granite Waterproofer

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