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Thread: Help needed - attaching sign to brick wall

  1. #1
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    Question Help needed - attaching sign to brick wall

    I have a job to do for a customer! Woo Hoo!!

    I have a sign that I will be building a frame for and mounting it to a brick chimney. The sign is approx 2' x 4' and it's a galvanized sheet with a paper sign behind a 1/16" plexiglass surrounded by a rather flimsy plastic channel. You've seen this before, it's essentially the same as a poster frame you might buy at Walmart. Not exactly good outdoor stuff, but it's what I have to work with.

    So, my approach is to surround the sign in some 1x poplar (think frame and panel construction) and silicone it into the groove to insure it will stay water tight. The frame will have bridle joints at the corners and the groove will be about 1/2" deep. The whole thing will be primed and get a few coats of a high quality exterior paint.

    Here's the question part - I will be attaching this to a wide brick chimney. There are many clinker bricks in the chimney so I will use some PVC pipe sections (about 2') as stand-offs. I think this will also add to the looks. When attaching to a brick structure, I assume I should only drill into the grout lines and not into the brick - correct?

    Secondly, my first thought was to use anchors and long lag bolts, but the anchors can allow water to get into the wall and might cause freeze/thaw issues, maybe? So, my second thought was to drill holes and use long carriage bolts (better look on the front of the sign) and simply set them in silicone. This would prevent any water incursion.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 06-15-2010 at 10:00 PM.
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  2. #2
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    In brick you want to fasten into the horizontal mortar joints. Never into the vertical ones. The vertical joints don't have enough mortar to hold the fastener. If you must you can drill directly into the brick but try and keep as close to the center as possible. The mechanical action of the fastener could very possibly crack the brick.
    I would use a flat slotted sleeve anchor as my first choice. It has the ability to expand in cracked or oversize holes. My second choice would be an epoxy or chemical anchor. Drill the hole epoxy in a threaded rod and use a flat slotted cap to attach to the sign.
    Rawl plugs, shields, stud anchors, or other types of expansion anchors will not hold properly in this case.
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  3. #3
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    I would prefer stainless straps around it if he the customer will go for it and the sign is big enough to hide them.

  4. #4
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    What Bob said and ditch the silicone for a tripolymer sealant
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
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    Thanks all.

    I like the epoxy idea - will use that. Pray tell, what is a tripolymer sealant?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    ...Pray tell, what is a tripolymer sealant?
    One more than bipolymer sealer, silly.

    This is all I know...

    Me, I'd go with at least a quadpolymer sealer. It's one better.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    Thanks all.

    I like the epoxy idea - will use that. Pray tell, what is a tripolymer sealant?
    Click on Vaughn's link to find out
    Oh I should add a word of caution. Only use tripolymer if your caulking lob to last.
    Last edited by Chuck Thoits; 06-16-2010 at 11:14 AM.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  8. #8
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    Good tip. I checked Vaughn's link and will now be getting some. My camper trailer developed a couple small roof leaks. I'll use on those without paying the big bucks to take to an RV dealer/repair place.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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