"Flaking" brick is caused by either freeze/thaw cycles (known as "spalling") where water infiltrates the brick, freezes, then flakes off layers of the brick face; or, some inferior types of brick (ie, Mexican adobe or some antique bricks) simply deteriorate over time because they are not hard-fired clay. Commercial-grade water repellants applied every 5-10 years should prolong the life. But before waterproofing, have a brick repair expert (like Brick Doctor in the Dallas/Fort Worth area) replace deteriorated brick or mortar. Contrary to what the article stated, it does not have to stick out like a sore thumb! Brick and mortar must match, as well as the way it is tooled and washed. Best wishes!