Brick can make for an attractive exterior option, but over time its surface can become dirty with oil, grease, mildew, or even moss accumulations.
When it comes to cleaning brick, nothing beats using a pressure washer with the appropriate nozzle and detergent – especially when dealing with stubborn stains like moss stains.
Table of Contents
Brick is a timeless material used to beautify homes and businesses alike, yet over time can become dirty. Luckily, using a pressure washer makes restoring its classic aesthetic much simpler; just be sure to prepare beforehand by performing certain steps such as cleaning off any loose debris before beginning washing the bricks.
Before commencing any deep clean of an area, it’s essential that any loose bricks and damaged mortar joints have been addressed and patched prior to beginning your wash process. A high pressure pressure washer may dislodge them but they should be fixed by patching immediately afterwards.
Make sure that the operating pressure of your pressure washer is set low enough not to damage the surface of the brick. Test it on an inconspicuous area of brick to make sure that its PSI setting is appropriate for cleaning brick.
As soon as you’re ready to begin cleaning brick surfaces, it is advisable to apply detergent first. This will help break up any dirt or grime stuck to them while making it easier to scrub away stubborn stains with a brush.
Before using your pressure washer, ensure that its nozzle is at least 12 inches from the brick surface. This will protect its integrity as well as ensure water doesn’t runoff into other parts of your home or splatter debris onto it.
Last but not least, when cleaning with brick, be wary of any cleaning solutions that are damaging to its surfaces. This includes muriatic acid which may erode mortar joints and damage their outer surfaces; ammonia drain cleaners oven cleaners as well as any other harmful chemicals should also be avoided for maximum surface cleanliness. Rather try more natural solutions such as baking soda or vinegar which won’t leave behind harmful residues that will impact its integrity over time.
When cleaning brick, it is recommended to use non-acidic detergent as acids can erode mortar joints and dissolve surfaces like brick. In addition, high pressure washing levels should also be employed so as to blast away dirt from its surface – this process requires two hoses: one which supplies water from your pressure washer directly to the cleaning nozzle, while another connects your pressure washer to an adequate source.
Use of a hot water pressure washer is another method for clearing away grime from brick surfaces, provided the psi (pressure per square inch) setting on your pressure washer is appropriate and doesn’t exceed acceptable limits for brick cleaning.
Some types of brick can absorb moisture and become stained when not cleaned properly, known as sponge brick and is difficult to keep looking its best.
Brick comes in many different varieties and each variety possesses its own set of unique characteristics, making some easier than others to clean. Sand-faced brick stands up better to pressure washing than clay-faced brick, which has much larger pores that necessitate another approach when cleaning it.
One of the most frequent mistakes people make when cleaning a brick house is using muriatic acid or other harsh chemicals for cleaning purposes. This approach causes irreparable damage to its outer surface as it attacks mortar joints, creating pitted surfaces which absorb water into both brick and mortar layers that eventually leads to delamination in due course.
Trisodium phosphate (TSP), an extremely strong cleaner, should only be used on brick that has been submerged in water to soften dirt deposits. You can mix TSP with water solution before spraying onto your brick walls for cleaning purposes – but remember to wear appropriate safety equipment and ensure there is adequate ventilation while working with TSP!
After using TSP, rinse away all of the soapy residue with warm water to eliminate all remaining soap scum and any lingering stains with a brush and/or broom. Once your brick has completely dried out you can add waterproof sealant as a preventive measure against further weathering or damage.
Brick is a timeless choice for homebuilders due to its timeless appearance, but over time dirt, grime, and even moss can discolor it quickly. A pressure washer can quickly and efficiently eliminate these contaminants; just be sure to adhere to proper cleaning and safety procedures and select an appropriate setting on your pressure washer so as not to damage its surface.
As the first step of brick washing, water should be applied at low pressure (around 800 PSI) in order to saturate all dirt and grime with sufficient saturation so that it can be washed away without damage to your brick surface. Once this step has been completed, cleaning solution should be mixed according to instructions on its label, then evenly applied all over your brick’s surface using spray cans or sponges.
Allow the cleaning solution to sit for several minutes (the length of time will depend on the severity of your stains). After giving it time to work, rinse it away using your pressure washer at lower power setting. Make sure you test out the pressure of your nozzle on an inconspicuous area first as too much force may damage brickwork material.
Once rinsed, it is recommended to dry the brick surface using a broom or scrub brush, before commencing post-cleaning processes. Always use soft bristle brooms for this step, while donning rubber gloves and goggles will protect your eyes from potential splashes of water.
Cover electrical outlets or exposed components with plastic wrap or bags before pressure washing to protect them from being accidentally exposed to water, which could potentially cause electrical issues in your home or business. If you don’t feel confident enough in how to pressure wash brick, hiring professional cleaners is often the safer and better solution – they have access to appropriate equipment and expertise needed for completing this task safely and effectively.
Brick is a widely-used building material found on homes and other structures, yet is often subject to dirt, mildew, mold, bird excrement, grease, tree sap and other pollutants which may pose health hazards to residents as well as damage the aesthetic value of structures. Regular pressure washing with an appropriate pressure washer can help keep brick clean; just remember how to operate and avoid damaging its components!
Before commencing the washing process, be sure to inspect any areas with cracked or weak mortar. If any are present, repair them and allow at least a week for the new mortar to harden before beginning washing – this will prevent water leaking into joints and damaging brickwork.
After repairing any damaged areas, begin the wash by clearing away loose dirt and debris with a broom or vacuum. Next, apply cleaner to the brick surface – non-acidic cleaners are recommended as acids can break down mortar joints over time, often trisodium phosphate (TSP) or buffered construction cleaners; gloves and goggles must be worn while handling these cleaners as their contents could be dangerous if splashed onto skin or eyes directly; be sure that there is sufficient ventilation throughout your working environment before applying these chemicals or water sprayings so no plants or furniture might get affected by these chemicals or water sprayings – make sure the area is well ventilated as splashing with chemicals could harm plants or furniture that could otherwise become exposed; cover them if affected by chemicals used during or afterwards if affected by chemical spraying water spraying from chemicals used during application or spraying of chemicals will come into direct contact with chemicals used when used as this may affect them directly as it may come into direct contact with plants or furniture affected by chemicals used during application of cleaner.
With the right nozzle and lower PSI setting, most brick surfaces can be safely cleaned without being damaged by water and detergent alone. However, some stubborn stains require additional steps such as using a scrub brush on them in addition to being washed off. Grease, grass stains around foundations, moss or tree sap may require extra work before being fully eradicated from surfaces like this one.
Once the brick has been thoroughly cleaned, it is wise to apply a waterproof sealant over its surface. This will both protect it and extend its life; additionally, using sealants as touch up agents during cleaning may have produced discoloration or faded spots that otherwise wouldn’t show. After drying has taken place, inspect and reapply sealant as necessary so as to maintain that brand new appearance!