Well-maintained brickwork may last up to a century or longer. Their superior durability leads a lot of consumers to choose brick houses over other materials. Like everything else, maintenance is required, leading many to wonder: “Can you power wash brick?”
Read on to learn more about how to clean brick when power washing a home.
Can You Power Wash Brick?
Bricks are tough, but they still need care. Below are a few things to take care of before power washing a home.
Patch Cracked Mortar
At least a week before you power wash, you need to repair any cracked or damaged mortar. If you power wash cracked mortar, water could leak in and cause mold to grow inside your walls.
Cover Power Outlets and Windows
To avoid doing unnecessary damage to your home, make sure to cover the windows and outdoor power outlets. These include exposed ports, such as those used by outdoor air conditioning units. Rubber bands, waterproof tape, and strong plastic bags should suffice.
Remember to cover any exposed openings before power washing a home. This includes doors, trim, and any other type of opening leading to the interior of your home.
Wet the Brick
Wet the brick without any detergent to prepare the surface for power washing. Start from the bottom of the wall and work your way upward. If you’ve ever power washed siding and started from the top, remember it’s the opposite with brick.
Add Detergent to Your Power Washer
Ensure that the detergent you use is specialized for cleaning brick. Not all detergents work well on every surface, and the wrong kind can cause dirt to stick to the mortar.
After adding the detergent, begin spraying from the bottom upward; just like when you pre-soaked. Allow it to soak in for between 5 and 10 minutes.
Be Ready to Brush Tough Stains
Power washing works well, but depending on the stain, you might need to employ a little elbow grease. If the brick is significantly dirty or stained, use a rotary scrub brush.
Be ready to scrub hard if you have grass stains, moss, or tree sap on your brickwork.
After the detergent has soaked in and tough stains are gone, rinse with a delicate spray setting. Take your time and do not rush. Make sure you wash away all of the detergent.
Power Washing Tips
Brick is tough, but power washers should be put on a delicate setting. Start below 800PSI and work your way upward slowly if need be.
Unlike washing, when you rinse, start at the top and work downward. Starting from the bottom will cause detergent from higher up to run down and soak back into your freshly rinsed bricks.
Let your bricks dry completely before you decide the job is done. Wet brick is darker than dry brick and can mask stains.
Apply Sealant to Finish the Job
Once the bricks are clean and completely dry, apply sealant approved for brick and mortar. It helps your brickwork look cleaner for longer.
Cleaning Brick Takes Time and Effort
Hopefully, this short guide answered your question “can you power wash brick?” If the work seems like too much, or if you don’t have the time, professional power washing services can take care of the job for you.