Can You Pressure Wash A Brick Wall?

Thursday 20th July 2023

Ellen Warren

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Pressure washer on brick house

CONTENTS

We often forget that cleaning the outside of our home is just as important as maintaining the inside. Properties with unpainted clay bricks are considered well-maintained thanks to the building materials that can last for years if cared for correctly. However, despite its longevity, you could damage it with conventional cleaning tools.

Our brick cleaning services at ICE Cleaning provide high-quality results and increase the lifespan of your brickwork. Our technicians have years of experience that allow them to conduct non-abrasive processes, ensuring an excellent outcome every time.

Read on to learn more about how to maintain your brick wall and what happens when you use a pressure washer on it.

How long do clay bricks last?

Clay bricks are a major component of architecture that allows buildings to continue standing after hundreds of years. They continue to be a popular choice in construction for various buildings due to their longevity and classic exterior aesthetic.

There are many buildings in the UK still standing today with their brickwork intact, for instance, the Holy Trinity Church contains medieval brickwork from 1300. Although many buildings have had bricks fixed or replaced, the structures remain.

These bricks have the potential to survive up to 650 years, and this is because of the components that allow them to stand against extreme weather conditions. They are often preferred in building projects because they are:

  • Non-combustible
  • Recyclable
  • Energy-efficient

Are bricks porous?

Clay bricks are supposed to have an acceptable water absorption rate between 12% to 20%. Bricks with absorption rates outside these ranges will risk the brick losing the vital components that make them a strong material.

Sealed and waterproof brickwork applied upon completion improves the building’s value and lifespan. Without these essential elements, moisture weakens the brickwork and causes it to crack and flake.

Will a pressure washer damage a brick wall?

Because clay bricks are durable, some assume they could use a pressure washer on these exteriors. However, this is not recommended in the maintenance process for your brick wall, as it could result in irreparable damage.

High-pressure water can damage bricks, remove their waterproofing, and loosen the seals keeping the brick together. When high-pressure water collides with the brick, the water gets trapped in the pores, leading to mould growth in the walls.

A professional brick cleaner must conduct the brick cleaning process to ensure success. Doing it yourself without proper qualifications is reckless, and it could result in further damage that will be costly.

How to maintain your brick wall

Although clay bricks can withstand harsh conditions and general wear and tear for a long time, they require maintenance. It is not resistant to erosion, which is an inevitability that will require intervention from professional brick cleaners.

With consistent maintenance and care, your property’s brick exterior could last for many years and remain pristine. To maintain your brick wall, you must do the following:

  • Have a professional conduct an annual inspection
  • Use a hard bristle brush with soapy water to clean it
  • Apply sealant and waterproofing
  • Keep foliage away and trimmed
  • Repair any bricks promptly

What to do if your brick wall needs cleaning

If your brick wall has accumulated grime, dirt, algae, or mould, then it is imperative that you clean it right away. A simple soapy water solution with a hard bristle brush is best for cleaning bricks, and you must avoid using harsh tools and methods to keep your brick intact.

However, do not try to clean brick above your eye level, as this will require a brick cleaner with an IPAF qualification to carry this out safely. You must also avoid cleaning the bricks if they are broken in any way, as moisture may exacerbate the damage.

If, after cleaning the brick, the surface is still dirty, then you must hire a professional to conduct the rest of the cleaning. The brick might have absorbed dirt, causing stains that require more industrial methods to remove them.

Get in touch

Our technicians at ICE Cleaning are equipped with the state-of-the-art TORIK Brick Cleaning System, which allows us to conduct high-quality brick cleaning services. TORIK technology is not only efficient but non-abrasive and effective, with a 100% success rate.

To learn more about our brick and stone services, you can get in touch at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. Our services are available nationwide, 24/7, 365 days a year. We could be on-site within a matter of hours in an emergency to attend to your needs.

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