How To Clean Exterior Bricks

Friday 6th January 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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dirty brickwork

CONTENTS

Although many claim you can remove dirt, grime, moss, and other debris from your brickwork yourself, it should always be left to the professionals. Making your home look good as new is a much more complex and dangerous process than you might think.

At ICE Cleaning, our experienced technicians can provide high quality brick cleaning services. We have a number of construction accreditations, including IOSH, BICSc, IPAF, and Safe Contractor, so they can do the job safely and efficiently, too.

Have a read of this blog to find out whether you can clean bricks, and why you must bring in professionals instead.

Should you clean brickwork yourself?

You can use cleaning products and homemade solutions to scrub or wash bricks. But they probably will not be effective, could damage your brickwork, and might put your health at risk. Here are some examples of popular products and tools that you should avoid using:

  • Muriatic acid: This highly reactive liquid acid is one of the most dangerous chemicals you can buy for use in the home. It is sometimes used to clean dried cement off of masonry, but is normally used by professionals as a last resort.
  • Wire brush: Abrasive tools will take off the brick’s finish, causing damage, making them less water resistant, and leaving the unsightly core exposed.
  • Pressure washer: It can damage the surface of a brick house if the setting is too high. Using too much water could also saturate the masonry and cause staining, efflorescence, scarring, and delamination. It might even jeopardise the structure of the building.

Brickwork cleaning can also be a complicated process as the chemicals and techniques required depend on the masonry surface. For example, abrasive blasting is not recommended for heavy sand finishes, or you can use muriatic acid to clean red bricks.

Professionals will have the experience and training to know the best way to clean your brickwork, and will have the equipment and products to complete the job.

Why you should never clean exterior brickwork yourself

It can be dangerous without personal protective equipment

Brick cleaning often involves lots of different types of chemicals, like muriatic acid, which can be corrosive and give of toxic fumes. If the vapours are inhaled, you could experience breathing difficulties, and prolonged exposure could damage your organs.

Only professional cleaners with the appropriate PPE like face protection, goggles, safety boots, overalls, and gloves should use the chemicals.

Professionals will have experience with the chemicals

Mixing and handling the chemicals for brick cleaning can be very hazardous and requires training to do it correctly and safely. Cleaners will know how to safely add acid to water, prevent chemical run off, and dispose of contaminated clothing, for example.

Our technicians only use eco-friendly cleaning solutions so they can protect the environment while they restore your masonry.

You will be putting yourself at risk of injury

Depending on the size of your property, it will probably be difficult to reach all the bricks. If you use an unsafe ladder, or don’t know how to safely work at height, you might fall.

Cleaners with the necessary training in working at height can easily and safely clean all your brickwork. Our technicians can reach tall heights whilst adhering to all health and safety requirements.

Cleaners can effectively and efficiently restore your brickwork

They will have plenty of experience in masonry cleaning and will know:

  • What the best products and chemicals to use for your bricks
  • The right techniques to apply them
  • How the weather affects what they can do

How to maintain your brickwork

Although it is not recommended that you clean your bricks yourself, there are lots of things you can do to keep them in good condition.

  • Check your masonry once a year for signs of water damage, bowing and bulging, mildew and mould, plant growth, crumbling, and cracking
  • Regularly inspect weep holes to see if they are clogged, and remove any blockages to stop freezing water damaging bricks
  • Get rid of climbing plants and weeds that are growing across your masonry and could damage it

With frequent reviews of the brickwork, you should be able to spot minor damage before it becomes a major problem, and have it repaired as soon as possible. You can find out more about determining if your masonry needs maintenance here.

We offer a range of brick and stone cleaning services, including stone floor cleaning, algae removal, and TORIK cleaning. Our technicians are available to clean your masonry wherever you are in the UK, 365 days a year.

Get in touch

Contact our team on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk for a free site survey and no-obligation quote for our brick cleaning services.

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