There’s something alluring about the edgy look of exposed brick, and this aesthetic is especially popular with fans of industrial design. Part of its appeal lies in the fact that it’s relatively low maintenance and doesn’t require regular paint updates like regular painted walls. But this doesn’t mean that exposed brick won’t get dirty over time, because it will.
If you want to keep your brick walls as pretty as they were when you first built your house, then you’ll have to clean them regularly. But not to worry, it doesn’t take that much time and it’s less hassle than re-painting a regular wall.
How to clean a brick house
Over time, exposed brick walls tend to get dirty as a result of exposure to the elements. When this happens, the bricks go from a nice reddish hue to a grimy brown color that won’t add anything to your home’s curb appeal.
The good news is there are ways to bring back the luster of your brick walls using a few simple tricks and tips. Read on for more.
- Prepare the work area:
The first step to cleaning your brick wall is to seal away any and all furniture, appliances and surrounding surfaces so they won’t get affected by the dirt and debris coming from the cleaning process.
If you have any plants or flowers nearby, cover them with plastic tarp as well to protect them from dirt splash. Door and window trims should also be covered with painter’s tape for the same reasons.
Then, attach a high-pressure nozzle to your garden hose because it’s a much gentler cleaning tool than a pressure cleaner.
Hold your garden hose so that the nozzle is facing the top of the wall and spray it from the top-down. Be sure to move side-to-side as you do so to cover the entire wall. If you come across stubborn dirt, hover over the area with a nozzle until the area is clean. The best way to avoid the buildup of dirt is to cleanup your brick house at least once a year and look out for the build-up of mold and mildew, which we’ll cover in the following section.
Note: Be sure to wear protective cleaning gear when cleaning your brick house, including rubber gloves and safety goggles.
What about mold and mildew?
You’ll notice that certain parts of your brick wall have developed mold and mildew over time. This is particularly rife in dank areas that have excess of moisture and not enough sunlight. Mold and mildew is characterized by black splotches or green patches on the wall that can slowly take over the entire area.
To remove it, use a solution of 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of chlorine mixed together. Apply the mixture onto the bricks using a natural bristle brush. Whatever happens, don’t use a wire-bristle brush as it might replace the mold splotches with rust stains.
Allow the solution to settle onto the bricks before you spray it clean with water.
It’s important to note here that a power washer should only be utilized as a last resort because it has been known to erode brick walls, especially when utilized regularly.
Removing cement and rust from brick
If you’re looking to remove cement or mortar from your brick wall, a chisel will work best for this purpose. As for rust stains, you’ll need to use Oxalic acid to clean away the rust without exposing your bricks to the elements.
It’s worth noting that Oxalic acid may leave a little stain behind depending on how sensitive your bricks are. That’s why it’s recommended to test the technique on a small spot first to make sure that it won’t inflict noticeable damage.
How to remove oil stains
Whether the oil stains on your brick wall are a result of using your outdoor grill or due to oil spills from your car, you’ll be glad to know that they are removable. First, make a special oil-removing paste by pouring 1 lb. of trisodium phosphate into 1 gallon of water and mix in enough powdered chalk to create a proper paste.
Then, spread the paste liberally onto the affected spot and allow it to dry. Use a wooden scraper to remove the dried paste and rinse the surface with a splash of clean water.
Are you dealing with severe buildup of dirt, grime, oil or mold on your brick walls? Don’t despair! Simply contact Kleenit brick cleaning and our team of professionals will be on hand to return your brick walls to a pristine state.