A brick installation, whether it is a winding walkway or a small fire pit, adds a rustic look to any yard. The rich color of terra cotta brick can last for hundreds of years if the structure is kept clean and free of a white haze known as efflorescence. When brickwork is wet, salts in the masonry cement leech out onto the surface of the brick. Once the water evaporates, the white salt is left on the brickwork.
Things You'll Need
- Safety goggles
- Thick rubber gloves
- Garden hose
- Nozzle attachment
- Concrete cleaner
- Paint pan
- Paint roller
- Steel-bristled brushes
- Concrete sealant
Wet the hazy area of the brick with a garden hose. Attach a nozzle to the hose for stronger water pressure, which may help remove much of the efflorescence.
Open the can of concrete cleaner and dilute it to light or medium strength. Dilution and mixing instructions vary, so refer to the instructions on your container of cleaner.
Pour the concrete cleaner into a paint pan.
Coat the paint roller with concrete cleaner and roll it onto the hazy area of the brick.
Scrub the haze vigorously with a steel-bristled brush, cleaning the brick surface and the mortar thoroughly. Apply more concrete cleaner to areas of thick efflorescence.
Rinse the brick clean with a garden hose. Allow the brick to dry fully.
Apply a concrete sealant to the brick to prevent the formation of efflorescence.
Tips & Warnings
- Concrete sealant is very abrasive. Use safety goggles and thick rubber gloves when diluting and applying it to your brickwork.
- Do not allow children or pets near your work area.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
How to Clean Mortar off of Brick
The proper place for mortar is between bricks, not on the surface of a brick structure. Ideally, if any mortar gets on...
How to Remove Cement Grout From Pavers With Muratic Acid
Grout is a a mixture of cement, sand and water that you apply to tiles, bricks and pavers to secure them. When...
Instructions for Grouting Outdoor Stone Patio
The process and techniques involved in grouting an outdoor stone installation are no different than an indoor stone or tile installation. That...