The Best Way to Clean Bricks With a Pressure Washer

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Bricks add a great look to a home, in fact, some you could even call majestic. However, sometimes when the bricking is just completed there is a bit of clean up left to, or from time to time, as brick is exposed to the outdoors, it will have residue that needs to be eliminated. Though the preparation for each differs slightly, you can use a pressure washer to clean up in both situations.

New Bricks

  • Make sure that you can actually use a pressure washer and certain cleaning agents on the type of brick that has been used. Some types will soak up the water, and others will resist various cleaning agents.

    Before using the pressure washer on new bricks check to see how much mortar has been left on them. Sometimes workers are a bit sloppy and leave a lot behind. For the bricks that have extra mortar on them, scrape it off until all of it has chipped off. You can use a metal ice scraper for this, and if it is still tough then add some ammonia to water and let it soak for a little while before trying again.

Pressure Washing

  • Once you are ready to start pressure washing, you first want to wear the proper safety gear such as gloves and goggles. If you don't own a pressure washer then you can rent them from various hardware outlets. Don't choose anything that will be too powerful. Ask the representative for a medium-powered washer instead. Using too much power will damage the bricks.

    Choosing the right PSI (pound per square inch) for the pressure washer can be a little tricky and again you need to know about the types of bricks and mortar. They have different PSI compression strengths, which means that some will come clean with less force than others. Start at a lower pressure first to see how the dirt reacts. Some bricks have a PSI compression strength of 850, while others have 1,800, so gauge yourself accordingly. You should however never go above 1,500 PSI. The common recommendations are that you stay between 500 and 1,000 PSI. If you decide to risk it and use a more powerful pressure washer that can spray at up to 5,000 PSI, the bricks will be damaged and may scar.

Tougher Stains

  • If there are stains that are not removed by the pressure washer, then do not create extra pressure with the water. Instead dilute some bleach in water to a 50/50 mix and spray it on the bricks. Let it sit there for four to five minutes. Then proceed to wash it off with the pressure washer at the previous strength.

    You can also use ammonia or other cleaners, but be careful not to use abrasive substances. They can cause damage to the bricks as well.

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