Cleaning Your Brick Effectively

Cleaning Your Brick Effectively

Brick is a popular building material in Toronto and the surrounding area because of its durability as well as the fact that it is resistant to staining.  Brick can go for years without needing any cleaning, but eventually, like all materials, it will develop a grimy build up and not look as beautiful as it once did. If your brick has been exposed to dirt and debris, the good news is you can clean your brick, and restore the beautiful surface you originally fell in love with to your home or business. Here’s how:

Gather the Needed Materials and Let the Cleaning Begin

You will need a garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle. (NOTE: You don’t need a power washer to clean bricks, in fact, a pressure washer may damage your bricks or remove mortar during the cleaning process.) You will also need an industrial bucket, one gallon of water, one cup of bleach, and a stiff soft-bristle brush (natural or synthetic is fine). Do not use a wire brush as you can damage your brick and leave rust behind. Finally, you’ll want to wear goggles and gloves for safety while cleaning your bricks. Choose a cool, cloudy day to clean your bricks, as hot, sunny days will dry out your bricks more quickly, meaning a greater risk of bleach staining and discoloration. Now, follow these simple steps to get the job done.

Step 1 – Working in manageable areas, spray the brick exterior with your garden hose to remove the top layer of grim and dirt. Before going onto Step 2, you’ll want to ensure your brick is completely moist.

Step 2 – Put on your safety goggles and gloves and cover any plants nearby to protect them from the bleach solution you will be using.

Step 3 – Mix your water and bleach together in the industrial bucket.

Step 4 – Soak your stiff, soft-bristle brush in the bleach/water solution and use it to scrub away any stubborn stains. You should work top to bottom in the area you previously moistened. (Why? If you work from the bottom up, you’ll simply create double the work as you drip residue of dirt and grim back onto previously cleaned bricks.) 

Step 5 – As you work your way over the bricks, keep your garden hose nearby to keep the bricks effectively moistened. Applying the bleach solution to dry brick surfaces can cause discoloration of your bricks.

Step 6 – Rinse the bricks thoroughly to ensure all bleach is removed. If stubborn stains remain, repeat steps one through six again.

Does Your Brick Need Attention?

There are times when a simple cleaning isn’t what your bricks need. If you see bricks coming out of place or with plants growing from them, cracked mortar joints or water damage, or bricks with moss, mold, and mildew growth, they need more than a simple cleaning. These signs mean you need to call on a trusted masonry professional for consultation and repairs as cleaning these conditions may cause more harm than good. Damaged bricks require repair so they can continue to provide you with a reliable, strong structure and don’t suffer greater damage.

Whenever you suspect damage, call on the professionals at Turnbull Masonry to provide a custom solution quickly. Never ignore possible damage to your bricks, as doing so can cause bigger problems in the future. Turnbull Masonry is the trusted source for masonry maintenance, repairs, and rebuilds in the greater Toronto area. As a family business that has served the region for nearly 20 years, customer service and quality workmanship are the top priority always backed by the unique Turnbull customer satisfaction warranty.