Each year when springtime rolls around, homeowners and business owners alike take a moment to spruce up their interiors with a deep spring cleaning. As the amount of sunlight increases each day and plants begin to bloom, why not show our attractive brick exteriors the same level of care? Whether you have a residential or commercial brick exterior, proper cleaning procedures and considerations will make your building shine throughout the spring and for the rest of the year. In addition to downloading our North Georgia Brick “Brick Cleaning” pdf for reference and review, here are some thoughtful questions to answer when spring cleaning your brick exterior:
- What category does your brick fall in? – Although it may seem like any type of brick exterior can be cleaned the same way, different brick colors, finishes, coatings, and mortar colors will determine the best cleaning method. Within the Brick Cleaning pdf, you can locate Table 1 “Quick Guide for Cleaning Brickwork” to determine the Brick Category of your exterior, which will recommend the suitable Cleaning Method and specific Remarks for your category. The category of your brick will determine whether you can perform Hand Cleaning, Bucket and Brush cleaning, and whether Pressurized Water or Abrasive Blasting is suitable.
- Have you taken pre-cleaning steps? – After you match the cleaning method and cleaning solution to the type of brick in your exterior, it’s important to take additional steps before you begin cleaning. First, protect adjacent materials that can potentially be damaged by cleaning. It’s also recommended to remove large mortar tags using wooden paddles or nonmetallic tools beforehand. Test your determined cleaning method and materials on a sample area and allow that section of the wall to dry, thus ensuring the best results for the overall exterior. Lastly, take a moment to determine the environmental impact and appropriate removal method of cleaning waste.
- Are there any specific stains that need to be removed? – Other than general spring cleaning, you may need to remove a specific stain or stains from your brick exterior. Is there any graffiti or raw egg stains from vandals? Has your building experienced algae growth, moss, dirt, or mud build-up? All stains are not created equal and thus require specific removal steps to ensure no damage to the brick underneath. Within the Removing Specific Stains section, you will find appropriate cleaning steps for each individual stain type that your brick exterior is most likely to experience. Getting these pesky stains off your building will make it feel brand new!
- Have you reviewed improper cleaning methods? – In addition to determining your best cleaning method and stain removal procedures, it’s important to review the most common brick cleaning mistakes. Make sure to saturate the brick exterior with enough water before and after cleaning to prevent residue stains. Using improperly mixed or overly concentrated cleaning solutions can damage, dissolve, or discolor brick or mortar. Aggressive cleaning methods such as abrasive blasting and high-pressure water cleaning can cause permanent damage to brick exteriors not well-suited for these actions. Make sure to protect all windows, doors, and trim to prevent any acidic brick cleaning agents from having a corrosive effect on metal and other materials. Reviewing these steps will ensure the best spring cleaning results now and the long-lasting beauty of your building!
There’s nothing like a stunning brick exterior gleaming on a sunny day to invite visitors and uplift the curb appeal of an entire area. Take time to follow the best-recommended cleaning methods for your brick exterior and you will cherish the results. Happy spring cleaning!