How to Power Wash Brick (Homeowners Guide)

June 15, 2023

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It’s not unusual for homeowners to wonder how to power wash brick. This material often captures lots of dust, dirt, cobwebs, and other debris on its surface and along the adjoining mortar. Standard garden hoses might offer an ineffective cleaning. However, improper washing techniques risk chipping, cracking, and other damage.

To power wash brick, start by patching loose mortar or crumbling areas. Use 800 PSI or lower and avoid high-pressure scrubbing. Soft wash systems are also excellent for removing tough stains and thick grime. Lastly, keep the wand moving while washing.

To ensure a safe, thorough power wash for your property’s brick surfaces, keep reading! Some added tips can ensure expert cleaning. Also, remember to call a power washing contractor near you when needed. Their expertise and training can also mean a stunning, damage-free cleaning.

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How to Power Wash Brick, Step by Step

To power wash bricks, first inspect the surface carefully, noting damaged areas. Then, address any needed fixes, including patching cracks and replacing damaged mortar. Also, cover any electrical outlets or delicate items such as porch lights using newspaper and painter’s tape.

Additionally, it’s good to brush away thick dirt and grime, but use a soft-bristled outdoor brush. Avoid using a wire brush or anything similar. Wire brushes and those with tough bristles can chip soft mortar or older, brittle bricks. You might even use a standard straw broom to prep those brick surfaces.

Next, use plain water in a pressure washer to help dissolve dirt and break up thick grime. Work from the bottom of your structure upwards, as this helps loosen debris. Keep your equipment set at a low PSI, usually around 500 to 800, to avoid damage.

Once you’ve sprayed the brick with plain water, add detergent to your machine. Use a cleanser meant for bricks and avoid household cleaners such as dish soap. These are often too harsh for brick and too thick to go through power washing hoses!

Spray the brick again, going from the bottom of the structure to the top. Then, let the detergent mixture sit on the brick for several minutes to dissolve thick dirt. However, don’t let it dry against the brick as this makes it harder to rinse it away. Ten minutes is usually sufficient time for the detergent to break up tough debris.

After that time, rinse the brick with plain water, again using a low PSI. Repeat this rinsing as needed to remove all the detergent and grime you can reach. You can also go back over tough spots with more detergent and rinse again. Be generous with rinsing, as this helps ensure a thorough exterior house power wash.

The Best Way to Clean Bricks With Mold or Mildew

Mold and mildew are not uncommon along exterior brick, especially in shady areas. To clean these areas, start by wetting down the brick with plain water. Next, use a soft-bristled outdoor brush to sweep away as much debris as possible. Brushing the area also loosens spores and roots, for easier cleaning.

Then, add a cup of bleach to a gallon of water and use a spray bottle to saturate stained areas thoroughly. Let this mixture sit for five to ten minutes to help dissolve mold and mildew and remove stains. Lastly, use a garden hose or your power washing equipment to rinse the cleaner.

If this isn’t effective, try dipping a sponge into your bleach and water mixture and applying a fresh coat. Scrub this mixture onto the brick once again and then spray it with fresh cleaner. Another rinse should be sufficient for removing the cleanser and bleach mixture.

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Is It OK to Pressure Wash Brick?

The short answer is yes, it’s okay to pressure wash brick as long as you use a very low pressure and stand back several feet. Keep the wand moving as well, to avoid boring a hole right through the material! Also, if you cannot get rid of tough dirt and stains with power washing, choose a different cleanser. Higher pressure is not the answer to getting rid of tough debris but risks damage.

Additionally, property owners should always repair damaged brick and mortar before cleaning. Patching and other simple fixes keep chips and cracks from getting worse. Moreover, this prevents water from seeping in behind the brick. A few minutes of prep work can then save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in repair costs.

Lastly, call a professional for tough stains or dirt and grime you simply cannot remove. Power washing contractors often have access to stronger cleaners not sold at home improvement stores. They also know how to scrub tough spots for a more thorough yet damage-free cleaning.

Is It Better to Pressure Wash or Soft Wash Brick?

Soft wash pressure washing is usually the best choice for any outdoor material, including brick. Soft wash systems start with a specialty cleaner designed to dissolve thick dirt and grime. Additionally, those cleaners seep into cracks and crevices along brick surfaces, for a thorough cleaning.

Since those cleansers dissolve thick dirt, a contractor only needs to use a low-pressure rinse. In turn, there is less risk of damage to brick, mortar, and other features on your property. A contractor can also tackle your property’s roof, glass patio doors, pavers, and other surfaces at the same time. Those soft wash systems ensure everything gets clean as safely as possible so you have a pristine property from top to bottom!

Southington Power Washers is happy to help explain how to power wash brick. When reviewing it for your own property, remember to stay safe and always wear protective eyewear, gloves, and long sleeves. Also, for an expert cleaning that can’t be beat, call our power washing contractors. We offer FREE price quotes and a specialty soft wash cleaning that’s perfect for virtually every surface around your property. We can even tackle tough brick holding dirt and grime. We guarantee satisfaction with every project. For more information or to get your property started, call us today.


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