June 6

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How to Clean a Brick House with a Pressure Washer

brick houses, cleaning brick, pressure washing brick

Summary

Step-by-step instructions on cleaning your brick house with a pressure washer.

It's no secret that a pressure washer can make quick work of cleaning outdoor surfaces like decks, driveways, and patio furniture. But did you know you can also use a pressure washer to clean a brick house? In this blog post, we'll show you how to properly clean a brick house with a pressure washer so that your home looks its best. Happy washing!

Instructions - How to Clean Brick Walls With a Pressure Washer

Check our full guide on the best pressure washers for cleaning brick houses for buying advice.

1. Maintain Structural Integrity

Remember that your brick wall likely has a coat of protection or sealant when it was first built. If that has not been maintained in a few years, the brick becomes more vulnerable to damage.

If you notice damaged mortar or any cracks, it is best to repair these first before washing your brick wall. After repairing, you'll need to wait at least a week to allow everything to dry.

Doing this will prevent small cracks turning into large cracks and seal any damaged mortar to prevent moisture getting in both during the wash and weather proofing.

2. Close and Protect Windows and Electrics

Close all windows and doors and cover windows with plastic and don't forget any electric outlets. It's important to protect these during pressure washing.

Clear any garden furniture from around your house or other items that may impede as you walk around cleaning.

3. Put on Protective Clothing

You might not think of pressure washing as a dirty job, but in fact, once you get the water pumping, there can be lots of small debris flying around and that's before you even consider getting wet. If you're in a warmer climate, getting wet may not be a big deal, but it's something to consider protection for if you live somewhere cold.

We recommend the following items as safety protection when pressure washing brick houses:

4. Wet the Walls

Using just the hose or a light pressure at a distance, wet the first area you're going to work on. When pressure washing brick walls always start from the bottom and work your way up. It results in far less streaking.

5. Use Detergent

You may want to skip this step if your walls are not particularly dirty or don't have algae or any other live matter growing on them.

There are many cleaning solutions to try, but if you have mold or algae growing, it's best to use something containing bleach that will not only treat your walls but prevent re-growth. 

When spraying, always follow the instructions on the bottle specifically for brick and always err on the side of caution the first time you apply. This should safeguard against any nasty discoloration.

 6. Test Pressure 

When starting your pressure washer, never start on a surface, as the initial burst of pressure can be extra powerful. Once started, test the pressure on an inconspicuous area of your wall so in the event the pressure does some damage, it won't be in the middle of your beautiful brick wall.

7. Pressure Wash

Use a sweeping motion with horizontal strokes.  Start from the bottom and work your way up gradually and you may wish to go over it again in particularly stubborn areas. 

8. Wait For the Brick to Dry

Once the brick is dry you may notice some white patches have appeared. Do not try to wash these off. They are salt deposits that can emerge from the brick once you get it wet. Simply use a soft brush and brush off the white patches.

What Color Nozzle To Use on Brick?

Use the black nozzle when working with brick. You should not need a lot of power, especially if using detergent and it's best to have a wider angle nozzle when dealing with brick to reduce the chance of damage.

Can I Use Muriatic Acid On Brick?

No, you must check that your detergent does not contain muriatic acid. It may look like it has worked wonders, but it is in fact, eating away at the surface of your beautiful brick walls.

What PSI Should I Use to Clean Brick Walls?

The ideal pressure per square inch to use on brick walls is between 100 PSI to 1500 PSI.

If pressure washing older brick, we recommend a maximum of 800 PSI. This will ensure you don't damage the brick.

Will I Damage My Brick by Power Washing It?

To negate any risk of damage, you can make sure to:

  • Use recommended PSI (100-1500 PSI)
  • Do not wash brick that is over 80 years old
  • Do not power wash brick that is damaged
  • Do not use corrosive detergents
  • Never pull the trigger to start washing while close to brick
  • Don't leave cleaning solutions on too long

How to Kill the Algae on my Brick Wall?

Algae thrive in warm, moist environments with plenty of sunlight. If your home has these conditions, then it will probably have algae growth on its walls. You may also notice other types of mold growing on your wall if you have excessive moisture in your home or if you have an indoor pool or spa.

Algae is a single-celled organism that lives in water. It can be found growing on stone and brick walls, but it is also found in soil and on leaves. Algae can grow in almost any type of water, including water from ponds, lakes, streams and even drinking water. Algae can be green, brown or black and has a slimy appearance. The algae that grows on brick walls is usually a dark green color.

The secret to removing algae from brick is to use a product that will break down the cell walls of the algae cells. This allows you to remove the dead cells by simply brushing or wiping them away. There are several products available for this purpose, but this is the one we recommend:

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  • POWERFUL CONCENTRATED FORMULA: Our concentrated formula is easy use. Simply mix a 1:1 ratio with water and you are ready for a rapid clean
  • IMMEDIATE RESULTS ON A VARIETY OF OUTDOOR SURFACES: Works on many outdoor surfaces including decks, composite and stained surfaces. Concrete, bricks and masonry. Gutters, siding, canvas, plastic and stucco. Fences, arbors and painted surfaces. You can see results immediately!
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Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Check our full guide on How to Clean off Algae for more information.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! Everything you need to know in order to clean a brick house with a pressure washer. Just be sure to always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use caution when operating the machine. With these tips under your belt, you should be able to achieve significant results quickly and easily!

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