How To Clean The Exterior Of A Brick Home

How To Clean The Exterior Of A Brick Home

Thursday, 16 May 2024 12:27

Brick homes exude a timeless charm and durability that many homeowners cherish. However, maintaining the exterior cleanliness of these homes is crucial not just for aesthetic appeal but also for the longevity of the building materials. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps and considerations for effectively cleaning the exterior of your brick home.

Understanding Brick Maintenance

Before diving into cleaning techniques, it's important to understand why regular maintenance of brick exteriors is necessary. Brick, although durable, is porous, meaning it absorbs moisture that can lead to mold, mildew, and algae growth. Furthermore, environmental pollutants and natural weathering can stain and degrade the brick over time.

Prepare To Clean Your Brick Home

Before you start the cleaning process, here are a few preparatory steps to ensure effective and safe cleaning:

  • Inspect the Brickwork: Check for any damaged mortar or bricks. It's vital to repair these issues before cleaning to prevent water from seeping behind the brick, which could cause further damage.
  • Choose a Dry, Overcast Day: Optimal cleaning conditions are on a cloudy day to prevent the cleaning solution from drying too quickly, which can leave residues.
  • Protect Surrounding Areas: Cover plants, grass, and nearby surfaces to protect them from any harsh cleaning solutions you might use.

Materials Needed For Cleaning Brick Exteriors

Gathering the right materials beforehand will make the cleaning process smoother and more efficient. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Protective gear (gloves, goggles, and long sleeves)
  • Garden hose or pressure washer (set to a low pressure)
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mild detergent or a brick-specific cleaner
  • Optional: mold inhibitor to prevent future growth

Cleaning Techniques For Brick Homes

Mild Cleaning Solution

For general dirt and mild stains, a simple cleaning solution can be effective:

  1. Mix Water and Mild Detergent: In a bucket, combine water with a small amount of mild detergent.
  2. Apply the Solution: Using a soft-bristled brush, gently apply the cleaning solution to the brick surface in sections.
  3. Scrub Gently: Scrub the bricks lightly to avoid damaging the surface.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Use a garden hose to rinse off the cleaning solution completely, ensuring no soap residue is left behind.

Dealing With Tough Stains And Mildew

For tougher stains, such as mold or mildew, you may need a stronger approach:

  • Prepare a Stronger Solution: Mix one part bleach with ten parts water or use a commercially available brick cleaner.
  • Apply and Scrub: Apply the solution carefully and scrub the stained areas gently.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: It’s crucial to rinse the area well to prevent the bleach solution from damaging the brick.

Pressure Washing Tips

Pressure washing can be a quick way to clean the entire exterior of a brick house, but it must be done correctly to avoid damaging the brick:

  • Use Low Pressure: Set the pressure washer to a low setting (under 1000 PSI) to prevent eroding the mortar.
  • Hold the Nozzle at a Distance: Keep the nozzle at least twelve inches away from the surface of the bricks.
  • Test a Small Area First: Always test in an inconspicuous area to ensure the pressure isn’t too high.

Seven Tips For Recognizing When To Call A Professional

While the DIY approach is sufficient for routine maintenance, there are specific circumstances where hiring a professional cleaning service becomes crucial. Knowing when to call in the experts can save you both time and prevent potential damage to your brick home.

1. Extensive Mold, Mildew, Or Moss Growth

If your home’s exterior has large areas covered with mold, mildew, or moss, these can be symptomatic of deeper moisture issues or simply too widespread to handle on your own. Professionals have the right equipment and biocides that not only clean these growths but also help prevent their return, thus ensuring a longer-lasting, clean, and healthier environment around your home.

2. Persistent Stains

Certain stains on brick, such as efflorescence (white, powdery stains resulting from salt deposits), iron stains, or areas discolored by runoff, can be particularly stubborn. Professional cleaners can assess and apply specific chemical treatments that are effective yet gentle on the brick, ensuring these unsightly stains are removed without leaving any lasting damage.

3. Structural Concerns

If you notice any signs of structural damage, such as cracked bricks or deteriorating mortar, it's important to consult with a professional. These issues might require not just cleaning but also repair work. Professional cleaning can be synchronized with structural repairs to enhance the overall safety and appearance of your home.

4. Preparing For A Special Event Or Sale

If you're preparing to host a significant event or considering putting your house on the market, a professional cleaning can dramatically improve the look of your home's exterior. This not only boosts curb appeal but can potentially increase property value and buyer interest. Professional services ensure a thorough cleaning in a fraction of the time it would take to do it yourself.

5. Lack Of Proper Equipment

Professional cleaning companies come equipped with industrial-grade tools and cleaning solutions. For homeowners, purchasing or renting such equipment can be cost-prohibitive. Professionals also bring expertise in handling complex equipment safely and effectively, ensuring that your home’s exterior is cleaned without any risk of damage.

6. Safety Concerns

Cleaning the exterior of a home, especially a multi-story one, can pose significant safety risks due to the need for ladders and high-pressure equipment. Professionals are trained to handle these risks and are equipped with the necessary safety gear and insurance, providing peace of mind along with cleanliness.

7. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions

Many homeowners are concerned about the environmental impact of cleaning solutions used on their property. Professional cleaners often offer eco-friendly alternatives that are effective and safe for the environment, your family, and your pets. This is an especially important consideration for households that prioritize sustainability.

Benefits Of Professional Brick Cleaning Services

Hiring a professional cleaning service for your brick home offers several benefits:

  • Expertise and Experience: Professionals have the training and experience to tackle various types of stains and damage that might be difficult for a novice to manage effectively.
  • Time-Saving: Hiring experts save you time and effort. They can complete the job quickly due to their skills and advanced equipment.
  • Long-Term Protection: Beyond cleaning, professionals can apply sealants and other treatments that protect the brick from future damage, extend its life, and enhance its appearance.
  • Customized Cleaning Plans: Professional services can tailor their approach specifically to the needs of your home, considering factors like the age of the brick, previous maintenance, and local climate conditions.

Extend The Life Of Your Brick Home

Regular and professional cleaning of your brick home not only enhances its beauty but also plays a crucial role in its maintenance. By addressing problems like dirt, mold, and structural issues early, you can prevent minor issues from becoming major expenditures.

Maintaining the pristine condition of your brick home is essential, and sometimes, the best approach is to call in the experts. For homeowners in Asheville, Hydro Clean Pressure Washing offers specialized cleaning services that ensure your home looks its best. Don't wait for the elements to take their toll; give us a call today and schedule your professional cleaning service to protect and beautify your home.