Power Washing Brick and Stone Buildings

Brick and stone are a great way to add value to your home. Not only do they enhance the overall aesthetics, they increase longevity, boost property value, and add to the energy efficiency of your home. Unfortunately, over time, brick and stone can be difficult to maintain. They’re very porous material, which means they can get dirty easily and are more difficult to clean than vinyl siding. Since the buildup of dirt and grime happens gradually over time, most homeowners don’t notice changes in their brick and stone. To make sure your home continues to stand out, you need to take a few measures to keep the brick and stone clean. One of the best ways to do this is by power washing them.

Power washing uses a high-pressure hose to propel water onto a surface and essentially scrape off dirt, grime, mildew, and more. It’s an economical way to clean your brick and stone that won’t cause any harm. The only thing you need to do is make sure that you’re practicing safe washing and follow the manufacturer instructions to avoid causing damage. If used in a close proximity, the pressure might be too high and could damage mortar joints. Power washing is much better than cleaning methods like sandblasting, as it’s not as abrasive and rarely causes damages.

How to Power Wash a Brick or Stone Building

If you’re interested in power washing your brick or stone building, make sure to do so in a way that ensures no damage to your property. Follow these steps to achieve brick and stone that look like new.

1. Inspect Your Masonry

This is the most important step in power washing your brick and stone. Make sure to take the time to do a full inspection of your masonry at least a week before you plan to wash it. Check for any signs of damage, failing mortar, missing bricks, or more. If you notice any, wait until you repair damage to power wash it. Call a professional masonry contractor like Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. for a thorough inspection to make sure that your brick or stone is in good condition for power washing.

2. Repair Damage

If you do find that you need to make any repairs to your tuckpointing, do so before you try to wash your brick or stone. Making the repairs before cleaning will help maintain the structural integrity of your building. Call a professional masonry to make any repairs needed. During an inspection, the contractors will give you recommendations on what needs to be done to move forward.

3. Wait

After getting the repairs done, it’s time to wait. You need to let the tuckpointing settle and allow the mortar to harden for at least 7 days.

4. Wet the Bricks

Once you’ve waited at least a week, it’s time to break out the power washer. Start by wetting the entirety of the surface of your home, business, or other brick or stone structure you’re planning to clean.

5. Apply Your Detergent

After you’ve saturated the brick or stone with water, apply a detergent that’s been approved for the type of material you have. Avoid buying something only because it’s cheap—there’s a reason that detergents are material-specific. Once you’ve generously applied the detergent, allow it to sit for about 5-10 minutes.

6. Brush Out Tough Stains

If you have particularly stubborn stains, tackle them with a tough scrub brush before power washing. This will help lift up deep-set dirt and grime before applying a power washer to it.

7. Rinse

Now it’s time to rinse. Use the delicate setting on your power washer for brick and stone and the more intense settings for concrete. Remember, too much pressure will cause damage to your bricks and mortar. Spray your structure from side to side, top to bottom and avoid stalling for too long in one area.

8. Apply Sealant

After letting the brick or stone adequately dry, go back and apply an approved sealant to elongate the cleanliness.

Consider Getting Professional Help

When it comes time for your inspection or repairs, opt for a professional you can trust. Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. is here to help you with all of your brick and stone needs from inspections to repairs and everything in between. All of our professionals have over 20 years of experience and work with transparency and integrity on every job. If you’re in need of a tuckpointing job or inspection, don’t hesitate to call us today at Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. You can reach us by phone at (708) 942-1951 or by filling out a contact form on our website at http://chicagotuckpointinginc.com.