If you own any amount of it, then you’ve realized brick is a material that is made to last for a long time. However, without proper maintenance, all materials break down rather quickly.
To avoid costly brick repair, you need to make sure you keep your brick clean and maintained. It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning to clean a brick patio, wall, fireplace or house; cleaning and proper maintenance is essential.
Brick has been a very popular building material for centuries. It’s the backbone of simple ranches and stately colonials. It offers great aesthetic appeal and energy efficiency. Brick also has a great resale value.
The good news is that brick, for the most part, doesn’t require too much maintenance. It does, however, require regular cleaning and spot checking.
When cleaning any type of material, especially those that have a significant impact on your home’s resale value, you should always go with the cleaning approach that is the least aggressive before trying something stronger.
If we’re talking about home exterior or another outdoor component made of brick, you should clean it at least once per year with a hose and high-pressure spray nozzle. You can even use a regular spray bottle for smaller areas.
It’s also important to occasionally check to see if mold, mildew or moss is growing on your brick. You can resolve these issues with a mixture of 1 gallon of water combined with 1 cup of bleach. A scrub brush will work well to remove these problems.
How to Clean Brick
The weird thing about brick is that it might not look very dirty when it’s in desperate need of a cleaning. A quick test to see if your interior or exterior brick needs to be cleaned consists of swiping a part of it with one of your fingers.
You’ll know instantly if it needs to be cleaned or not. We’ll start off with how to clean interior brick, such as the walls in your home. For this task, you’ll need cloth, TSP, laundry detergent, a bucket, nylon brush and high powered vacuum with a brush attachment.
Keep in mind that you might not need all of these tools as a few of them are meant for cleaning a fireplace. To clean a brick fireplace, you’ll want to mix one ounce of salt with some laundry detergent and water.
Just mix enough to make a simple paste. Grab a damp cloth and apply the paste generously to all of the brick in the fireplace. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. After it has dried, use a nylon brush to brush it off.
If there are still soot stains visible, you can apply some vinegar to a wet rag and wipe the stains off. You’ll be amazed at how well this technique works for cleaning fireplace brick.
Stronger Brick Cleaning Technique
If you need a stronger, more potent cleaning solution for the brick in your home, then you need to use TSP. Also called Tri-sodium Phosphate, this chemical is actually used by professionals. Mix ½ cup of TSP with 1 gallon of hot water.
Use a brush to scrub brick with the solution. When you’re finished, make sure to rinse everything with water.
How to Clean Exterior Brick
If you’ve got exterior brick that needs to be cleaned, we’ve got you covered! Fortunately, most exterior brick is made to require minimal maintenance. This type of brick is also usually made to look like it’s clean when it’s really filthy.
You should give exterior brick a thorough cleaning at least once per year. All you need is a powerful vacuum cleaner, a rake, a stuff brush or broom, hose pipe, spray attachment and gloves.
Make sure to wear clothes that aren’t terribly important to you. First, use your hose on full pressure with the spray attachment to remove the debris and dust that have accumulated over time.
Make sure to spray the brick from left to right. There should be a mess of debris left over on the ground when you’re finished; simple sweep them away using the broom. For finer debris, you can wait until they dry and suck them up with a high powered vacuum.
Remove Stains from Brick
It’s likely that your brick has accumulated some stains over time. To remove these, wait until a nice, sunny day, if possible. Mix 1 bucket of water with ½ cup of ammonia. Use a stiff brush to scrub the stains with the cleaning solution. When you’re finished, rinse well and enjoy stain-free brick.
You should avoid using a pressure washer on your brick because it can change its appearance. You’re better off using a hose with a spray attachment because it’s not nearly as powerful. Use these techniques to clean a brick house, pavers, fireplaces, walls and patios.