Latest Discussions : Miscellaneous

Bradley

04:51PM | 02/19/02
Member Since: 02/18/02
1 lifetime posts
We have just purchased a century home (1867) and would like to clean the exterior brick. There are multiple stains in multiple locations. I have heard of individuals who have sand-blasted old brick. Although it looks great when finished, I have also been cautioned about the possiblity of causing more damage than good. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Jay J

04:50AM | 02/20/02
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Bradley,

The 'word of caution' to you was right on!

Brick is a pourous material. It's a fired material that is hard on the outside and 'soft' on the inside. Like a sponge, it can absorbe, and give off, moisture. Hence, it will absorbe liquid material, and probably stain.

Being that it's a fired material, if it's sandblasted, you will 'expose' the sub-layers because the sand will strip off the hardened outside layer. It doesn't take much to damage the brick! (As an aside, forget about 'sealing' the brick. If you do this, you've essentially changed what is, basically, a maintenance-free material into one that now requires maintenance. Also, by sealing the brick, you prevent it from 'breathing'. Remember, it's a pourous material ...)

Your best bet is to consider power-washing the brick. Here, you have to be careful too because, depending on the 'fragile nature' of your brick and mortar, you could cause unwanted damage. If the pressure is too high, you could 'blow out' your mortar, for example.

If you can provide more details into what you're trying to do AND what the 'nature' of the stains are, write to The Brick Institute. (They have lots of help over there.) It's good you're trying to clean up your brick while, at the same time, trying to preserve it. My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!



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