07:12PM | 10/26/04
Member Since: 10/25/04
1 lifetime posts
Does anyone know how to get the whitish patchy salt color out of red bricks?

My porch is about ten years old and the white patches have always popped up, stayed awhile and gone away again. Right now they are visible and look horrible. Someone said it is salt coming from the brick. Is it? Why? How do I clean it? How do I prevent it? I appreciate any advice. Thank you very much.


10:18AM | 10/28/04
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
I have read that bricks can "bleed" salt and other minerals. If it's salt, it will dissolve in the rain. Other minerals might require some effort. Try vinegar and a brush.


12:33PM | 11/08/05
Member Since: 11/07/05
1 lifetime posts
I have the same question plus is there a way to treat the brick? Mine is part of my brand new house.

Appreciate any suggestions.


06:07PM | 12/08/05
Member Since: 12/07/05
6 lifetime posts
This is a common problem with almost all masonry surfaces. It's called efflorescence. Brick has salts in it. When water moves through the bricks it dissolves the salts and brings them to the surface. The water then evaporates and leaves the salts behind. It becomes difficult to remove when these salts crystallize. The problem eventually goes away over time but will take longer for some bricks than others depending on the amount of salts present. There are sealers that can be applied to stop efflorescence if you're running out of patience. Just keep in mind that sealer will darken the brick a little. You can find these sealers at most concrete/masonry supply stores or do a web search for "brick sealer".

Kirk Muhlhauser


02:17AM | 12/17/05
Member Since: 07/28/02
1356 lifetime posts
The salt is from the mortar not the brick and can be removed with a muriatic acid wash. It will not go away with just rain. The brick needs to be sealed if it happens again as water is getting into the wall and causing the salts to come to the surface.


05:38PM | 12/17/05
Member Since: 06/24/05
13 lifetime posts
It is also from the brick as stated above. Over time it will resolve itself. Commonly on newer houses or buildings. It can be dry brushed off with stiff brush. It can be brushed with stiff brush and water at an angle. Straight on forced water will push the salts back in and force the same back out again. Rain will also rinse the salts off the surface over time. If your house is ten years old and still has the problem you have moisture getting in behind the brick. It needs attention or the sealer will do nothing but seal the salt when it comes out again, leaving permanent white brick. The sealer will have to be stripped, and the moisture situation fixed properly.

Yes we do this for a living.
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