50 year old Brick Cleaning

tcolborg

New member
Hey guys had a customer ask me to clean their brick house. Home is probably 50 years old low two story house. Being new a lot of jobs are cherry poppers for me and need little help. Question is do you just use regular house wash mix? Do I use a different cleaner for brick? Can I use oxalic on it after to brighten it up? Charge the same as regular house wash? Thanks for the help here guys.

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Doug Rucker

Roundtable Host 2009
Pretreat w a strong mix using your dedicated pump. Then go over lightly with your low flow rinse tip....set your customers expectations that not all of that may come out. Especially the area under the window that looks shaded.
 

Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
Doug you do not think a Hot Mix will make the Stain Penetrate the surface?

I see more than Surface mold.
 

Doug Rucker

Roundtable Host 2009
A hot mix, or as I call it a strong mix, will not penetrate the surface, but it will help to clean it up the real dirty areas. There looks to be some water damage in some areas, like where the gutter run off is, and that would need to be restored, if it even can be. Also, in the third pic there seems to be two different brick, like the window and the brick around it were added at a later time, unless that was possibly a test area for cleaning????
 

Andy Hinson

New member
I had a contract to clean some old housing units. Brick ,roofs,concrete. the mortar had a heavy black encrustation that I figured I could hit with a strong mix and it would be a breeze to clean. Not so lucky. In most areas it didn't phase it and required pressure to remove
 

Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
I say a hot Mix locks in some of these stains, just been my experience. I like Light concentration for the first wash, hotter as you see whats under, often on Effloresces agitation on the crystals allow the chems to work on it without changing the pigment of the rest of block when finished.

Often the Block looks different not because its not cleaned but because you etched the rest slightly.
 

Mike Pumphrey

New member
Those almost look like sand stone.

I'd prewet with water and a detergent. Let it dwell a couple minutes than go over again with a strong house mix

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tcolborg

New member
I say a hot Mix locks in some of these stains, just been my experience. I like Light concentration for the first wash, hotter as you see whats under, often on Effloresces agitation on the crystals allow the chems to work on it without changing the pigment of the rest of block when finished.

Often the Block looks different not because its not cleaned but because you etched the rest slightly.

Ron when you are saying hot mix you talking about caustic? Low concentration first then heavier second time?

Those almost look like sand stone.

I'd prewet with water and a detergent. Let it dwell a couple minutes than go over again with a strong house mix

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What detergent would you dwell? I guess I consider your house wash to be/have a detergent in it.


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Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
Ron when you are saying hot mix you talking about caustic? Low concentration first then heavier second time?



What detergent would you dwell? I guess I consider your house wash to be/have a detergent in it.


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Anytime I'm in a restore situation Light on chems, Hot water first if I can. I realize the mold is not coming off with water. I see more than mold, we need to get the mold off look at whats there.

Hot chems only make the stain penetrate into the surface deeper for poor results in the end.
 

Mike Pumphrey

New member
Ron when you are saying hot mix you talking about caustic? Low concentration first then heavier second time?



What detergent would you dwell? I guess I consider your house wash to be/have a detergent in it.


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Water and soap first. I haven't noticed much of a difference in chemicals. Simple cherry is fine. Then low pressure bleach detergent and water. Can use a pump up sprayer if you don't have a low pressure system

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tcolborg

New member
So I washed the house today with a strong mix and hot water, and just admit little disappointed with the results. A lot of the black on the brick didn't come off. I even tried to hit it a couple of times and still no luck. The brick was 100 years old so not sure if that had anything to do with it. My mix was like 4 gallons sh 10% 3 gallons water and some EBC. Anything I did wrong? I will take some pictures here tomorrow for you guys. Also they had a patio that had hardwood on it. I still washed the area and rinsed and sucked the water off, but still had some white to it any thoughts on that?

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Mark 8262

Residential and Commercial Pressure Washing Specia
So I washed the house today with a strong mix and hot water, and just admit little disappointed with the results. A lot of the black on the brick didn't come off. I even tried to hit it a couple of times and still no luck. The brick was 100 years old so not sure if that had anything to do with it. My mix was like 4 gallons sh 10% 3 gallons water and some EBC. Anything I did wrong? I will take some pictures here tomorrow for you guys. Also they had a patio that had hardwood on it. I still washed the area and rinsed and sucked the water off, but still had some white to it any thoughts on that?

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How did you apply the chems? Different areas of the country require different cleaning methods because the stains are different. In the deep south the majority of dirty buildings or homes have a lot of mold/algae. Like Doug said I will pre-treat black stains with a strong mix maybe even 50/50 and apply with a dedicated chemical sprayer. I've never come across a situation were I had strong mix harm the brick or make a stain set in where it could not be removed.
 

tcolborg

New member
How did you apply the chems? Different areas of the country require different cleaning methods because the stains are different. In the deep south the majority of dirty buildings or homes have a lot of mold/algae. Like Doug said I will pre-treat black stains with a strong mix maybe even 50/50 and apply with a dedicated chemical sprayer. I've never come across a situation were I had strong mix harm the brick or make a stain set in where it could not be removed.

I used my soft wash system and let it dwell for like 5-10 min before washing it. I used the ball valve to rinse it off.

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Doug Rucker

Roundtable Host 2009
I used my soft wash system and let it dwell for like 5-10 min before washing it. I used the ball valve to rinse it off.

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Sounds like your mix is weak, should be at least 50/50 w real dirty brick..when you say you tried to "hit it a couple times" do you mean with more of your mix or w a little pressure using your pressure washer?

Will be interested to see the before and after pic's. There's no reason those bricks shouldn't clean up nice. Here are a couple pics of some really bad brick we cleaned. We pre treated (3X) with roof strength mix and then lightly cleaned with our adjustable wand.

before brick cleaning friendswood.JPGafter brick restoration friendswood.JPGbefore brick cleaned houston tx.JPGafter bricks restored houston.JPG
 

tcolborg

New member
Sounds like your mix is weak, should be at least 50/50 w real dirty brick..when you say you tried to "hit it a couple times" do you mean with more of your mix or w a little pressure using your pressure washer?

Will be interested to see the before and after pic's. There's no reason those bricks shouldn't clean up nice. Here are a couple pics of some really bad brick we cleaned. We pre treated (3X) with roof strength mix and then lightly cleaned with our adjustable wand.

View attachment 26321View attachment 26322View attachment 26323View attachment 26324

My mix was 4 gallons bleach to 3 gallons water, that's stronger then 50/50. Yeah I hit with the mix a couple times and then washed it off and no luck.

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Paul Kassander

New member
Looks to me more like a crust than mildew. I don't think sh will touch it even in full strength. I would recommend a brick cleaner like one restore or some F9. It will cut through the crust and remove the rust stain at the same time. For the real black stains spray it on let it dwell for about 10-15 min and reapply again 10-15 min and then wash off.
 

tcolborg

New member
Looks to me more like a crust than mildew. I don't think sh will touch it even in full strength. I would recommend a brick cleaner like one restore or some F9. It will cut through the crust and remove the rust stain at the same time. For the real black stains spray it on let it dwell for about 10-15 min and reapply again 10-15 min and then wash off.

Yeah unfortunately the homeowner contacted me today saying he wasn't happy with the results, wanted some of his money back. Do to think the F9 would help with the black streaks? Didn't know F9 would clean that type of items.


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Paul Kassander

New member
Here is an area I did on a building that worked pretty good, bleach would not even touch it because it was a buildup of pollutants not mildew. the area on the right was treated with F9.IMG_1349.jpgIMG_1350.jpgIMG_1361.jpg
 

tcolborg

New member
you are rinsing with a ball valve? Have you tried using your PRESSURE washer?

Yeah I was using my adjustable on it but the mortar was so old it was just coming off.

Here is an area I did on a building that worked pretty good, bleach would not even touch it because it was a buildup of pollutants not mildew. the area on the right was treated with F9.View attachment 26331View attachment 26332View attachment 26334

Paul that looks good, what ratio did you use? What kind of pressure?

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