If your house has a brick exterior, you might think that it's safe from the hazards of weather. While this is correct, it doesn't, in any way, reassure you that the bricks on the exterior will remain clean.
We clean the interior of our houses and apartments either on a daily or weekly basis. But how often do we actually clean the exterior? Maybe the windows from time to time, but ultimately it stops there.
Now, there are as many things that can ruin the exterior bricks as there are to clean up on a regular basis from the interior. Below you'll find cleaning methods for some of the most common problematics of exterior brick walls.
The most common (and most difficult to remove) problems are mould and moss growth. These are present when the bricks are exposed to constant moisture. Now, to remove either one of these, you'll need:
- A plastic spatula
- A garden hose and its pressure nozzle
- A high-pressure hose
- Chlorine bleach
- A spray bottle
- A soft-bristled nylon brush
- Protective goggles
- Rubber gloves
First, use the garden hose (along with its pressure nozzle) to spray the surface of the brick wall and remove as much of the mould/moss as you can. Afterwards, use the spatula to scrape off as much of the mould/moss as you can without damaging the bricks.
For a more thorough removal, you'll need to use a cleaning solution. To make this solution, mix a cup of chlorine bleach with a gallon of water and fill the spray bottle with the solution. Now thoroughly soak the bricks by using the hose, afterwards use the spray bottle to spray the solution on the surface of the bricks. Let the solution sit on the mouldy/mossy area(s) for a week. Afterwards, wash the bricks by using the hose. Use the nylon brush to scrape off any of the mould/moss that doesn't want to come off and rinse the bricks thoroughly afterwards.
Cement and mortar are another common problem. Now, the easiest way to remove either one of these is by using a chisel. However, if the cement/mortar has been embedded in the brick itself, you'll need to resurface the brick to remove it properly.
Rust isn't all that common on brick surfaces, but it's still a nuisance. While many will give you advice and/or tips on how to remove the rust without damaging the bricks, there is only one chemical which will remove it completely - Oxalic acid.