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Tips for cleaning exterior brick

Over time, dirt and grime can make your exterior walls look dull or dingy. If your home has classic brick walls, there are ways to keep them looking attractive.

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Don’t let the moss grow

If a wall does not get much sunlight, moss, mould or mildew can build up. Every few weeks, take a walk around the walls to see whether this is the case. If you spot moss or mildew, you can clean it with bleach – spray the brick with water before cleaning with the bleach solution. Make sure the brick is soaked well to help stop it absorbing the bleach. You can then mix one cup of bleach with a gallon of warm water in a bucket and wipe the walls down with a sponge.

Gently scrape away any growth with a scrubbing brush with natural or nylon bristles. Do not use a wire brush, as bits of metal can be left behind and rust and stain the brickwork. We would advise using safety goggles and wearing rubber gloves for protection.

Be prepared

Before cleaning, make sure any surrounding surfaces or flowerbeds are protected. You can put plastic sheeting over large areas and use painter’s tape to protect window and door trims.

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Hose it down

If any bricks are damaged or crumbled, it is best to avoid using a pressure washer, which could be too fierce and cause further damage. A garden house is a good way to loosen and remove any dirt or grime. Attach a high-pressure nozzle, start at the top of the wall and work downwards, moving the hose from side to side. Bricks should be cleaned at least once a year to stop dirt building up. You can also call on professional masonry cleaning companies, such as http://www.stonehealth.com, to check the bricks and carry out the work for you.

Putting on the pressure

If your bricks are in good condition but are looking dark and dingy, a pressure washer could be the answer. You can use brick-cleaning chemicals for additional muscle power, or simply try the pressurised water spray on its own. Use a maximum pressure of 3,000 pounds per inch to avoid damaging the brickwork. Stubborn stains can be removed by mixing half-a-cup of ammonia in a bucket of water. Scrub with a firm broom or brush and rinse well.

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