Whenever you endeavor to clean brick, whether it is indoor or out and no matter what you’re cleaning off of the brick, you must be very careful not to damage it. Start with the least aggressive cleaning approach and scale it up until you find the gentlest one that works.
What Kind of Bricks?
Different types of substances that may need to be removed, from mortar to moss, will require a different method of attack and a different cleaning agent.
- How to Clean Exterior Brick – Includes removal instructions for paint, cement, oil, and moss/mold.
- How to Clean a Brick Fireplace
- How to Clean a Brick Floor
Some Tips for Cleaning Bricks
- Don’t assume that old mortar needs to be replaced; avoid replacing it unless you really have to. Old mortar is usually of a higher lime content than replacement mortar, and the high Portland cement content of new mortar can damage old walls beyond repair.
- Don’t seal bricks with a water repellent (i.e., water seal) because it will seal any moisture that is already in the brick inside the brick, and interior moisture may not be able to escape. Allowing bricks to breathe is important.
- Use wooden, plastic or rubber buckets, wooden scrapers and stiff fiber brushes to clean brick.