The cleaner the bricklayer leaves the wall the easier it will be to clean.
Why should you care?
Because your brick cleaner may have to use excessive amounts of acid and/or water pressure just to remove hardened mortar from the brick surface. This can lead to damage of your brickwork. Damage such as pitting of the brick surface, and blowing out of mortar joints as seen in the picture below.
On completion of laying and joint tooling, mortar smears on the work face should be removed by dry brushing. Failure to brush joints can create very hard ridges of mortar which are difficult to remove. The bricks below needed multiple coats of acid coupled with hand scraping to clean.
Wet sponging of the mortar joints is a common practice with smooth face bricks. Although this creates a smoother joint finish, it smears a cement-rich mortar film over the brick face that often develops into calcium staining. Calcium stains appear as a white film on the brickwork (see below). These hard white deposits are invisible when wet but insoluble in water, unlike efflorescence which is water soluble. An additional wash with more harsh chemicals is required to remove this. Avoid this by rinsing the sponge out with clean water so mortar isn't smeared all over the brick face.
Sponging textured bricks simply pushes mortar deep into the brick face and should be avoided, as seen below.
When rain interrupts bricklaying, protect the top of the newly laid wall with plastic sheeting. When newly laid masonry is unprotected and saturated by rain, water will sit in extrusion holes and cause bricks to become waterlogged, resulting in calcium and other elements within the bricks to dissolve. As the bricks dry out, these dissolved elements are deposited on the surface of the bricks.
Did you know that using an unaccredited brick cleaner may void your warranty? We are accredited through Think Brick Australia, the peak industry body representing the clay brick and paver manufacturers of Australia. Our certification is recognised by brick manufacturers like PGH, Boral, Austral and Daniel Robertson.
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