The aesthetic appeal and longevity of brick homes have made them a favored choice for many homeowners over the years. Their rustic charm combined with durability offers a unique combination that is both eye-catching and long-lasting. However, maintaining the pristine appearance of these brick exteriors often brings homeowners to a crossroads, prompting the question: Is pressure washing in Lake Oswego a safe bet for brick homes?
As many homeowners and businesses know, pressure washing is an effective technique for removing dirt, grime, and stains from various surfaces. But bricks, with their porous nature and distinctive construction, bring their own set of challenges. Missteps in pressure washing can lead to unwanted damage, costly repairs, and diminished aesthetics. Hence, the decision to pressure wash brick homes isn’t one to be made lightly. Continue reading to learn about the brick composition, the effects of pressure washing, and best practices to ensure the safety and maintenance of your cherished brick exterior.
Brick and Its Composition
Since brick is mostly made of clay, which is heated to make a hard, durable surface, it is a natural material. In contrast, bricks are porous, which means they can easily soak up water and become damaged if not treated properly. We need to know more about what brick is before we can answer the question of whether pressure washing is safe for brick houses.
The Impact of Pressure Washing on Brick
At the heart of the matter is the potential for pressure washing to damage brick surfaces. If done correctly, pressure washing can provide a deep clean, removing layers of dirt, grime, and even moss. However, a high-pressure stream of water can also lead to several problems:
- Erosion: The force from pressure washing can erode the soft parts of the brick, leading to an uneven surface over time.
- Mortar Damage: The mortar holding the bricks together can get damaged or washed away by a high-pressure stream.
- Water Absorption: As mentioned earlier, bricks are porous. Pressure washing can force water into these pores, which can lead to moisture-related problems down the line.
Best Practices for Pressure Washing Brick Homes
Maintaining the beauty of brick homes requires specific care, especially when it comes to cleaning. Pressure washing, while effective, can pose risks if not done right. However, with due diligence and by following best practices, it’s possible to ensure a safe and effective cleaning for your brick facade. Let’s explore these practices in detail:
· Test a Small Area First:
Before undertaking the significant task of cleaning the entire house, it’s crucial to start small. Choose a hidden or less noticeable section of your brick wall to test the pressure washer. This ensures that if any unintended damage occurs, it won’t be immediately visible.
By observing the results on this small patch, you can adjust your method accordingly, ensuring the rest of the process goes smoothly.
· Use a Lower PSI:
Every surface has its tolerance when it comes to pressure, and brick is no exception. PSI, which stands for pounds per square inch, denotes the pressure the washer exerts. For delicate surfaces like brick, a high PSI can be detrimental, causing surface erosion or even structural damage.
It’s recommended to start with a low PSI and gradually increase it if needed, always ensuring the brick isn’t getting damaged.
· Opt for a Wide Spray Pattern:
The spray pattern is the shape and spread of the water as it exits the nozzle. A narrow pattern can concentrate the pressure, increasing the risk of damage. A wide spray pattern, on the other hand, disperses the pressure more evenly over a larger area.
This reduces the direct force on any single point on the brick, minimizing the risk of erosion or damage.
· Keep a Safe Distance:
The distance between the nozzle and the brick surface can make a world of difference. Holding the nozzle too close can intensify the impact, risking damage to the brick and mortar. On the flip side, holding it too far away may render the cleaning ineffective. Finding a balanced distance where cleaning is effective without risking damage is essential.
Typically, starting further away and slowly moving closer until effective cleaning is achieved without any visible harm is the best approach.
· Hire Professionals:
While DIY methods can be tempting to save some bucks, when it comes to delicate tasks like pressure washing brick homes, professional intervention can be invaluable. Expert teams come equipped with experience, knowledge, and the right tools.
Moreover, professionals often have commercial-grade equipment that provides better results and safety features than standard home-use pressure washers.
Why Trust Squeegee Clean?
Squeegee Clean has been in the business of keeping exteriors spick and span since 2016. Whether it’s window cleaning, moss removal, graffiti removal, or pressure washing, our team has the expertise to do the job right. Focusing on both the residential and commercial sectors, we pride ourselves on providing a superior customer experience and tremendous value for our clients.
Our founder, Robert Coffman, brings years of hands-on experience to the table. His expertise in various cleaning domains ensures that we not only meet but exceed your expectations.
Squeegee Clean — Pressure Washing Perfection for Your Brick Home
Is pressure washing safe for brick homes? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. While it can provide an excellent clean, it’s crucial to approach the task with caution and knowledge. Using the right pressure, maintaining a safe distance, and opting for a wider spray pattern can help ensure the longevity of your brick surfaces.
If you’re considering pressure washing your brick home, consider consulting with professionals to avoid potential pitfalls. At Squeegee Clean, we’re more than happy to lend our expertise. Want a quote? Let us guide you on the best approach tailored for your home. Reach out to us through our ‘Request an Estimate’ page and let us help you keep your brick home looking its best!