Proper Technique For Cleaning Your Brick Patio
Once your brick patio is installed, it doesnt need much maintenance. This is one of the great traits of brick. Over time, because of weed growth, sediment deposit or falling leaves, you may want to give that patio a good cleaning. Before you do, review these simple instructions to make sure your brick patio stays beautiful for years to come.
Before Neglected brick patio with mold and mildew
Start off by sweeping or blowing your brick patio clean of any debris. If you have weeds growing in the joints between your pavers, spray them with weed killer or pull them out by hand. Give your patio another sweep to remove any dead plant material or loose soil.
If your patio is in a damp or shaded area in your yard, you may notice some mold or mildew growing on the bricks. While this will not damage the integrity of the patio, it can be unsightly. Luckily, this is easily removed with a simple cleaning solution:
4 cups of bleach1 gallon of warm water
Apply the cleaning solution in small sections, so that the solution doesnt dry on the pavers and scrub with a stiff bristle brush. Rinse it thoroughly with a garden hose with normal pressure and if needed, scrub it a second time.
You want to avoid using a high-pressure nozzle or a pressure washer as the force of the water can remove the sand between the joints of the brick. Pressure washers can also cause the edges of your pavers to chip.
Colonial With Covered Red Brick Patio
Heres a second view of this fantastic covered red brick front patio and stairs. This closeup pic clearly shows how nice a harmonious design can be. The patio pattern is herringbone with border trim doubling as a step tread. The steps fronts are also red brick as is the column base caps.
Its hard to see in this picture but the border extends to the back of the patio at the house. Carrying the border trim to the back of the patio is a nice finishing touch.
If youve got a white Colonial style home with black shutters and round white columns then youll probably want a red brick patio. The look is classic and goes together like almost nothing else. Red brick has been used on Colonials for over a hundred years. Probably since the first Colonial was built. In the old days red brick was actually used as a structural material to build the load baring walls. However todays Colonials use red brick primarily as a decorative element or patio material.
Red brick herringbone patio design with an outdoor kitchen.
Cleaning Pavers With Pool Chlorine
Chlorine or Chlorine bleach is a very strong chemical. Unless youre experienced and can be very careful or if your pavers are really in a bad shape, it would be the last resort wed recommend. Indeed, make sure to wear gloves, protect yourself, keep pets/children out and protect the border grass. The portions here would be 1 part pool chlorine to 9 parts water. Mix the solution and spray it over the pavers. Start to scrub clean after about 5-10mins.
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Safest But Most Effective Way To Clean Red Brick
I’m about to close on a 23 year old home with a brick front. It’s in good condition, but near as I can tell they’ve never cleaned the brick front of the home.
I’ve read things like a mixture of bleach, muratic acid, TSP, and others. All of these are somewhat toxic, and the home has some plants and shrubs out front I’d like to keep.
I have a pressure washer, but of course I don’t want to blast it with terribly high pressure. However I was wondering if there is a recommended solution that I can inject into a low pressure wash with a 40 degree tip? If possible, something organic?
Even if it’s not as effective as the toxic options, I’ll take a 60% effective organic method over a 100% effective toxic method.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Backyard Brick Patio With Basket Weave Design
Heres a very simple backyard patio using a basket weave pattern with red bricks.
The great thing about a basket weave is that it makes a simple patio feel much more expensive and elaborate then it really is. The pattern is interesting and adds some dimension. Since this patio is small the basket weave doesnt become overwhelming. On large patios it tends to be too much, I generally like a more simple pattern for large areas. But basket weave looks great when the patio areas is on the small side.
Pro Tip: A great red brick patio idea and design is to use a basket weave pattern when the patio size is smaller. It wont get distracting and adds just the right amount of interest.
Backyard red brick patio with a basket weave design and simple border next to a raised stone patio.
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How To Clean Pavers With Bleach
If the two first options were rather natural and eco-friendly, bleach will fall into the more chemical side. Because its such a strong chemical, it is indeed very effective, but because its so powerful, it should be handled and used carefully. You would rather underdose than overdose when preparing your solution in this instance. Also, with bleach, you definitely want to make sure youll protect the surrounding lawn, greeneries and plants. If your bricks are artificially coloured, bleach might also discolour them.
When preparing the solution, a one bleach portion to 5/7 portions water ratio should be good enough but this can be lowered if your pavers are not very dirty. Once you have the mix, apply it evenly to your pavers and let it rest about 15-20 mins before starting to brush and scrub away the dirt.
Covered Herringbone Red Brick Patio
Heres a second view of this fantastic covered red brick patio.
In this pic you can see how the herringbone design runs right into the house without the use of any border trim. This design is the most common way of building a patio although some use a border between the house and patio.
Red brick patios look great with real wood doors. Especially when the wood is stained on the warm side. You can vary the stain color a bit depending on your siding color. The value can vary too but remember to create contrast if you want the door to stand out. When your using red brick its going to be a focal point no matter what you do so use a wood that contrasts it. Lighter or darker works fine but in general we go a bit darker.
Covered herringbone red brick patio with border trim, red brick siding and columns.
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Brush The Pavers With A Stiff Brush
Use a stiff bristled broom to scrub the cleaning solution into the paver surface. The harsh scrubbing from the broom bristles will loosen engrained dirt and stains. Depending on your cleaning solution, you may need to leave the cleaning solution on the paver surface for some amount of time. This sitting time will help the cleanser penetrate through tough dirt build up.
Red Brick Front Porch Patio
This covered front porch patio and stairs have been built out of red brick with a herringbone design. If your going for a harmonious design like this one then consider using the same brick in multiple places. One of the great things about red brick are the sheer number of applications it can be used for. Not only for decorative elements like brick veneer but also structural construction like these columns bases. Here the red bricks been used to build the following:
- The entire front patio and walkway including the border have all been built out of the same red brick.
- Stair treads and risers have also been built out of matching red bricks.
- The column bases, top and foundation are all built out of the same brick used elsewhere on the home.
One of the chimneys is built using matching brick but the other isnt. As you can see using the same brick is a good idea because that other chimney is much too pink. A harmonious design is a good idea when your working with brick unless you going for a very specific look. In that case work the second color into the overall design so it doesnt look tacked on.
Red brick patio and steps covered by an overhead deck and roof.
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Which Pressure Washer Is Best For Patio Cleaning
Our Top 7 Recommended Pressure Washers For Cleaning Patios
Caring For Your Pavers
For best results, your pavers should be cleaned one or two times a year with a pressure washer. Check the manual to be sure you are using the correct sprayer angle tip and never point the pressure washer hose at your face. Doing so can result in serious injury.
While working on cleaning the pavers with a pressure washer, you should also pull out any dirt and weeds you can see growing between the pavers. This can be done by hand, though you might wish to wear gardening gloves. Allow the whole area to dry completely for a few days and then check for loose joints or cracks and repair these with mortar.
Unsealed brick can start to flake and peel, so it is also good to seal the bricks after you pressure wash them. You can apply the sealer with a brush or roller or use a sturdy pump sprayer. Make sure to seal the joints as well as the entire surface.
Things You Will Need
Pair of acid-resistant, long rubber gloves
Brush, roller or pump sprayer
- Wear eye protection and gloves when working with acid and alkaline solutions, even diluted ones.
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Will Boiling Water Damage Pavers
In addition, if you plan to lift the patio and plant anything in the area even a few years down the road salt exposure now could damage the soil and make that impossible. Never use the boiling-water or salt-water methods in garden beds or borders, on lawns, around trees or elsewhere in the landscape. via
Protect The Area Surrounding The Brick
Protect the area surrounding the brick by placing a tarp or plastic on any type of soil, nearby plants, and vegetation. Brick cleaning solutions, solvents and acids can be harmful to plant life. Even an acid as mild as vinegar can be harmful, so it is crucial to make sure your plants and vegetables are preserved. Brick cleaning solutions and solvents for grime on your brick can even react differently to the other surfaces or windows on your home, so protect non-brick surfaces as best as you can.
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Power Washing A Brick Patio
A red brick patio will have moss and dirt like any other patio with paving stones. But if you have a red brick patio, you have probably also noticed a white powdering substance discoloring your bricks. This is called efflorescence and it shows up easily on red brick. It is caused by the salts that occur naturally in water. When the brick becomes wet, salt is left behind after water evaporates.
You can use the same methods to remove moss as you can to clean a red brick patio. Simply get the bricks wet and apply your cleaning solution. When you pressure wash the patio or use a scrub brush, you will be able to wash the salts away as well as moss, oils, and dust.
Scrubbing With A Stiff Brush
Soaking your patio or driveway with a cleaner and water is not enough to sparkle up the pavers. You should scrub the pavers with a stiff brush to get rid of stains and tough engrained dirt. Depending on the cleaner you use, you may have to leave it on the paver surface for some time so that it can penetrate through dirt for faster lifting.
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Remove Weed And Moss Growth
Weeds and moss tend to grow between brick paver joints especially when there is plenty of decomposing matter, soil or dirt on your patio or driveways. Use a brush to agitate and remove moss and gently pull weeds using your hands or with the help of any tool without damaging or separating the pavers.
You may also use other methods of killing weeds between pavers if they are many or tough to remove manually. A commercial weed killer or a homemade roundup may also be applied to permanently get rid of any vegetation prior to cleaning. Remember to uproot and remove all the dead weeds after using a weed killer.
Use a broom to sweep all the debris from your pavers including leaves and twigs. Sweeping your paved areas on a regular basis when the weather is dry is all you need to keep your pavers clean, strong and beautiful.
Covered Red Brick Patio
This covered front patio is built with red brick in a herringbone pattern that beautifully matches the homes red brick veneer. Notice how not only the brick matches the home but also the cement grout. Its a thick white smeared design thats common in vintage construction where brick was used as a structural material. Some call the look German Schmear. Its actually a trendy style at the moment. Many designers are using German Schmear inside the home on accent walls, fireplaces and even as a backsplash.
The border trim used here is a thick stone that doubles as a stair tread and riser. In this design the border does not extend to the house. Rather it wraps only around the exterior edges of the red brick patio.
Lets of white and wood finish off the design which are both perfect for the homes style. If youd got an old fashioned country themed home then white trim and a red brick patio just works.
Covered red brick patio with a herringbone design and cement grout. Red brick siding with a dark real wood front door.
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How Do You Refresh Red Brick
Faded red brick walls can be restored to a deeper, richer red color by cleaning the brick and applying a clear-coat product specifically designed for brick. Both indoor and outdoor red brick walls can benefit from this type of procedure. Clear-coat products add a gloss to the brick that helps deepen its color.
Brick And Patio Cleaner
There are several good brands of outdoors cleaners for different purposes. You can simply check out some of the best selling solutions to guide you into a safe choice, like Wet and Forget. They are quite simple to use, with clear instructions and because they are meant for the wide public, they are usually beginner friendly.
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Will Vinegar Clean Mortar Off Bricks
Vinegar can be used to clean indoor or outdoor brick. It’s especially effective on efflorescence, the chalky white salt crystals that build up on the mortar. Mix 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts water and use it to remove the efflorescence with a scrub brush. Follow the alkaline application with a water rinse. via
What Is The Best Cleaner For Brick
Mix equal parts vinegar and water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray on the bricks and let is sit for a few minutes. Use a sponge mop to clean the bricks. If the bricks are very dirty, use a nylon-bristled scrub brush and put some elbow grease into the scrubbing.
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Choose The Brick Cleaning Right Solution
Its important to note that not all brick is the same, which means that all brick cleaning solutions do not have the same effect. A commercial brick cleaning solutions effectiveness can vary greatly between traditional burnt clay bricks and concrete, or sand lime bricks. Its best to determine which type of brick you have and visit your local hardware store to find which brick cleaning solution is best for your home.
For those that do not wish to deal with the harsh chemicals that can sometimes be found in brick cleaning solutions, there are several natural, and more cost-effective solutions to use for cleaning brick. One natural brick cleaning solution that many lean toward is a 50/50 vinegar and water mix for brick that needs to be refreshed. Not only is it safe for the kids, it can also be very cost effective and leave your home with clean bricks.
Outdoor Kitchen With Red Brick Patio
Check out this red brick patio with a herringbone design. This closeup picture clearly shows that the patio was built using cement grout lines. There are multiple ways you can build a patio but the best by far is with cement. The patio is permanent, super strong and you wont have to worry about woods. Cement patios have to be built over top of a cement slab which is why theyre so strong.
For some reason most patios built these days are using brick pavers with sand grout or polymeric sand over a sand base. Polymeric grout is sand mixed with glue that hardens when it gets a little wet. During installation the sand is lightly misted which supposedly makes it as hard as cement. But its no true and doesnt last nearly as long. Weve seen plenty of installations where the sand doesnt get hard enough and ends up growing mold and mildew. We recommend going with old fashioned cement.
Pro Tip: If you using a polymeric grout because you want a different color grout then consider adding coloring to the cement. There are hundreds of colors you can add to grout to tint the color to just about anything youd like. And any color polymeric comes in can also be matched with cement.
Covered red brick front patio with herringbone pattern and square columns, stone steps. Red brick home with a dark wood front door.
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