Power washing a brick house – yes or no?

Brown brick house with grey roof

Brick houses are truly things of beauty. They give the building a rustic feel and reflect on their surroundings, making even yards warmer and cozier. However, while gorgeous, they are still susceptible to dirt, mold, and pests. Sooner or later, you’ll have to tackle this problem. And, if that moment comes, you’ll surely try to find the fastest and most efficient solution. But simply taking a sponge to the bricks won’t do the trick. Or, it will but it will take an excessive amount of time and energy, neither of which a modern homeowner can afford to waste. So, naturally, you may wonder: is power washing a brick house a good idea? Here’s what professional Las Vegas cleaners think.

Can a brick wall even withstand pressure washing?

Brick walls are extremely durable – that’s a fact. However, people often confuse „durable“ with „indestructible“, which brick walls are anything but. Still, the most fragile components here aren’t bricks. Rather, it is the mortar that holds them together and in place. While this material is a strong bonding agent, it is also porous. High-pressure water stream power washers eject can easily chip away at it. Thus, you’ll be left with a wall full of holes, which can have catastrophic consequences.

An old style brick house with the iron fence.
Bricks are sturdy and can last for ages. Still, power washing can easily damage them if you’re not careful.

Ruined looks aside, damaged mortar reduces the integrity of the building as a whole. Even if the damage is minor, it can pose some risks. For instance, newly made openings can be enough for pests to enter your home and bring with them a whole host of diseases. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that power washing a brick house is, at best, a risky business. However, there is a flip side to that medal.

Power washing a brick house is possible

Yes, we know – this seems like a complete contradiction to what we said earlier. Even so, it is true. Power washing a brick house is doable. However, if you want to be absolutely certain that the job will get done, and done right – don’t DIY it. Today, you have a wide selection of reliable pressure washing Las Vegas companies, that can do it all. These trained professionals have specialized equipment and the knowledge to use it to the utmost effect. Furthermore, they’ll do the job in a fraction of the time that would take you – often only a single day. It’s definitely an option that beats all the others.

Pros and cons of pressure washing a brick house

As with every endeavor, power washing a brick house has its good and bad sides. To decide if it is your cup of tea, it’s important to know both. So, let’s see what they are.

Pros of power washing a brick wall

A family of four in front of a brick house.
Power washing can result in a better home for your family – but only if done right.
  • Enhancing curb appeal. This is the obvious one. Power washing will refresh your house exterior, and make it look a few years younger;
  • Equipment. Pressure washers are inexpensive and a great long-term investment. Even more so, when you consider their versatility. You can use them to clean artificial turf, walkways, and pretty much everything else;
  • Price. Even hiring professional cleaners is affordable and won’t break your budget. Considering the efficiency and minimal risks, this is definitely an option to beat all others;
  • Visual appeal. Cleaning doesn’t always have to be a chore. With a pressure washer, you can have fun making dirt go away.

Cons of power washing a brick wall

  • Pressure washer power. More power isn’t always a good thing. If the PSI of your pressure washer goes higher than 2500, you can do severe damage to your wall. It can crack bricks and blast away mortar from the wall. Prepare cautiously before you start using it.
  • The risk of cascade failure. Removing mortar joints and damaging bricks makes way for other bad things. Loosen or cracked bricks can get soaked, which leads to damage to wall cavities, insulation, wiring, plaster, etc.
  • Can be inefficient. Removing old paint with a pressure washer is not always as effective. In most cases, it will scrape it, but not all of it. So you’ll have to wait for the brick wall to dry and then scrape the bits by hand.
  • Pressure washing can make a mess of your yard. If you have natural turf, a large quantity of water will inevitably lead to puddles and mud.

Can you DIY power wash a brick house?

A man using laptop to find out about power washing a brick house.
With enough preparation and the right tools, power washing a brick house is feasible.

Technically, yes. But, quite a few stars must align in order to make it feasible. At the very least, you’ll have to:

  1. Learn how to power wash a house or get some training;
  2. Ensure that power washing will have a lasting effect;
  3. Get the right equipment for the job.

If you don’t skimp on any of these conditions, then it is possible you’ll manage to power wash your house with only minimal risks. The first point is obvious. You need to know what you’re doing to avoid damaging your property. So, will go a bit more in-depth with #2 and #3.

Power washing should „stick“ for a while

You’ll need to ensure your efforts aren’t in vain, and long before you start blastin’. After all, the more you power wash, the more risks of damage there are.

For instance, pigeon infestations are a common issue in the entire Las Vegas area. If you’re dealing with it, you’ll wash a house, only for it to be tainted the very next day. In this case, options for solar panel bird control Green Valley NV companies provide would be an ideal solution. In other words, check to see if it is the right moment to power wash your brick home. It will save you a lot of time, money, and energy.

Get the right equipment

As mentioned earlier, it is not recommended to use a high-power pressure washer on your wall. High PSI can damage your brick wall and, once bricks start to decay, they won’t stop. This can force you to replace entire wall segments further down the line. The ideal power washer for brick walls should be able to maintain the pressure of 800 to 2000 PSI. Fortunately, there is quite a choice when it comes to pressure washers, so take your time and pick the right one for you.

Next, refrain from using powerful chemicals to clean the brick wall. Solutions that contain these components (ammonia, muriatic acid, etc.) can dissolve the surface of the material and eat away at mortar joints.

Finally, avoid wire brushes and similar harsh tools to aid you in your endeavor. A wire brush or a cleaning disc on a power tool will eat right through a brick wall and mortar. Instead, use gentle cleaning solutions and equipment. Yes, they will take a bit more effort to reach their full potential, but it is better than damaging your precious home.

Power washing can rejuvenate your home

In the end, it all comes to whether you want to give your home a bit of a makeover or make it shiny as new. Either way, the answer to our main question is that power washing a brick house is the right way to go. But, only if you know what you’re doing or hire pros to do it. And if you want to do it yourself, think and prepare. With the right tools and good organization, your brick house can stand clean and proud once again.

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