A brick wall is a beautiful facade that imparts a classy look to any structure. In addition, brick homes and buildings are durable and command higher admiration than their concrete counterparts.
However, they are also naturally porous and accumulate dirt, grime, and moss over time. So, to conserve their beauty, annual or bi-annual washing is a must.
Many agree the preferred (and most common) method contractors use to clean bricks is pressure washing.
In this article, we’ll discuss the correct pressure washer PSI for brick, so cleaning is effective and efficient.
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Hey there, I’m Cody.
A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you.
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The ideal pressure washer PSI for brick is between 500-2000 PSI.
Other considerations include using an appropriate nozzle and technique with the optimal flow rate and proper inspection of the brick surface.
What happens if you use the wrong PSI on brick?
Even low-power pressure washers generate enough force to injure a person at close range. Therefore, take into account the power of a pressure washer.
With this, high PSI can damage the brick, causing erosion on top (patina), creating cracks in the mortar leading to water seepage, or total damage to the brick.
Dos and don’ts of pressure washing brick
Here are a few considerations you should keep in mind.
Do use the correct pressure
The optimal PSI level for pressure washing brick is between 500 to 2000 PSI.
Additionally, never use a high-powered pressure washer on plain or painted brick.
Another parameter to look out for is water flow from the pressure washer. The optimal value for washing bricks is 3 GPM (Gallons Per Minute). Anything lower will prolong the cleaning time, and higher can cause damage.
Do practice proper technique
Using the correct technique is essential when cleaning bricks.
First, maintain a distance of at least 12 inches between the nozzle and the bricks. Additionally, use the appropriate nozzle with the right angle and width.
There are five types of nozzles available for pressure washers – Red (0 degrees), Yellow (15 degrees), Green (25 degrees), White (40 degrees), and Black (65 Degrees).
The yellow and white nozzles are the most preferred for washing bricks.
Do decide between hot or cold washer
While using cold (ordinary temperature) water is the most common for pressure washing bricks.
You should use a hot washer (power washer) for cleaning extra dirty surfaces. However, power washers are more expensive and require special skills to operate.
To learn more about power and pressure washing, check out our comparison guide: power washing vs. pressure washing.
Do seal the surface afterward
Once you pressure wash, apply a sealant using a roller brush. This waterproof seal will eliminate any chances of water seepage and protect against other potential damages.
Don’t wash without an inspection
Always make sure to inspect the brick before washing. If you find any loose mortar or cracks, repair them and wait for them to settle for a week.
Don’t use acid and power tools
Never use muriatic acid or harsh chemicals to clean brick while pressure washing.
Use regular household detergent or an appropriate chemical cleaner to do this.
Additionally, do not use any power tools, aside from a brush, to remove any stains. Finally, be wary when pressure washing old walls.
Pressure washing bricks is a very effective cleaning solution.
Remember, the optimal pressure washing pressure is between 500-2000 PSI with a flow rate of 3 GPM. Equally important, always use the appropriate nozzle, conduct thorough inspections, and take all safety precautions.
If you face any issues, feel free to give us a call or reach out.
We hope this guide served you well. Thanks for reading!