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How to Remove Haze From Brick

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A brick installation, whether it is a winding walkway or a small fire pit, adds a rustic look to any yard. The rich color of terra cotta brick can last for hundreds of years if the structure is kept clean and free of a white haze known as efflorescence. When brickwork is wet, salts in the masonry cement leech out onto the surface of the brick. Once the water evaporates, the white salt is left on the brickwork.

Wet the hazy area of the brick with a garden hose. Attach a nozzle to the hose for stronger water pressure, which may help remove much of the efflorescence.

Open the can of concrete cleaner and dilute it to light or medium strength. Dilution and mixing instructions vary, so refer to the instructions on your container of cleaner.

Pour the concrete cleaner into a paint pan.

Coat the paint roller with concrete cleaner and roll it onto the hazy area of the brick.

Scrub the haze vigorously with a steel-bristled brush, cleaning the brick surface and the mortar thoroughly. Apply more concrete cleaner to areas of thick efflorescence.

Rinse the brick clean with a garden hose. Allow the brick to dry fully.

Apply a concrete sealant to the brick to prevent the formation of efflorescence.

Remove Old Mortar From Textured Brick

Cover bushes, flowers and surrounding surfaces with tarps to protect these from the acid solution you will mix. Place the face of the scraper almost parallel with the brick face and tap it with a hammer. Work carefully and try to avoid scratching the brick. Your goal is to chisel or chip away thicker pieces until they’re not quite as thick as a credit card. Wear safety glasses and heavy rubber gloves for protection. Mix one part muriatic acid with 10 parts clean water. Read the instructions on the acid label and make sure to adhere to all safety instructions. Some brick can be discolored by acids, so you might want to test a hidden area before you begin. Wait at least five to 10 minutes for bubbles to form in the mortar. Scrub the mortar with a cleaning brush to remove it from the brick. Continue treating the brick with the acid solution and rinsing until you’ve cleaned the mortar from the entire surface.

Warning

Concrete sealant is very abrasive. Use safety goggles and thick rubber gloves when diluting and applying it to your brickwork.

Do not allow children or pets near your work area.

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