Over time, especially with older properties, brickwork restoration may be required. Brickwork is exposed to a number of elements - rain, wind, snow and frost can all have a detrimental effect on the aesthetic appearance of exterior walls. Although many people favour the uneven effect of older brickwork, saying that it adds character to a property, at times, brickwork restoration is the only solution to protect a wall and keep it looking at its best. Here are a few tips for restoring brickwork:
Before you commence with brickwork restoration, it's important to check the structure of a wall. If it is a load-bearing wall, or the brickwork requires substantial repairs, it may be wise to get an experts opinion before commencing with any restoration work. Basic brickwork repairs may be required before any restorations can begin.
Always prepare your wall before you begin with a restoration. Use a brick chisel and hammer to carefully remove any unwanted clumps of mortar that are attached to the bricks. To do this, place the brick chisel on the mortar (cutting edge side) and gently tape using the hammer until the mortar breaks away. Warning: When you are doing this, always wear safety goggles and gloves to avoid potential injuries. You may also need to wash the wall down to remove any dust and debris.
The Brick Industry Association recommends that a dry brush should be used to remove the formation of salt on bricks (efflorescence). For tougher build-ups, use a stiffer brush and water - more difficult efflorescence problems can be tackled with a proprietary cleaner.
Asphalt and tar remover can be used to remove grease, oil, asphalt and excess sealer from bricks. The substance can be applied using a clean cloth, or directly onto the brickwork. Rub the brickwork area until the tar dissolves. For tougher build-ups, use a stiffer brush and a more aggressive rubbing action.
The removal of paint from brickwork can be a very tough and lengthy task, however, it is possible with time and effort. Products containing brick acid are available for the removal of paint, however, you must read the product instructions carefully to avoid damaging the brickwork. It's also vital to wear the correct protective gear when you use any products containing brick acid i.e. safety gloves, clothes and goggles. If you are unsure as to how to tackle the job, always consult an expert for advice.