How do you clean masonry?

Most property owners think about cleaning their gutters, windows, flooring, etc., but masonry cleaning may not be at the top of the list. Nevertheless, this is an important step in preserving the life and structural integrity of brickwork. This guide gives an overview of how to clean masonry on old and new buildings.  

Commercial masonry cleaning vs. residential brick cleaning

Most commercial cleaning projects require special tools, equipment, and techniques due to the size of the building. Thus, cleaning brick on a house is different than cleaning masonry on a commercial building. Commercial buildings also face more exposure to the elements because of their scale, making maintenance all the more important. 

Each type of masonry has unique cleaning needs

Masonry cleaning is not a cookie-cutter process. Each building has specific needs based on the types of materials used, as well as the age and wear of the masonry. Pressure washing and sandblasting may work for some buildings, but those techniques may be too abrasive for older structures. 

At JK Industries, we create custom cleaning plans to protect and restore masonry. Our goal is to make the bricks or blocks look pristine without sacrificing structure or stability. Our commercial masonry cleaners can personalize a cleaning regimen for your building. 

Masonry cleaning for new construction

In the case of new construction, cleaning should wait until the mortar has fully cured. This process takes at least seven days, but it may require a longer wait based on the weather. It is best to clean new buildings 2-4 weeks after construction because the mortar smears are still relatively easy to remove at that time. Cleaning before this may affect the strength of the mortar, or it may inhibit the curing process. 

With any masonry cleaning, it is best to test a small area of the building before committing to the full project. 

Masonry repair and restoration 

Masonry cleaning may reveal issues with your brick and mortar. It’s best to resolve those quickly to avoid more costly repairs later on. 

The good news is, masonry repair may be as simple as replacing the surface-level mortar (repointing). This creates a better support structure around the bricks and makes the building look renewed. JK Industries offers a variety of masonry maintenance services, including commercial masonry cleaning, brick restoration, and joint sealing. Reach out to schedule your in-person consultation.