Sometimes the bricks outside our homes take on a white powder-like appearance which does not look very nice. Technically known as “efflorescence”, it’s basically lime seeping out of the damp brick and giving it that unwanted chalky look. Of course, external bricks can also suffer staining due to airborne pollution, while everybody dreads the “artwork” of the graffiti experts.
While lime-staining readily brushes off, the other two forms of pollution are somewhat more difficult to deal with. In this two-part article, we first explain how to remove unwanted graffiti and the effects of pollution, and then deal with lime-based staining in part two.
Removing Efflorescence Staining
Assuming the lime powder is reasonably easy to reach using a properly secured ladder, begin by using a dry, stiff scrubbing brush. Resist the urge to wash down the brickwork after scrubbing, because wetting the wall will quickly see the staining problem return.
The next stage is to use a soft paint brush to remove the chalky deposits. You may find streaking caused by leaking downpipes or poorly positioned flashing. First repair the leak to eliminate the problem. If your water-heater tank is overflowing, it too may cause unsightly staining on the surrounding bricks. A simple adjustment to the float controlling the water level in the heater tank is probably all that is required.
Call in the Professionals
If you feel challenged by the thought of venturing up a ladder to clean your brickwork, why not get a handyman service quote instead? Then you can sit back and watch your unsightly wall being transformed to its original splendour.
Kevin, he’s one of our London handymen services, advises that efflorescence can manifest itself in brickwork long after the wall was built. It’s a combination of insufficient curing, and the elements going to work in the form of damp drawing out the remaining lime. He goes on to say that streaking on walls may be the result of something more serious by way of leaking pipes or drains. In this case, you would do well to bring in the experts rather than have a go yourself. Sometimes a little knowledge can be dangerous!