It is essential that when you clean your bricks, you do not use a strong acid mixture (12:1 – 20:1) or use too much pressure. Pressure cleaners should not be set higher than 15 litres per minute and no greater than 700psi. We urge you to choose a bricklayer who is prepared to at least clean down his brickwork at the end of each day’s work. At the completion of the brickwork, do not acid clean the brickwork within the first twenty-four hours, or leave it any longer than seven days.
It has become a common practice in the brick and paving industry for contractors to perform a ‘sponging technique’. This technique is performed after laying the product where the contractor will use a wet sponge to take away any excess mortar. This practice is done for two major reasons: to fill in any imperfection in the mortar joint and to take away the excess mortar, making it easier for the contractor to obtain the preferred joint effect.
Namoi Valley Bricks recommends that the sponging technique should NOT be performed on any of our products. Clay products are very porous and therefore susceptible to staining. When wet mortar is in contact with the brick or paver, the mortar is absorbed into the product and if allowed to remain without cleaning for an extended period, will increase the risk of staining.
Light coloured bricks can be affected by vanadium stains (yellow to green stains). Vanadium stains should be treated before you acid down the bricks. It is recommended you remove all stains prior to brick cleaning on those bricks that are affected. Only then should you use a very weak acid mixture to clean down the brickwork. If you use a strong acid mixture prior to treating the stain, the acid will turn the vanadium stains, which can be difficult to remove and appear very unsightly. For further information regarding brick staining you should refer to the Think Brick Website (www.thinkbrick.com.au).
Bricks of distinction made in the traditional way