Had a new driveway poured last year and the contractor splashed cement on
the red brick on my home. Couldn't get him back to clean up. Tried power
wash and wire brush still can't clean brick Any ideas?
I've only done this for excess mortar on brick, but I would think it
would be about the same for cement. There was loads of it, some
overflowing the intended mortar and other stuck to the middle of the
brick for no apparent reason. I got really good at it. One strike
I was going to say hammer and cold chisel and a delicate hand. But I
guess that is what I used for cement that overflowed the molds when
the sidewalks were put in. As I think about it, what I actually used
on the brick was a single edged razor blade in a holder, and maybe no
hammer at all.** They make the nice razor holders, with rounced
corners and rounded edges, but the blades break very quickly in them
when used on an uneven surface like brick, I guess because they are
held along the whole width when used.
So I used a box cutter. There are two models of box cutter (the thin
flat silver thing, folded over, with a slide in the middle layer that
holds a single edge razor, a la 1940, at one end) "Model 1" has some
sort of useless decorative indentation at the other end, but "Model 2"
is like a 1" wide pair of tweezers (you can tell this model because
when viewed from the side, there is hole the hole with of the cutter,
shaped like the space between your thumb and first finger when the
fingers are as straight as possible), and the same razor blade will
slide into that, to be a window scraper. Because the ends of the
blade can flex, I guess, I could go 15 minutes to a half hour without
breaking a blade. They don't have to be sharp. And they work with some
of the edge broken off too, but I changed the blade after half of the
edge was gone. And when the pieces came off, the brick underneath
looked perfect, after 10 or 15 years since construction. And was the
same color as the part that got sun, although this was tan brick on
the north side of the house. And not as rough as some red brick, but
like I say, when it came off it came off totally. I got better as
time went on.
** (I don't remember why my palm didn't get blisters or start to
hurt, but maybe a rubber mallet or hammer if that happens to you.
Maybe from the start I used a short piece of 2x4, Or a short piece of
fence rail. But it didn't take much force.)
Sharp brick chisel at a shallow angle, and maybe one of those slotting
rubbing stones concrete finishers use to knock down burrs on patio edges and
along tooled expansion slot joints. (Does anyone still use those? All I see
lately is sawn post-cure slots.) Another tool to add to collection is a
mason's hammer- square head, non-slotted claw on back. If Borg doesn't have
them, a real yard that sells to the trade will, or a large masonry products
dealer, but they will charge premium prices.
I cleaned tens of thousands of brick as a kid with these tools.
There are several techniques including acid and abrasive (sand blasting)
or physical (hammer and chisel) What will work depends on the brick and
there are a great many different kinds of bricks and even their age makes a
difference. In some cases, it just is not going to happen. Sorry
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