Cleaning a brick patio doesn't have to be hard or time-consuming, provided you have the right materials. Learn how to quickly and easily clean a brick patio with a few simple methods. You'll also get a few tips on how to keep your patio sparkling.
Tips for Cleaning a Brick Patio
Fortunately, cleaning brick is no more difficult than cleaning most other materials. If you have a brick patio, it's a good idea to have it coated with masonry sealer to make cleaning easier. Brick patios that have not been sealed will require more time and effort to clean. Once you commit to cleaning a brick patio as a part of your regular household chores, it's time to choose a cleaning method. To get started, you need to grab a few materials from your garage.
- Chlorine bleach
- Oxygen bleach
- Borax or white vinegar
- Stiff bristle brush
- Gardening gloves
- Rubber gloves and eye protection
Power washing is the preferred method to clean a brick patio. However, it requires special equipment that most homeowners don't have lying around the house. If you can get your hands on a pressure washer either by renting, borrowing, or purchasing, then moss and mildew stains will be a breeze to remove.
- Simply apply the water from the power washer over your brick patio.
- Use even strokes to make sure you remove any mildew and grime.
Just be careful not to use maximum strength pressure. Experts warn that anything above 3,000 psi may damage the brick.
Scrubbing With Bleach
If you have stubborn stains on your brick but don't have a power washer, you can try scrubbing.
- Simply mix a 10% solution of chlorine bleach to water in a bucket.
- Scrub the area with a stiff-bristle brush.
- Once you remove the stains, rinse the brick thoroughly with clean water.
If you plan to use chlorine bleach, be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection, as scrubbing and spraying can force some of the bleach mixture toward your face.
Scrubbing Brick Patio With Oxygen Bleach
You can also choose to scrub your patio with oxygen bleach like OxiClean.
- Add two scoops of oxygen bleach to a gallon of water.
- Cover the bricks.
- Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Scrub with a bristle brush.
- Rinse with hose.
Scrubbing With Borax
For regular cleaning of brick patios, you can opt for a milder cleaning solution.
- Mix one tablespoon of borax with a gallon of warm water.
- Pour the solution on the brick and scrub with a stiff brush.
- Move the brush back and forth, paying close attention to the crevices and nooks on the bricks.
- Rinse with clean water and repeat if necessary.
- Be sure to frequently replace the water in the bucket to avoid streaks on the brickwork.
You can also create a mild solution that contains one part vinegar to 15 parts water.
Sweeping the Bricks
Make sweeping your brick patio a regular part of your outdoor chores. Sweeping is good preparation for a thorough patio cleaning, but it is also beneficial in keeping your brick in pristine condition.
- Use a broom with stiff bristles to brush the crevices and corners of your patio.
- Also, look for and remove any small brick pieces that may come loose when sweeping.
Homeowners with sealed brick patios may find gray or white dust build-up from time to time. This dust is a combination of grout and the muriatic acid used in cleaning up after the grouting job. You can remove this dust by flushing your brick patio with water. Depending on the size of your deck, this method could take a while, as you need to keep flushing the brick flooring with water until the remaining muriatic acid stops leaking lime from the grout.
- Sweep the bricks to ensure they are clean.
- Run water from a hose or bucket onto the brick.
- Once the flush is complete, you need to dry the brick to see whether you have completely removed all of the muriatic acid.
Weeding should be a regular part of your patio-cleaning regimen.
- Put on a pair of gardening gloves.
- Pull all weeds that grow along the ridges and canals between the bricks on your patio.
- Once the weeds are pulled from the roots, be sure to remove any dirt, leaves, or branches that may have fallen on your brick patio.
If you don't do this chore regularly, stubborn weeds can eventually cover the bricks, and in some cases, cause them to break apart.
Other Cleaning Tips
You can prolong the life of your brick patio by cleaning it regularly. If you are unsure about the type of stains that are covering your patio, consider consulting look the Brick Industry Association's website. It features a comprehensive section on how to get rid of a variety of stains. Other important tips for cleaning your brick patio include:
- Allow the bricks to dry before replacing any patio furniture.
- Spot clean stubborn stains when you encounter them.
- Rinse your patio off with water every few weeks.
How to Keep a Brick Patio Clean
Now that you've got your patio clean, it's time to keep it that way. Therefore, brick cleaning needs to become part of your regular outdoor maintenance.
- Give your patio a thorough cleaning in spring.
- Make sure to sweep and weed your patio every week to two weeks.
- Give your brick patio a good scrubbing or powerwash every few months.
- Check often for crumbling bricks and cracks showing wear.
- Replace broken or stained bricks when you encounter them.
- Use a seal on your patio as a preventative measure.
- Contact a professional immediately if you encounter a stain you can't clean.
The Appeal of Brick Patios
Brick patios are popular with homeowners who want to create an outdoor living space with old-world charm. Brick is durable, decorative, and functional. What's more, it can add value to your home's patio. It also retains its natural beauty longer than most other building materials. However, brick needs to be maintained on a regular basis if you want to preserve its attractiveness. If you don't clean your brick patio regularly, it will attract dirt and grime. In addition, if you live in an area that sees a lot of precipitation, you run the risk of battling mold, moss, and slime build-up on your brick patio. The only way to retain the appeal and integrity of your patio made from bricks is to set up a schedule to have it cleaned properly.