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Old 01-20-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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Cleaning & Sealing Red Brick

Hi All,

I have red brick on a few pillars on my house and my chimney. In some places, it has turned white. I'd like to clean the red brick and maybe seal it.

Cleaning Red Brick...

I was told that I could use a product called "Stain Solver" which is an oxygen bleach that's supposed to be stronger than something like Oxyclean. It's my understanding that should remove the white stuff. Anything against using this product? Or is there something better that I should consider using on red brick to clean it?

Sealing Red Brick ...

Also, I came across a product called "LastiSeal Brick & Masonry Sealer" that I heard is a good sealer for Red Brick or brick in general. However, does it change the color of the red brick at all?

Also, it says that it penerates 2-4 inches deep into the brick itself and the seal is permanet. My fear is that if I apply it incorrectly, I may damage the brick. I'm not sure how safe this is to use. But, it seems that once it is applied, there is no way to alter it?

Are there sealers that perhaps I can apply every few years? I sort of like the idea of just reapplying it. It gives me the chance to maybe switch to something different in the future if the current sealer I end up choosing doesn't work well.

How should I be thinking about this? Does anyone recommend any other type of sealer? Should I even bother sealing the red brick after it's cleaned?

The red brick is sort of dull looking now. Is there a way to make it look more vibrant or alive? Sort of like restoring it to it's original color when the red brick was new?

Any other suggestions and/or questions are great!

I've attached a picture of my red brick.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:06 AM   #2
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venture to say that brick IS the original color,,, would guess the ' white ' is some lime salts leaching out of the mortar ( efflorescence ),,, only a big deal IF its objectionable to your eye or your controlling authority's eye ( the bride)

1st, who said this magic elixir's the bomb for your issue & who's used it professionally ? normally we scrub w/bleach/dawn dish detergent ( NO SOAPS ! ),,, if ordered, we apply silicone siloxane to help the brick/mortar resist further water damage ),,, we've never used a ' sealer ' outside.

ANY liquid changes color shade,,, it deepens it as it makes colors POP !!! here's our brick - done 3yrs ago & catches direct sun 365 yr here in atl,,, i use prosoco but there're many other good siloxanes,,, you MIGHT get lucky & find 1 at your local apron/vest/hdwe store but don't bet on it !
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Last edited by stadry; 01-21-2013 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:03 AM   #3
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Good reading material from The Brick Industry Association. Look at their technical notes on many different topics.

See technical note 23A for Efflorescence

Water repellent vs. Brick sealer is a big big huge difference. I would not take the advice of applying any type of sealer on the brick. That may trap any moisture behind the brick and cause further problems. What you want to do is apply a water repellent...not a sealer.

I had a local company that does brick restoration come in and he showed be a Rhilem Tube test to demonstrate how the brick can absorb water.

Here is an excellent video demonstrating a Rhilem Tube:

After learning that brick veneer--mortar joints and bricks--can absorb water, I had a water repellent made by Prosoco called Siloxane WB concentrate applied by to entire front brick veneer of the house. After the application, water beads off of the brick veneer as water would off the hood of a newly waxed car.

The Prosoco product will not impair the natural breathing characteristics of treated surfaces.

As a note to others reading this. Above I referenced the Siloxane WB concentrate. This needs to be mixed on site with specific quantities of water. The company that applied it for me were the experts so thats what they used. They did tell me if I were to do it myself they recommended the Siloxane PD which is pre-diluted. Its ready to be applied right out of the container.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
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The Siloxane WB or PD will NOT change the color or texture of the brick.
Advice is free, Lessons begin at 75 bucks an hour.
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