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Old 01-21-2009, 04:48 PM   #31
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Mixing Mortar for Tuckpointing


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Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
i can't pressure wash, it is an indoor application. i need some chemical to rinse it off. if TSP is not available (is it toxic ?), i might have to go with muriatic acid.
No it is not toxic and is readily available at any paint store and Home Depot

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Old 01-21-2009, 05:00 PM   #32
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Mixing Mortar for Tuckpointing


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Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
Power washing especially with acidic cleaners is not recommended. That said, it is often done, and if done with a fan tip is not usually a problem.

TSP is not available in pure form in this area, paint stores or not.

ASTM C-144 is the standard for masonry sand.

I never have to clean after tuckpointing, beyond the wire and soft brush.

From another site on profession brick cleaning

Standard bucket and brush methods are the most popular ways to clean masonry and can produce excellent results. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Obtain the cleaning recommendations of the brick, mortar and cleaning product manufacturers.
2. Select the proper product.
3. Select the proper dilution ratio.
4. Before mixing or applying chemicals, make sure you are wearing the proper safety gear; including goggles and gloves.
5. Use the recommended cleaning procedure on a sample test panel or area to see what happens.
6. Remove large mortar particles from the walls with a wooden paddle or non metallic scrape hoes or chisels.
7. Protect surrounding surfaces, such as metal, glass, wood, limestone and cast stone surfaces. Mask windows, doors and areas with ornamental trim.
8. Saturate the area to be cleaned with water.
9. Starting at the top of the wall, apply cleaning solution with a long-handled, stiff fiber brush. Follow the cleaning manufacturer's recommendation for the amount of time the solution should be allowed to remain on the wall.
10. Scrub vigorously with the brush.
11. Rinse thoroughly. Flush the walls with large amounts of clean water before they dry. If you do not flush the wall completely, white scum may form on the it.
Mud, dirt and soil may be most easily cleaned off of new brick masonry with detergent or soap solutions. Try 1/2 cup of trisodium phosphate and 1/2 cup laundry detergent dissolved in a gallon of water. For an acid solution, mix nine parts clean water with one part muriatic acid. Always pour the acid into the water. Don't use a strong acid solution; it might cause further stains.
12. Rinse the wall thoroughly with clean water from top to bottom and make sure all the cleaning solution has been removed.
Pressurized Water


To save time and labor costs, many contractors use pressurized water to clean new masonry. The base unit can
be 100 feet away from the units being cleaned if long hoses, pressure guns and special nozzles are used. Some systems have two hoses, one for water and the other for cleaning solutions.
If not used carefully and within reasonable boundaries, water pressure cleaning can damage masonry. The sand finish on some units can be removed entirely by water pressure, resulting in a wall that looks different than its designer intended. Nozzle pressure in excess of 700 psi may damage brick units and erode mortar joints. Note that pressurized cleaning probably will change the appearance of sand molded brick, brick with glazed coatings and sand faced extruded brick.
To clean brick masonry with pressurized water; follow these procedures:
1. Obtain the cleaning equipment and cleaning solution and test them on sample areas. Make sure the solution you are using is compatible with the equipment. Mix according to the manufacturer's directions.
2. Presoak the wall. Remove large particles by hand or with wooden paddles. Saturate the brickwork to prevent it from absorbing the chemicals.
3. Apply the cleaning chemicals through the pressure cleaning unit.
4. Allow the solution to remain on the wall for about five minutes.
5. Starting at the top, rinse thoroughly. Flush the walls with large amounts of clean water before they dry.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:01 PM   #33
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Mixing Mortar for Tuckpointing


thanks bob, this is great !
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:13 PM   #34
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Mixing Mortar for Tuckpointing


We will have to agree to disagree, but I can tell you that I spend a decent amount of time on jobsites meeting with GC's and owners (and of course masonry contractors) discussing how the issues caused by improper power washing of brick can be remediated.

TSP is not "toxic", it is an environmental pollutant.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:02 PM   #35
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Mixing Mortar for Tuckpointing


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Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
We will have to agree to disagree, but I can tell you that I spend a decent amount of time on jobsites meeting with GC's and owners (and of course masonry contractors) discussing how the issues caused by improper power washing of brick can be remediated.

TSP is not "toxic", it is an environmental pollutant.
Can you read.. pressure washing is used to quickly and completely wet the wall prior to cleaning... and then again to give it a good rinse. When you are dealing with 7000 sq ft of bricks like our jobs we cannot be spending time hauling little buckets of water up the scaffolding.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:59 PM   #36
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I read extremely well, but apparently many masonry contractors can't, and homeowners simply do not have the experience to make the attempt.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:41 AM   #37
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Mixing Mortar for Tuckpointing


hey guys - you know what just occurred to me ? why can't i just use tile grout for this application instead of mixing mortar ?
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:38 PM   #38
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also, i got lime from lowes but the only kind they had was in the gardening dept and it is advertised for gardening use (quick-acting). is that it or do i need some special masonry lime ?
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:00 PM   #39
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The aggregate is too fine in tile grout, and the lime should be Type S double hydrated, but the single hydrated common lime will do in a pinch.

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