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Unread 02-27-2007, 05:23 PM   #1
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Cleaning and Sealing Red Clay Brick

I’m doing some testing re a possible job. My friend has a nice pool with colored concrete and regular colored concrete surrounding it, broken up by rows of of red clay brick. The brick parallel to the pool, about 4-8 feet away, has a tougher buildup of some kind of calcium material, either coming up from underneath(I suppose the calcium from the brick itself) or from the top(water from swimming pool or the hose when he hoses it down). The rest of the brick isn’t too bad, probably mostly other soils. He does have some efflorescence in certain areas of the concrete. I’ve tried 3 different types of cleaners, 1)Aldon Grout Removal –an acid cleaner (type not mentioned), 2) Stone Pro Quick Clean—a hydrochloric acid cleaner and 3) a mild solution of Muriatic Acid and water. After neutralizing and drying, the Muriatic acid solution brick appear most red; the other two have a slight chalky appearance. I applied Stone Pro’s Porous Stone Sealer to all three testing areas(after drying bricks with a blower for a half hour or so) and 2 days later checked the results. All three areas dried with a chalky whitish appearance. Could this be because even though I thought they were dry enough, they weren’t and wicked up efflorescence from the brick? Should I use a solvent based sealer instead? I plan on going back tomorrow to prespray with an acid cleaner, let sit for a few minutes and pressure wash with a Turbo Hybrid and would like to have an appropriate plan for a sealer. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me re this situation.
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Unread 02-27-2007, 07:25 PM   #2
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One main piece of advice. Keep the acid off of the colored cement!
Mike Norman, CTC :-)

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Unread 02-27-2007, 08:18 PM   #3
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You may have a couple problems.Any time you get efflorescence wet you rehydrate the problem and you get more efflorescence.You may need to let it dry and brush it away,then seal.If this doesn't work you may have a problem of acid etching the color outta the brick, this can't be fixed, but an enhancing sealer may help.You may also have just released the efflorescence,salts, and the are sitting on top the brick and you may need further cleaning, drying and brushing.

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Unread 02-27-2007, 10:19 PM   #4
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Hi MasterClean, Welcome!

Could you include a first name in your signature line? (We're a friendly group here!)

Besides what's been mentioned, you might just need to neutralize the acid with a solution of ammonia & water (1 part ammonia to 3 parts water), let dry, then seal. As always, TEST first.
John Koessler

"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten."

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