Building a house using bricks and mortar for masonry implies finishing work to clean the walls from cement. Few people will like the appearance of facades with smudges. Removing mortar from bricks is a laborious process, but the reward is an attractive building. Very often, used bricks are used for the construction of walls, on which masonry mortar remained. In any case, cleaning the material will have to be done.
To remove cement from bricks, I use different methods, the choice of which depends on the condition of the material itself, its size, surface area and level of contamination. Cleaning methods are combined into 2 groups: mechanical and chemical cleaning. The names speak for themselves. This means that using the mechanical method, you will have to tinker with it manually, using various tools (chisels, hammer, trowel, grinding wheel, etc.).
Unfortunately, there is a risk of damage to the material if it is not strong enough. The chemical method of cleaning involves the use of sulfuric, phosphoric and hydrochloric acids.
Chemical cleaning is not used to remove mortar from white silicate bricks. This is due to the fact that acids act aggressively on the material, destroying it.
This method involves observing several rules that will help to quickly and efficiently clean the material.
There are differences between silicate and ceramic bricks, so the same cleaning method cannot be used. This is due to the fact that the cement mortar adheres more firmly to the silicate brick.
Before proceeding with the solution removal procedure, prepare the instruments:
First, the mortar is softened to make it easier to move away from the brick. The wall is poured with water from a hose until the material can absorb it.
This will help remove loose pieces of cement. Next, you need to assess the extent of the pollution. For small areas of mortar, use a putty knife, brush or trowel and carefully remove the cement. With a spatula, quickly puffs up dirt and removes it. When finished, brush over the surface with a stiff brush and remove any residue.
Sprinkle water on the walls to help complete the cleansing of the masonry.
Bulky pieces of cement that could not be washed with the pressure of water are removed using a chisel and hammer. You need to work clearly and accurately in order to avoid damage to the material. The blows are applied parallel to the bricks, but in no case perpendicular. If the chisel does not seem to be a very convenient tool, replace it with a chisel, which has a smooth sharpening angle and non-uniform edges that ensure quality work.
Note. The chisel quickly becomes blunt during the removal of cement mortar from bricks, therefore it requires frequent sharpening.
In a number of cases, for lack of the necessary tools or guided by the desire to quickly complete the work, some craftsmen use nails. As a result of such cleaning of the brick from the solution, damage occurs, scratches and chips are formed on it. Therefore, this method cannot be called rational.
Used bricks are cleaned with a construction hammer that resembles a pickaxe. It easily removes cured grout. After getting rid of large pieces, take sandpaper and process the material.
In order to clean such delicate material you will need:
You need to proceed in the same way as in the case of ordinary bricks.
Soak the masonry with water and try cleaning the grout with a stiff brush. The grinding disc will provide faster and better removal of the solution, but you need to work with extreme care so as not to damage the material. For respiratory and eye protection, be sure to wear goggles and a respirator. Sand the brick and moisten it.
A hammer and chisel are not used to clean sand-lime bricks.
This method is used to remove mortar only from ceramic bricks. This process does not cause any particular difficulties. It all comes down to applying a chemical to the surface of the contaminated material. You can buy it in special hardware stores, which will offer you a choice of any of the available funds.
Each jar should have instructions for use. You need to follow the rules for using acids and take precautions.
Most chemical brick cleaners are acid-based. Differences may relate to the conditions and methods of application of the formulations. Some substances are applied to dry walls, others to wet ones.
The instructions indicate the acid concentration and the holding time. This is the fastest and least laborious method of removing cement from masonry.
You can make your own cleanser. To do this, take a solution of sulfuric or hydrochloric acid. Add water to it in a ratio of 1:10 and stir.
Pre-moisten the brickwork and apply mortar. To do this, use a roller, brush or cloth. After 10 - 15 minutes. , rinse the brick with water. Acids remove small impurities in one go.
If areas with a thick layer of cement remain, the holding time is increased to 30 minutes. The softened solution is removed using a trowel, chisel or spatula, the masonry is washed with water under pressure. Wear protective clothing and gloves to keep your skin safe from acid.
Used bricks are put into a cast iron bathroom, which is put on the fire, and filled with acid. It is necessary to boil the material until all the cement has completely disappeared.
At the end of the process, rinse the bricks with water.
The chemical method has one drawback. After cleaning, whitish smudges remain on the material.
To get rid of them, use the facade cleaners that are sold in any hardware store. The concentrate is diluted with water according to the instructions, then applied to the surface, wait a certain time and wash off the product with water.
It is important not to forget about protective equipment when working with chemicals.
After cleaning, the brick is covered with a water repellent that prevents moisture penetration. This procedure is optional, but experts recommend not skipping this step.
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