Incorrect cleaning methods and chemicals can destroy masonry
We have received panicked calls from homeowners as they hired a contractor who applied the wrong chemical to the surfaces in an attempt to remove the brick staining which in fact made it worse. When this didn’t do the trick, they gave it all a good wash down with a high pressure washer.
The result of this onslaught was that the façade of the house looked even worse. Efflorescence gets worse after a spell of rain, and the saturation of the bricks caused during the power washing heightened the problem. More pressure equals more water, and if this façade isn’t treated before the winter, the water in the bricks will freeze. The formation of ice inside the brick will lead to them cracking and breaking, which will make the pores bigger and result in the bricks simply crumbling away.
This kind of situation is sadly not uncommon, and this isn’t by any means the first time we have had to repair damage caused by inappropriate cleaning methods. It is absolutely crucial that you hire a knowledgeable contractor to clean and treat brick and masonry. In many instances, we were able to reassure the client that they had come to the right place and we would be able to salvage the situation.