Did the Three Little Pigs put much foresight into the construction plans of their homes? The moral of that tale is that more work now to ensure a more solid foundation in the future. Obviously, the two pigs who decided to build their house out of straw or sticks did not plan far into their future. Their homes could not handle a heavy breath from a Big Bad Wolf, and it is unlikely that these houses could withstand a thunderstorm or more extreme weather conditions. We champion the Little Pig, who built their home from durable materials like bricks. However, do you think that particular pig thought about how to maintain the masonry on their home correctly? In other words, did he ever think about pressure washing his brick house?

While a standard and durable building material, bricks are relatively complicated to clean. Unlike other housing exteriors, bricks need a certain amount of attention and care to maintain properly. While you can pressure wash your vinyl siding and watch the grime fall off, brick walls require a whole process that most people may need to be made aware of. Let us walk you through why you should clean your masonwork, what pressure washing you need to utilize on your bricks, and what practices to follow when you are ready to work!

Why Cleaning Your Bricks Is Important

holiday wreath hanging on brick house exterior wallCleaning your home’s bricks has multiple crucial benefits. The most overt benefit to cleaning your masonwork is maintaining its visual appearance. Proper cleaning will restore the initial appearance of the bricks, giving your home a more polished look. If you have a passion for improving your overall curb appeal, regularly washing your bricks will help improve the appearance of your home.

In addition to helping with the aesthetic look of your home, proper cleaning can help protect you and your family from possible harm. Slime and slippery moss can quickly grow on your bricks and take over if left to nature. Removing a grimy hazard from your brick walkway will help you protect the members of your household from any possible injuries.

Another significant advantage of washing your bricks is to prevent future repairs. Proper maintenance can help your masonry last longer than untreated bricks. If left to the element, your brickwork can start to crack and, in some extreme cases, may need to be repaired or replaced. These repairs will require the assistance of a licensed masonry contractor, which will be much more costly than basic cleanings.

Keep The PSI In Mind When Pressure Washing

The pressure needed to clean your home’s bricks is less than you may expect. The PSI, or Pound per Square Inch, a pressure washer can utilize ranges widely. It is critical to know how much pressure to use on each surface of your home to ensure a thoroughly washed home, but to avoid damaging your home, the pressure level is not too powerful.

Here are some key PSI levels to keep in mind:

  • 3,000 to 4,000 PSI: This range is only for heavy-duty materials like concrete. Since concrete is porous, water is unlikely to seep into the foundation. Though a strong pressure level, we do not recommend it for most housing exteriors.
  • 2,500 PSI: If you have vinyl siding, this is the ideal PSI for your home. Like concrete, vinyl siding is not absorbent and can handle a heavier PSI. However, exceeding this level can result in damage to the vinyl.
  • 1,200 to 1,500 PSI: While a less intense PSI, this is the recommended range for homes made with stucco, aluminum, or soft-wood grain. A higher PSI can dent the softer metal. Meanwhile, water can seep into exteriors made from lumber or a cement-type mixture. Staying within this PSI for these materials ensures a thorough cleaning, minimizing potential damage.
  • 500 to 1,000 PSI: When it comes to brick washing, this is the PSI range to stay within. This level is powerful enough to comprehensively clean your masonwork without damaging the exterior wall. 

Exceeding any of these levels can cause damage to the exterior of your home, which will lead to costly repairs. Keep these limits in mind to avoid unnecessary headaches and costs.

Best Practices For Pressure Washing Your Brick Surfaces

Now that you know the correct PSI levels for your home, let’s discuss some practices to clean your home correctly. Remember, if these steps seem too complicated or overwhelming, our team of professional pressure washers is ready to help! We take these practices and more when working with masonry, and we guarantee you will be satisfied with the results!

With that in mind, here are some best practices when washing your homes bricks:

Prewash Measures

First and foremost, before starting this process, you must have the proper safety equipment. You must have good quality rubber gloves and goggles when handling the chemicals you use to clean your home. If neither item is in hand, please ensure you have them before cleaning your bricks.

Next, let’s discuss what to look for in your masonry before pressure washing. Examine the walls for any cracks. If you encounter any cracks in the brickwork, apply caulk or mortar before washing. Sealing any cracks will help prevent water from seeping into weak points in the wall, further damaging the bricks. You must wait up to ten minutes before using the pressure washing.

Take note of every electrical item on or near the wall, including electrical outlets, jacks, and light fixtures. Water can find its way into these openings during washing, so protecting these items will avoid possible damage.

Finally, seal any windows with puncture-proof plastic sheeting with durable exterior tape. This sheet will protect your windows from water leaking into your window sills, which can cause long-term damage. 

Knowing your home’s exterior is crucial when thoroughly preparing for an intense brick cleaning. Take your time, protect any parts of your home that need to be covered during this job, and always double-check your handy work before starting.

Pressure Washing Techniques

professional pressure washing technician spraying the side of a brick residential houseWhile it may appear anyone can haphazardly pressure wash, you must use some careful tactics to ensure the bricks on your home will be properly washed. Utilizing a low-pressure nozzle or a surface-cleaner attachment to clean the brickwork will help ensure a thorough cleaning.

Always spray from the top when washing your masonry, and make your way down the wall. This method will ensure a thorough wash throughout. For the best results, spray horizontally, and keep your strokes within 3 to 4 feet wide. This way, you can keep track of your progress and be confident in a wholly washed brick wall.

Above all else, make sure you carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions. Reviewing these instructions will fully inform you of the distance you need to be with the nozzle to clean the masonry properly. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the equipment and adjust when using the pressure washer.


So once you have washed the bricks, can you leave the walls to dry? While this is an option, treating your masonry after thoroughly cleaning is vital. Of course, allow the bricks to rest for a day or two before treatment. Allowing this time will give the walls an appropriate period to dry from the pressure washing service and be fully ready for post-wash care.

Once the bricks are completely dry, you can start spraying the bricks for remaining stain spots. These spots can be anything from annoying algae or mildew to rust. When you are ready for this task, start by scrubbing the bricks with a sturdy sponge. After a thorough dry rub down, douce a mixture of water and your choice of cleaner from a spray bottle on the trouble spots. Now that these spots are well covered, take a natural bristle or nylon brush and scrub down those spots.

For more intense spots, you can use a mixture of bleach and water to clear up these spots. You can use the same cleaning solution to tackle these irritating spots. Remember, use the proper safety equipment when dealing with this solution. Rubber gloves and goggles are necessary for this job, and we highly recommend using a respirator. If you do utilize a bleach solution, it is vital to thoroughly rinse the brick with fresh, warm water after you’ve finished scrubbing, and spray the wall with your garden hose from a safe distance to complete the job.

Closing Thoughts

infographic on 'can you pressure wash brick?'

As you can see, pressure washing brick surfaces is a complex process. If you’re willing to put in the elbow grease, you can feel a sense of accomplishment with a freshly cleaned brick face. However, tackling this challenge is quite tricky and could take you all day to complete. On top of the time commitment, there are multiple exact factors to remember throughout this chore. If any part of the process is off, your bricks could be damaged, leading to more frustrations in the near future.

At Window Ninjas, we are happy to put your mind at ease! Our team of highly trained professionals have the knowledge and experience to wash your home’s bricks properly and can confidently treat your masonry thoroughly and safely. With the appropriate PSI level, we guarantee a complete and detailed brick washing service cleaned to your standards.

Be better prepared than the third Little Pig, and have the foresight to ensure your bricks handle much more than a Big Bad Wolf! Protect a surprisingly delicate part of your home, and contact Window Ninjas today! You can reach us at 1-833-646-5271 or find us online at windowninjas.com, and we’ll make sure your home’s masonry is cleaner than the hair of your chin!