My client asked, "How do I clean the stained brick?"
Well, I don't know! I guess that depends on what is causing the staining.
Underneath each of the four plastic shutters were brown stains. Notice how the stains are just under the edges?
What is causing them?
1. That isn't staining. The brick is cleverly painted to give it some character and interest.
2. Mud blew on top of the shutters, draining down behind when it rains.
3. Drywall, or other rusting screws, were used with plastic anchors to install the shutters.
4. Bats are behind there sleeping, and guano is washing out from behind, causing the stains.
Well, take your pick. They are all good suggestions! My vote is number 3!
Drywall screws are used for installing everything except? Very good class -- drywall!
So, what can be used to clean the brick?
First, the source of the staining has to be determined and changed. Other houses in the neighborhood have the same staining, so the installers were consistent. Once that is determined, and corrected, the brick can be cleaned. Maybe with CLR and brushing it. Maybe, just maybe, it will clean up.
But don't pressure wash it! That will ruin the shutters and the flashing, and likely drive water into the brick weep holes!
My recommendation: it is amazing how consistently some problems are left for homeowners. This house is 7 years old, and since the neighborhood is about the same age, it did not take long for this staining to show up. But long enough for the builder to head out of Dodge! The repair? Stainless steel or brass screws, with lead anchors, not plastic.
Then there's always tried-and-true duct tape rolled into sticky balls to hold those shutters tight. OK, that last suggestion is made with a wink and a twinkle in my eye...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560