To get perfect results using Acid, we need the bricks to be laid cleanly. This means we need to see all four edges of each brick and all thick splatter and mortar deposits should removed during the brick laying process. Remember 100 years ago all bricks were laid clean. See our 5 rules for good bricklaying that will give perfect mortar beds if cleaned with Acid. The key to great quality is to start with clean bricklaying.
Cleanly laid bricks will be cleaned quickly and cost effectively with Acid, provided an appropriate 9:2:1 or a slightly stronger 6:1:1 mortar mix is used without plasticiser or with only minimal amounts of plasticiser used. Plasticisers are meant to extend batch life in summer, but they also waterproof mortar and make it very hard and extremely sticky. Bricks laid with plasticised mortars become extremely difficult and expensive to clean properly. Unfortunately, plasticiser usage has become common practice in Victoria and the local bricklayers blame the washed “sharp” Victorian sands for this trend. Field test results show even less that 1/4 of the recommended amounts still cause cleaning issues.
We see many of the new dark coloured face coated bricks laid with white Brightonlite cement destroyed by excessive applications of acid and the use of turbo’s which are often have to use red to clean excessively dirty and poorly laid dark bricks with hard sticky plasticised mortars. The result is that houses built with these bricks look dirty, tired and aged even though they are new because they were trashed by acid washers having to use high pressure and turbos trying to clean them but were unable to get them cleaned without the collateral damage due to poor bricklaying.
Restoring brick work to its former glory will require a lot of time and hard work to get builders and brick layers working together to lay bricks cleanly and to reduce the reliance on plasticisers and acid cleaning. This isn’t easy as many top end builders now avoid the use of face brick because they don’t want quality problems caused by these atrocious brick laying habits in Melbourne.
Acid can help make face brick houses and buildings look fantastic again but the brick work needs to be laid clean and mortar made properly this is why we have written the five rules required for clean bricklaying.
pictures of great brick laying & the results possible
pictures of poor laying and the problems caused by trying to clean poor brick laying