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Frequently Asked Questions
Question

There's some kind of hard white crust on our new red brick building. It doesn't scrub or hose off. It seems to originate in the mortar joints. What is it and how do we get rid of it?


Answer

Sounds like lime run. As with many brick stains, this one is water-related. Rainwater collects in the wall during construction, or through a design or structural defect and dissolves soluble calcium compounds. Now the water is finding its way out through the joints and evaporating. As the water evaporates, it deposits the dissolved calcium on the wall surface. The calcium reacts with air to crystallize into hard white crusts. Lime run is a tough, stubborn stain, but Sure Klean® Heavy Duty Concrete Cleaner or Custom Masonry Cleaner will help get rid of it -- along with a vigorous scrubbing. It may take several applications, depending on how bad you've got it. Some things to keep in mind -- make sure to thoroughly prewet the surface with fresh water before cleaning. High pressure rinsing equipment is good for this. You should also use a high-pressure fresh-water rinse to wash the cleaner off afterward. Apply Heavy Duty Concrete Cleaner or Custom Masonry Cleaner with low-pressure spray or a stiff-fibered masonry washing brush. And don't forget the elbow grease. If the water is getting in through a defect, such as a crack in the wall, repair the defect before cleaning. Keep lime run and other water-related problems from coming back by protecting the cleaned bricks with Sure Klean® Weather Seal Siloxane PD, or Sure Klean® Weather Seal Siloxane WB Concentrate.
 
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