Is it ok to pressure/power wash clay bricks and clay roof tiles?

December 01, 2021 5 Comments

Is it ok to pressure/power wash brickwork and clay roof tiles?


On the face of it, pressure/power washing clay bricks and clay roof tiles would seem to be the obvious way to clean them. But it's not that simple ...

We never high-pressure wash clay brickwork or clay roof tiles, because high pressure washing will remove the protective outer layer from the bricks or roof tiles.

Quick tip: This is similar to the way in which high-pressure washing removes a surface layer even from concrete.

When that protective surface layer has gone the bricks and tiles become more porous and so are susceptible to increased damage from natural weathering, reducing their life expectancy.

The only way to protect bricks and clay tiles, and so extend their life, from this point on would be to apply a breathable, transparent sealer. But a soft wash treatment with Benz Lightning Cleanze and/or Bio Cleanze must be completed just before sealing or there's a high risk that existing spores will be trapped and grow under the sealer.

Obviously a far better approach is to not damage them with high pressure washing in the first place. 

Can you use a pressure washer for rinsing?

Absolutely. It's fine to use a pressure washer for rinsing Lightning Cleanze and Tornado Cleanze, as long as the pressure is turned down low so that the pressure when the jet reaches the brickwork or tiles is about that of a domestic hose pipe.
 

What about steam cleaning bricks and clay tiles?

It's true that the short-term results of soft washing may not look as dramatic as low-pressure steam cleaning (never use high pressure on bricks or clay tiles). But the labour cost of steam cleaning, because it is so time-consuming, can be vastly greater than soft washing – and the long-term results of soft washing are just as good.

Quick tip: Remember that it is essential to post-treat with Benz Bio Cleanze after steam cleaning, to impart long-term residual biocidal protection against re-colonisation.

Without giving it a post-treatment of Bio Cleanze the steam-cleaned surface will soon re-colonise to it’s contaminated condition before being cleaned because there will be nothing stopping spores re-colonising.

We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,

Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony

 

Click here to explore the full range of Benz softwash cleaning products

Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

5 Responses

Leo
Leo

December 03, 2021

Hi Brendan, thanks for your comment.

I agree that powerwashing is still an important part of a professional cleaning contractor’s toolkit. Ben started out by offering powerwashing as his primary service before he discovered soft washing. And he continues to use a powerwasher when appropriate and for rinsing.

In my experience, when concrete that has not been powerwashed (using high pressure) is compared to powerwashed concrete (a side-by-side comparison between the two surfaces is important to notice the difference) the removal of the top surface layer can be clearly seen. This may or may not be considered important just for concrete, and depending upon the needs of a specific contract and customer, but when it comes to clay bricks and tiles it is a different story.

Btw: Please note that the article is about clay bricks and tiles, not about artificial or natural slates, which you correctly state will not be damaged by power washing. And you are also correct to say that leaving property not cleaned is usually going to have long-term negative effects on that property.

And to be clear, my intention is not to run down powerwashing but to present information gained from our experience of many years (I, Leo, started our original cleaning business back in 1987, which was 34 years ago as I write this) so that our customers can have the benefit of that experience when choosing the most appropriate way to proceed with cleaning clay brickwork and roof tiles.

Cheers,

Leo

Leo
Leo

December 03, 2021

PS: If the link to the Lightning Cleanze product page is not clickable, simply copy and paste it into your Internet browser.

Leo
Leo

December 03, 2021

Please click this link to visit the Lightning Cleanze product page, which will take you to the 20L product quantity. Then select the country you want it delivered to. You can order via the product page and we will ship directly to the address you give us.https://www.benzsoftwash.com/products/benz-lightning-cleanze-sh-sodium-hypochlorite-biocide?variant=2602632970270

J harrison
J harrison

December 03, 2021

How much for 20-25 litres of lighting cleanze

brendan Leonard
brendan Leonard

December 03, 2021

I disagree what you say about powerwashing, I’ve washed one house with cement fibre slates five times with a turbo nozzle over a 13 year spell and the slates are in good condition where slate roof that only get cleaned afterthought same time are in worse condition. I also powerwash around a factory every two weeks which is 26 times a year and 260 times over a 10 year period I can’t see any difference in the concrete. I do know powerwashing can be severe if not done properly but leaving things not cleaned is alot more damaging , I clean k-wren as you know with power washing and lightning and bio cleanse and its brilliant if used properly. I just don’t like people running down powerwashing because done right can be very important

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