How can we prevent sand-faced brick from getting muddy til Spring

threeapplesOctober 10, 2012

our brick is such a mess from the mud. We have a little bit of straw down around the perimeter, but it doesn't seem to be doing anything. Apparently we can't plant grass until the spring and I fear that with the snow melting it's just going to get worse and worse. What can be done? Keeping it clean is crucial since it's sand-faced and can't be washed easily. thanks.

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mydreamhome

Our builder put down thick heavy black plastic on the ground around the perimeter of the house that extended maybe a foot up the walls of the house--maybe a little less. That way any rain that fell hit the plastic and not the dirt and the bottom of the wall was protected. It worked well. Straw or pine needles underneath and/or on top would likely help as well.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:54AM
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threeapples

that is very helpful, thanks so much. how did you connect the plastic to the sides of the house?
my builder just suggested straw mats, which i think he said are used in landscaping to cover grass seed. it sounds like a combo of this is what we need.
cross your fingers my pretty brick doesn't get ruined until may!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:11AM
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brickeyee

Just wash it off.

A pressure washer on low and used almost parallel to the surface will not damage anything and get mud off.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:21PM
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dbrad_gw

brickeye, I'm not sure where the OP is, but here in SC the red clay can stain stuff quickly if you don't get to it almost immediately.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:58PM
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threeapples

we are in NE Ohio. we can't use a pressure washer on this brick.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:21PM
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mydreamhome

Exactly right, threeapples--absolutely no pressure washing on sand faced brick. The straw mats sound like a good idea. I'm sorry, I don't recall how the builder kept the plastic in place once all the brick was up. I'll see if I can find any pics from the build that might show it and let you know.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 11:09PM
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athensmomof3

You are smart to be on top of this. The red clay DOES stain (not sure if you have that in Ohio but we have a yard full of it in GA). In fact, our painted brick house had to be repainted at the bottom after the landscaping went in because the red clay would not wash off. I would definitely do the black plastic, and perhaps even more than a foot up (we had red clay a little higher than that.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:32AM
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brickeyee

" we can't use a pressure washer on this brick."

You can if you are careful, or just use an acid brush on a painter's extension pole.

From what you are describing it is going to look like hell in short order no matter what.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 1:51PM
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threeapples

Thanks, brickeyee. I am rather uneasy now.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 5:11PM
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worthy

There are a number of commercial products designed to be used with spray washers that remove oxide stains. Oxalic and muriatic acid are effective, but have to be used diluted and with great care to avoid damage to other materials and yourself. Think Alien!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 5:21PM
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