The right cleaning methods and processes will ensure your brickwork remains in top condition and you instantly notice any repair or remedial works required. Like when you clean natural stone, you need to keep several things in mind before brick cleaning and the same goes for cleaning any architectural terracotta in your building.

Both regular brick and terracotta are forms of fired clay but they have their own unique properties. This means your choice of cleaning method will differ, as you need to be mindful of the sensitivities of each material and how they react differently to different cleaning processes.

Understanding your Brick Cleaning Project

Before carrying out any brick cleaning it is essential you’re properly aware of the right methods for cleaning, the pressure you can use and the dilution of chemicals suitable to the project in hand. Understanding how the brick or terracotta react to dirt and also how to safely remove this dirt minimises the risk of causing any damage to the brickwork.

The mortar used in your home is also an important consideration. Most traditional brickwork mortars use soft mixes, usually of lime and sand. This means the mortar is often softer than the bricks themselves and may not be able to withstand high pressure washing and may be irreparably damaged without due care.

Other considerations before cleaning brickwork include taking into account any plant or moss growth and assessing the amount of weathering present. It’s also important to remember to consider the porosity of the brickwork as more porous bricks will have higher absorbency which can impact the use of chemicals.

Brick Cleaning: Returning Established Brickwork to its Best

Cleaning established brickwork often poses a problem because the atmospheric soiling that coats it can’t simply be cleaned with water. Non-soluble dirt and grime usually need to be cleaned from the brickwork using something in addition to water. This is usually a chemical or a form of abrasion.

Abrasive cleaning should only be carried out by experienced professionals who understand the right levels to achieve proper cleaning of the brickwork without the risk of any damage. The wrong level of pressure or abrasives could potentially damage the brickwork beyond easy repair and may result in more restorative work becoming necessary.

Using chemical cleaning on established bricks is also a balancing act. Low-strength chemicals are best, and it is usually best practice to apply them neatly directly onto the brick. Once the chemicals have been left long enough to process, the brickwork should be thoroughly rinsed at a suitable low pressure.

Cleaning Architectural Terracotta

Since the mid-19th century terracotta has been used in home building and it is still present in many properties. It needs to be treated sensitively as it is can very easily be damaged beyond repair and can then be difficult to replace.

Most soiling found on terracotta is also non-water-soluble making it impossible to clean using just water. Glazed and unglazed terracotta can be easily damage if any level of abrasion is used and the same is true if cleaning is carried out using acid-based or alkaline-based cleaning. Mechanical cleaning is also not recommended due to the risk of damage.

Terracotta often looks extremely dirty and soiled, as it may be covered in a black film, but this layer is usually much thinner than it looks and with the right mix of chemicals and care can be removed.

Sensitivity and care is needed when approaching any brick cleaning project, especially on older buildings where the brickwork is many years old. It’s important to think carefully before beginning any project and of course, working with brick cleaning and restoration specialists ensures a professional level of cleaning throughout.

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Building Transformation’s unquestionable honesty and enthusiasm for ensuring the client receives the correct whole-life solution (rather than a quick fix) resulted in us being able to ensure the building was not only returned to its former glory, but will stay that way for years to come. I would recommend them to anyone.

Kenny Gash - Carillion Amey

The work provided by Building Transformation was excellent. Their product and building exteriors knowledge is detailed, comprehensive and practically applied to the client’s needs. They offer a professional, detailed, high-quality and customer- focused service which meets the short, medium and long-term needs of the client, and provides practical, cost-realistic advice.

Kerry Quinn - Echo Arena

Customer service is paramount to Building Transformation and they invested vast amounts of time in providing me with a programme to facilitate what was a very complex and time-specific programme of work for the site. The quality and level of support provided by Building Transformation is priceless to any client/contractor.

Marc Blow MCIOB MBIFM - Carillion Amey

The approach and advice on setting up the works at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre were first-class. Building Transformation’s attention to detail was excellent and the RAMS were followed meticulously to every detail. We were delighted with the works and service, and would not hesitate to use them again, nor hesitate to recommend them to any organisation.

Kevin Egginton - Wolverhampton Council

A 200,000 sq. ft., four-storey leisure venue in the heart of Nottingham city centre surrounded by major traffic routes needed work to be done overnight to deal with the traffic issues, while the site remained open throughout. The project took around three weeks to complete and went exceptionally well; the Building Transformation staff were flexible and able to work round dynamic operational issues. The clean was of a high standard and has made a significant different to the image of the building. A very difficult job done well.

Suzanne Green - Land Securities

May & Co have worked with Building Transformation on a number of projects which have included external building cleaning and refurbishment. They provided a great service, supported by the high level of documentation from the initial quotation to books and industry-related guidance, all relevant to our project.

Anton Theobald - May & Co

I am very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. Also the level of cleaning provided and attention to detail is much appreciated.

Waqas Bin Tahir - Ibis Southampton

I am using Building Transformation’s work to help justify façade restoration works around our business. They have produced excellent presentations on what can be achieved and is a brilliant piece of informed marketing that is helping slowly win people over in our business to take façade cleaning and restoration more seriously.

Needless to say Building Transformation is a name that is now becoming known and respected.

Simon Attwood - Broadgate Estates Ltd.

Building Transformation gave great communication throughout our projects.
It will be my pleasure to recommend Building Transformation.

Sarah Cameron - My Hotels Group

Just signed off the job with Richard. Myself, the bosses and the tenant all are very pleased with the work. It definitely looks rejuvenated just a case of painting the concrete window surrounds in the new year to finish it off. Have found your company and staff very professional and helpful which has facilitated a project with minimal inconvenience and disruption to our in situ tenants.

Mark Hollinshead - Headruddy Property Development

I had a walk around today with Dave and am impressed with the work so far. Dave and the team have done a great job.

I’d certainly love to work with you in the future so perhaps before the job is completed we could look at what opportunities there are for the future.

Marie Green - Novotel Sheffield

At this stage, from my point of view your team has been extremely professional, informing us of what was happening at all times and most importantly no disruption whatsoever to our guests and business.

Ludovic Verzi - Novotel Leeds

We are very satisfied in the manner the job was conducted. The operatives on site were very professional and communicated to us at all times.

Maria Pinana Mateu - Science Museum

The team at Building Transformation understood our challenge of finding a facade cleaning solution that would initially restore the glazing to its original state, protecting our building for years to come. Through intelligent and thorough testing right through to the full restoration of Block D, we have been very satisfied with the project management and delivery of the cleaning programme.

Colin Pilkington - Renaker Build Limited

Thank you for all the work that you carried out in cleaning the outside of our school. We are delighted with the results. You have managed to completely remove heavy staining from many areas around the building.

We found you extremely easy to work with: your quote was reasonable, you carried out the work quickly and you were very flexible in terms of timings.

Tamsin Griffith - Courtney Road Primary School, Bristol

have worked with Building Transformation on several projects within the hospitality industry and have found
them to provide high levels of professionalism and workmanship.


e will definitely be working with you again! Your engineers were very polite and accommodating every time they visited site and have done a first class job. I will be recommending Building Transformation to everyone!

Mark Healy - One Facility


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