Robert Lamoureux | Getting rid of unsightly brick stains

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux
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Question: Dear Robert, I am a faithful reader and appreciate your help in the past. We have received a letter from our Valencia Summit HOA management company telling us to “remedy the situation” of white stains on our exterior brick walls. I have enclosed pictures of the offensive bricks, which years ago were exposed to spray sprinklers, now replaced with a drip system. 

None of the bricks show sign of crumbling, cracks or movement. We are retired seniors with little background in any such repair but with plenty of idle time if this is something we can attend to ourselves. Can you help us with your wisdom and advice going forward including who to call if this is too complicated for us? Many thanks. 

P.S. Your recommendation of A-1 All American Roofing WLA was spot on. They did an excellent job of total re-roof of our house. 

— Holly W.  

A reader’s question seeks the best way to remove deposits left on a brick wall after if was exposed to overspray from irrigation. Courtesy photo.

Answer: Good morning, Holly, thank you for being a loyal Signal reader. The white staining is phosphorus, which are mineral deposits from our hard water here in the Santa Clarita Valley. Tom from Emerson pools can help you: 661-212-7555. They need to bead blast the wall (the use of glass beads) to get MOST of the minerals off the wall. 

Be sure that a sandblasting method isn’t used as this will damage the bricks. Some of the staining won’t come off due to the porosity of the bricks — this is expected. 

Once it’s cleaned, you might want to seal the brick annually. Just wash it down and scrub it and let it dry. Apply a brick sealer that can be purchased at the local big box store.  

Another thought: Try to keep the direct water off the bricks.  

Hope this helps. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]. 

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