I have a brick house and the bricks have what looks like mortar and paint marks on the brick. I believe they call this a messy mortar look.

I do not like this, but I am wondering if I can have the bricks pressure washed without damaging the mortar. I had a pressure washing company do a very small area to show that they could get the marks off, but I'm not sure if it would be OK to do this on the whole house.

Does pressure washing brick damage the mortar, or are they better ways to get rid of the paint and mortar marks?


As long as the mortar is not loose or crumbling, it will be fine to pressure wash.

If it is loose and the face of the mortar gets washed out, you might consider re-pointing after the pressure washing.


Your real question is 'can I remove "messy mortar" look'? Messy mortar is a deliberate style where extra mortar is smeared on the face of the brick. In some places the mortar will penetrate deeply, others not so much. Either way the mortar on the face of the bricks is as hard as the mortar between the bricks.

Pressure washing your house, at least if the weather is such to allow drying before a hard freeze, should be safe.

Shaving off a layer of brick to get rid of "messy mortar" is what you're really talking about. I think you need to get a brick laying contractor out, not a pressure washing contractor.

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