If your home has a brick retaining wall that a previous owner painted, then you will be happy to learn that you can remove all of the paint and restore the brick to its natural state, without any damage to the surrounding landscaping.
You have three natural options for removing paint from your brick retaining wall:
manually with a brush
manually with a natural paint stripping product
mechanically with a power washer
Below is information to help you choose which option will work the best on your brick retaining wall:
Manual Paint Removal with a Brush
If the brick used to construct your home's retaining wall has a thick firing glaze on its outside, then the brick can be cleaned with a metal-bristle brush and some hot soapy water. Since the brick's glaze has been fired at a very high temperature, it is very resilient and harder than the bristles of a metal brush. You should take care to not over scrub the mortar areas of the brick wall, as the mortar is not as strong as the bricks themselves. If the paint has seeped down into the mortar, then you will need to scrape it out and apply a new layer of mortar for the brick.
Manual Paint Removal with a Natural Paint Stripping Product
Citrus oils are strong cleaners that are often used in commercial applications because they are safe for use around people and landscaping. You can use a natural citrus oil paint stripper to remove the paint from your brick retaining wall. Simply apply the paste or gel product to the paint, place the included backing material over it, allow the product to cure, and then remove the backing strip with the paint, much like the process of waxing your eyebrows.
Mechanical Paint Removal with a Power Washer
If the paint is well adhered to the retaining wall's brick, then you can remove it using a power washer. Using a low setting on the power washer so that you do not damage the softer mortar, wash the brick just enough to remove the paint and then move to the next area. Do not leave the water stream in one place too long or it can damage the bricks.
Testing Your Paint Removal Option of Choice
Finally, always test your chosen method of removing paint in a small area of your retaining wall where it will not be noticed. This will allow you to check the underlying brick for condition and any possible damage from cleaning, before you have used the paint removal method on a large, noticeable area of the brick wall.
For more information, talk to a professional company like Central Arizona Block.