Distinguished for their endurance, fire resistance and natural beauty, bricks are a prominent landscape material. Brick patio pavers, unlike wood or metal, do not rot, warp or rust. Although little maintenance is needed to upkeep brick pavers, smeared mortar residue can destroy their appearance. Mortar consists of mixed sand, cement and water, which quickly cure and bond to brick surfaces. Promptly address unwanted mortar before it cures completely and is essentially impossible to remove. You can remove cement residue from brick patio pavers using certain supplies.
Flush the affected brick pavers with water to prevent damaging them. While wearing safety glasses, use a metal scraper to remove as much cement residue from the pavers as possible.
Prepare to remove the remaining cement residue from the pavers. Put on rubber gloves and long clothing to prevent direct contact with the acid solution. Cover the adjacent vegetation with plastic dust sheets.
Fill a plastic pail with 10 cups of water. While wearing safety glasses and rubber gloves, add 1 cup of muriatic acid to the water. Slowly mix the acid solution with a wooden stir stick.
Saturate the affected pavers with water to prevent the acid solution from etching them. Using a synthetic brush, scrub the acid solution onto the pavers marred with cement residue. Leave the acid solution on the pavers for 10 minutes to allow it to dissolve the cement residue.
Remove the remaining cement residue from the pavers. Using the brush, scrub the cement residue off the pavers.
Rinse the pavers with excess water to dilute and neutralise the acid solution. Blot up the runoff with paper towels before it can drain into nearby soil.
Dispose the remaining acid solution and soiled paper towels as directed by your local hazardous waste company.
Muriatic acid is caustic and will quickly burn any exposed skin. Only apply muriatic acid to mortar that has cured at least two weeks to prevent damaging or removing mortar between the bricks. Some bricks may become discoloured by acid. Contact the brick manufacturer to ensure acid is safe to use on your pavers.
Tips and warnings
- Muriatic acid is caustic and will quickly burn any exposed skin.
- Only apply muriatic acid to mortar that has cured at least two weeks to prevent damaging or removing mortar between the bricks.
- Some bricks may become discoloured by acid. Contact the brick manufacturer to ensure acid is safe to use on your pavers.