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Acetic acid on porous brick

I originally posted this question for another trade but think I chose the wrong one. I mistakenly used a product called ecofective path and decking cleaner on my porous concrete facing brick. I thought I was using a biocide. The concentrate solution is ph 3 and I diluted it to one part concentrate and three parts water. It was on the wall for three hours before I realised what I had done. I then rinsed it with copious amounts of water and did the same next morning and also the morning after that. Although the product claims to be safe for glass, plastic, concrete fencing, tarmac etc, I’m very concerned that I have damaged the brick and mortar joints. I’ve been told that the pore structure in the type of brick I have is vital for protecting it from frost attack. Perhaps I should have left it to evaporate from the surface instead of driving it deeper into the brick with water? Is there anything more that I can do at this stage? I was thinking of applying a solution of ammonia or bleach to neutralise the acid. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you

3 Answers from MyBuilder Architectural Designers

Best Answer

Do not add more chemicals. If you used enough water, that will have adequately diluted the acid. Assuming this is quite recent and therefore during milder weather, it will have plenty of time to evaporate before frost has any effect. You are unlikely to have caused damage.
Having seen other posts, I would further comment that waterproof sealers should not be used. The bricks are designed to be porous and allow moisture from within to evaporate out. If the exterior surface of the bricks is sealed, then any moisture trapped within, will be subject to frost action, expansion and potentially blowing the face of the brick. Use of these products is seldom a good idea.


Answered 28th Apr 2020

You are extremely unlikely to cause any problems now you have rinsed this. HCl also is frequently specified as a masonry cementitious cleaner and is used without adverse effect. I would leave it alone and forget about it.


Answered 6th May 2020

I think if you apply a clear waterproof agent as per manufacturers instructions to the whole surface effected it will ensure that moisture will not penetrate the brick or joints.


Answered 27th Apr 2020

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