How to Clean a Landscape Stone Wall
A landscape stone wall adds that extra special touch to a garden. It's important to clean and properly maintain a landscape wall so that it doesn't lose its beauty. Stone walls often become weathered over time and require cleaning. Also, if you want to paint the wall, it will need a good washing before you can apply the paint. There are several options for cleaning a stone wall. One is to sandblast the wall, but it is much easier to use a pressure washer. Here's how to keep a stone wall clean using a pressure washer.
WARNING: Pressure washers can shoot water at such a high intensity it cuts flesh or knocks people backward. Check your washer has the correct pressure range before using it, clear the area, and only point the washer at the stone wall while using it. Wear safety goggles to avoid getting water or dirt particles in your eyes.
Step 1 - Prep
Before you start washing the wall, remove any pointing or render on the stone wall with a hammer or air compressor.
Step 2 - Pressure Wash
You can rent, borrow, or buy a pressure washer to do the job. When you're ready to get started, turn the power on and stand away from the surface of the wall so you can get an idea how the washer works before you begin the job. As you get used to it, you can move closer to the wall to ensure it gets thoroughly cleaned.
The best way to clean a stone wall with a pressure washer is to start at the top of one section of the wall. Stand as close to the wall as you can as you wash it with the power washer. The best method is to use a continuous movement, going slowly across the length of the wall down toward the bottom of the stone.
After you have washed the stone wall, stand back to apply less pressure to the wall and go over the entire wall a second time. Washing the wall again will remove any remaining debris from the surface. Start at the top and move the spray of water down as you move along the wall.
As you clean the wall, go over spots that still need cleaning after the second wash. If certain areas have a lot of dirt, use a strong circular motion to remove the debris. After you finish one section of the wall, continue doing the same thing, moving section by section until the entire wall has been cleaned.
Step 3 - Garden Hose
Stone walls are commonly covered in sand and dust that needs to be removed to keep the wall looking beautiful. If you don't want to use a pressure washer, or the wall is not extremely dirty, you can simply use a garden hose to wet the wall and then scrub away the debris using a stiff brush. After scrubbing, simply spray the surface with water a few times to remove the dirt and dust. You may have to scrub and rinse several times before the wall becomes completely clean.