How to Remove Tar from Brick
LESLIE: Dan in Illinois needs to clean some tar off of brick. Tell us what you’ve got going on over there.
DAN: Yeah, I bought a brick ranch house and, apparently, they must have had problems with water in the basement and they put tar and seal between the concrete patio along the front and the back of the house.
DAN: And the tar runs up the bricks probably two inches and out on the concrete about two inches.
TOM: (chuckling) They tried to …
DAN: It’s real hard and dry.
TOM: They tried to tar it shut, huh?
DAN: Yeah, it didn’t work. I replaced the gutters on the house and cleaned out the window wells …
TOM: (overlapping voices) And that made it all go away, right? I bet that solved it.
DAN: That solved the problem.
DAN: But anyhow, I’ve got to get rid of this tar on there. I try to scrape it and that doesn’t seem to work very well.
TOM: Have you tried any type of a solvent?
DAN: I haven’t and I thought about trying gas on it but I thought that might be the wrong thing, so …
TOM: (overlapping voices) Aw, no, no, no, no. I wouldn’t try gasoline. I would try a solvent like mineral spirits. And you might want to use a degreaser. Sometimes you can use it together with the mineral spirits. I would try a little bit at a time to see if we can soften this stuff up. Because that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to soften it up and scrape it off. It’s not going to come off easily but I’d try to get off as much as I can.
And then the other thing that you could do is you could pressure wash the rest. Pressure washing can tend to get under it and lift it but you’ve got to be real careful because if you do go too heavy you’ll damage the brick.
DAN: Alright. Well, I’ll give that a try and see if that helps me out.
TOM: I think it will, Dan. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.