Carbon Staining Removal on Bricks

by | Dec 11, 2023 | London, Pressure Washing, Stone Cleaning, Wall Cleaning

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Expert Advice on Carbon Stain & Atmospheric Pollution Stain Removal from Bricks

Carbon staining, is a occurrence where carbon-based particles from the air, characteristically originating from vehicle exhaust or industrial emissions, settle on surfaces – usually bricks and stone – creating unsightly stains. This type of staining is common in urban areas, near busy roads, or in industrial zones. The carbon particles mix with other air pollutants and can adhere to brickwork, stonework and mortar, leaving dark and often sticky stains. Many streets in London, Surrey & Kent or other areas where there is a sustained and ongoing flow of traffic have buildings with brickwork that shows signs of carbon staining.

Carbon staining removal from bricks is one of our most popular services. If you are debating whether you should remove any dark carbon staining from your brickwork, here’s 7 reasons why you should consider giving this brick cleaning service favourable consideration.

Carbon Removal from Brickwork for Aesthetic Reasons

Carbon staining is undoubtedly unsightly and adversely impacts the appearance of brickwork and stonework. Cleaning or removing the carbon staining from the masonry enhances the visual appeal of structures, buildings, and other affected areas on the brickwork.

Carbon Removal from Brickwork Supports Property Maintenance

Regular cleaning helps maintain the condition of the brickwork on your building. Carbon staining, if left unaddressed, may contribute to the deterioration of building materials like brick or stone over time, affecting the longevity and integrity of structures. Depending on the composition of the carbon particles, they may contain substances that, over time, can cause corrosion or damage to certain materials. Professional carbon stain removal and brick cleaning helps prevent the long-term impact of these particles on surfaces.

Carbon Removal from Brickwork Alleviates Health and Environmental Concerns

Carbon staining may contain other pollutants or contaminants that could pose health risks. Removing these stains can contribute to a healthier environment particularly in areas sitting within the (London) ULEZ zone which have historically had exceptionally high levels of carbon staining on the buildings and brickwork. Cleaning and removing carbon staining may be part of an overall effort to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility. It certainly contributes to a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing community environment.

How To Remove Carbon From Brickwork

Removing Carbon from Bricks Using Chemicals & Steam

We have various options available as part of our specialist carbon staining removal service. Our first and most standard methodology for carbon staining removal from bricks involves the use of highly specialist brick cleaning acids / chemicals in conjunction with our DOFF or ThemaTech steam cleaning system. This method involves the application of a professional only use, high grade chemical directly onto the carbon deposits on the brick work. We then use our low pressure and super high temperature steam cleaning DOFF or ThermaTech systems to neutralise the chemical. When using this method, any scaffold needs to be fully sheeted with waterproof covering like a monarflex or equivalent and any windows or glass would need to be protected. 

Removing Carbon from Bricks Using Wet Abrasive Systems

The secondary way we can remove carbon from brickwork is using the TORC which is a wet abrasive method of removing carbon. Unlike the formerly favoured sandblasting which acheives brute-force results with a blistering, high-pressure spray, the TORC system uses a gentle swirling vortex, with sensitive controls and a modular nozzle attachment. The TORC wet abrasive carbon removal system can be adapted to suit an assortment of substrates — both decorative and structural, with no adverse effects on the structure’s integrity.

Carbon Staining Cleaning & Carbon Removal from Brickwork

When cleaning carbon staining or removing carbon staining from brickworks, it’s critical to use appropriate cleaning methods and products to avoid causing damage to the surfaces. Deciding whether to remove carbon from bricks using chemicals & steam or to remove carbon from bricks using wet abrasive systems depends on the type of brick affected and the severity of the staining. Pressure washing is strongly disadvised for this type of cleaning.


Carbon stain removal and removing atmospheric staining from brocks can be an extensive or challenging job that should never really be attempted as a DIY project. We are professional brick cleaners and brick restoration experts and can assess your brickwork. Should you commission us for your brick carbon stain removal, we will use the appropriate method and ensure that the cleaning process is effective without causing harm to the brick surfaces.

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Written by DSW

DSW is a specialist exterior cleaning and safe roof company delivering professional exterior cleaning services to both residential, commercial and corporate clients. We employ a range of different cleaning techniques, English Heritage approved equipment and industry leading technologies to achieve superior exterior cleaning results.

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