Best Way to Clean Retaining Wall Blocks

A retaining wall can be a great addition to any garden. But over time, you might start to notice that mold and algae are starting to build up in the blocks. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also start to impact your health. If you have asthma, it’s possible for the mold spores in the air can trigger a coughing fit. The good news is that there are a few simple things you can do to keep your retaining wall clean. 

Start By Spraying the Retaining Wall

The first thing to do is spray down the retaining wall. Avoid using a high-pressure hose. If you use this, there is a chance that you will be pushing the dirt into the cracks. If you do this, it could become embedded and very difficult to dislodge.  Instead, use a garden hose with a spray function. Spray the wall from the top downwards, this should help you dislodge any dirt and grime that is nestled in the blocks of your retaining wall.

Once you’ve done this, it’s time to inspect the wall. Sometimes, it just needed a little water to get rid of the dirt and grime. But if you are dealing with a stubborn stain, you’ll need to take further action.

Making a Cleaning Solution

The good news is that it’s easy to make a cleaning solution that will be suitable for a retaining wall. All you need to do is mix a squirt of dishwashing liquid into two gallons of warm water. This should kill any mold that has accumulated and dislodge any dirt.

spraying retaining wall with hose
Paver Retaining Wall

Prepare the Area for Cleaning

Often, a retaining wall will be built around a garden. If this is the case, you should lay down a tarp. This forms a barrier that stops the cleaning solution from getting into the garden, potentially harming the plants. 

Clean the Bricks and Wash off the Solution

Now you’re ready to start cleaning the bricks. It’s best to use a nylon brush. This will allow you to get deep into the bricks and remove any dirt or mold that is lurking in the blocks. You should notice the stain starting to fade as you scrub. 

Check Your Progress

You can check your progress by using the garden hose to spray the wall. If the stain is gone, you can rinse down the rest of the wall, then leave it to dry. If not, you’ll need to take more drastic action. You can try using bleach. This will kill any remaining mold. 

If you are going to take this approach, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure that this harsh chemical won’t damage the retaining wall. Spray on a small, inconspicuous area first, then wash it off. Check for signs of discoloration. 

It’s also best to use safety goggles and gloves. Spray the whole wall in bleach and give it a few moments to get into the cracks. Then, you can use water to rinse it off. You might have to repeat this a few times before you see results. 

You’re Good to Go!

The uneven surface of a retaining wall can often accumulate dirt and grime. If you’re not careful, it can be a fertile growing environment for mold.  The good news is that cleaning the wall is easy. Once you’ve removed all the dirt, you can keep the wall clean by spraying it every few weeks. 

If you are interested in hiring a retaining wall contractor in Western Washington, contact Sta-Built Construction today! Our team of professionals are ready to help you with your paver project. 

Recommended Article: Types of Retaining Walls


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