Removing Oil And Tar Stains From Brick Masonry
REMOVING OIL AND TAR STAINS FROM BRI= CK MASONRY
THE CLEANING OR REMOVAL OF STAINS FROM BRICK MAY INVOLVE THE USE
OF LIQUIDS, DETERGENTS OR SOLVENTS WHICH MAY RUN OFF ON ADJACENT
MATERIAL, DISCOLOR THE BRICK OR DRIVE THE STAINS DEEPER INTO POROUS BRICKS. USE THE PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUES DESCRIBED HERE ONLY FOR
THE COMBINATIONS OF DIRT/STAIN AND STONE SPECIFIED.
A. This procedure includes guidance on removing heavy oil
and/or tar stains from brick masonry.
B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precaution= s
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling=
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).=0CPART 2---= PRODUCTS
A. Diedrich Technologies, Inc.
B. ProSoCo, Inc.
NOTE: Chemical products are sometimes sold under a common
name. This usually means that the substance is not as pure as
the same chemical sold under its chemical name. The grade of
purity of common name substances, however, is usually adequate
for stain removal work, and these products should be purchased
when available, as they tend to be less expensive. Common
names are indicated below by an asterisk (*).
A. For Tar:
1. Dry ice or compressed CO2
B. For Oil and Residual Tar Stains:
1. Commercial cleaner such as "Diedrich ASPIR Solv" (Diedrich Technologies, Inc.),
"Sure Klean Asphalt and Tar Remover" (ProSoCo,
Inc.), or approved equal.
a. Mineral spirits= :
1) A petroleum distillate that is used
especially as a paint or varnish thinner.
2) Other chemical or common names include
Benzine* (not Benzene); Naphtha*;
Petroleum spirits*; Solvent naphtha*.
3) Potential Hazards: TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE.
4) Safety Precautions:
a) AVOID REPEATED OR PROLONGED SKIN
b) ALWAYS wear rubber gloves when
handling mineral spirits.
c) If any chemical is splashed onto the
skin, wash immediately with soap and
5) Available from construction specialties
distributor, hardware store, paint store,
or printer's supply distributor.
Trichloroethylene (highly refined solvent):
CAUTION: TRICHLOROETHYLENE IS HIGHLY TOXIC
AND MAY REACT WITH STRONG ALKALIS SUCH AS
FRESH CONCRETE TO FORM DANGEROUS GASES.
1) Other chemical or common names include
2) Potential Hazards: TOXIC.
3) Available from automotive supply
distributor, chemical supply house (both
commercial and scientific), dry cleaning
supply distributor, paint store,
photographic supply distributor (not
camera shop), or printer's supply
b. White absorbent material (molding plaster,
untreated white flour, white tissue, paper
towels, powdered chalk, talc, fullers earth or
c. Plastic sheeting
2. Mineral water
3. Clean dry towels for blotting the area after
4. White vinegar or commercial neutralizer such as
"Sure Klean Masonry Restorer" (ProSoCo, Inc.), 101
Masonry Restorer/Cleaner (Diedrich Chemicals), or
C. Clean potable water
A. Rubber hammer
B. Putty knife
C. Glass or ceramic container for mixing the solution
D. Wooden utensil for stirring the ingredients
E. Wood or plastic spatula
F. Stiff bristle brush (non-metallic)
G. Masking tape
3.01 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
NOTE: TEST CLEAN A SMALL AREA BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO CLEAN
A. For Tar:
1. Apply dry ice or compressed CO2 to the tar to make
2. Tap the tar lightly with a small rubber hammer.
3. Using a putty knife, pry off loosened pieces of tar
from the surface.
4. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean, clear
water and allow to dry.
B. For Oil and Residual Staining from Tar:
1. Apply a commercial cleaner directly to the surface.
a. Apply cleaner using a stiff bristle brush
following manufacturer's instructions.
b. Allow the mixture to remain on the stain for
period of time as recommended by manufacturer.
c. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean, clear
water and allow to dry.
d. Repeat the process as necessary to achieve the
desired level of cleanliness.
Apply a poultice containing a chemical solvent.
a. Thoroughly rinse the area to be treated with
b. Mix naphtha (mineral spirits) or
trichloroethylene with filler material to
achieve a thick paste.
c. Using a wooden or plastic spatula, apply the
paste to the stained surface in layers no more
than 1/4 inch thick. The poultice should
extend well beyond the stain to prevent
forcing the stain into previously clean stone.
d. Check the coating for air pockets or voids.
e. Cover the poultice with plastic sheeting and
seal with masking tape.
f. Let set for 48 hours (unless otherwise
g. After set period, dampen the poultice with
h. Remove the poultice with a wooden or plastic
spatula to avoid scratching the surface.
i. Thoroughly rinse the cleaned area with mineral
water, blot with clean towels and allow the
surface to dry.
j. Repeat the process as necessary to remove any
remaining residue until the desired level of
cleanliness is achieved.
2. If acid or commercial cleaner is used, neutralize
the surface using white vinegar or a proprietary
chemical neutralizer. A neutral pH (7 pH) should
a. Allow neutralizer to stand on wall about three
minutes before rinsing. DO NOT LET IT DRY!
b. Thoroughly rinse the surface with clean, clear
c. Test the pH with litmus paper or
1) Dissolve a 2" piece of phenolphthalein in
2) Brush the solution onto the surface. If
it turns a shade from pink to magenta
there is still chemical residue.
d. Continue to neutralize the surface and test
until there is no color change in the
phenolphthalein solution or the litmus paper
END OF SECTION