Applying a new layer of bitumen on your roof or driveway is an excellent way to keep these areas looking fresh and functional. However, you still need specialised equipment for such a project and a long handle bitumen brush is just the right tool. The long reach allows effective application of tar over a large surface area and keeps one a safe distance from bitumen fumes. However, if you want to use the brush more than once, then you need to do a thorough cleaning after each use. This article highlights different ways you can clean a bitumen brush.  

Scrub with Hard Toothbrush — Bitumen is a highly viscous material that hardens when left out in the open for a relatively long time — as such, removing as much of the tar from the bristles is vital. Unfortunately, most people merely dip the brush in a tar removal solvent then beat the bristles on the ground and expect the tar to clear.  This is not an effective way to clean a bitumen brush. If you want to ensure complete removal of asphalt from the bristles, then you need a toothbrush. Dip the toothbrush into the tar remover then apply it onto the bristles of the long handle brush. The toothbrush is effective at eliminating the bitumen from the brush thereby saving the hairs for future use.

Soak in Cleaning Solvent — If you are not going to use the brush after a few hours or a day, then you can soak the bristles in your cleaning solvent of choice. Keeping the brush soaked will ensure that any tar on the bristles dissolves off and leaves behind a clean tool. However, you must be careful about how long you leave the brush soaked. If you soak it longer than is necessary, then the cleaning solvent will dissolve the glue that holds the bristles together hence rendering the brush useless. On the other hand, if you soak the brush for a short time, and you will be left with a partially clean brush that needs extra elbow grease for thorough cleaning. If you do not know how long you should soak your long handle bitumen brush, then check it at intervals. For instance, you can check it after two minutes to establish how long it takes most of the bitumen to come off the bristles.

Clean in Between Applications — As mentioned earlier, tar hardens fast and can be a pain to remove from your long handle bitumen brush. Therefore, the answer to effective cleaning is to clean it in between applications. It helps to prevent old bitumen from building up and hardening in between the bristles as you work. If you cannot clean the brush as you work, then ensure that you do so the moment you finish a project. It gives the cleaning solvent an easy time to dissolve all the bitumen on the brush.