Conserving old buildings is really important and here at City Stone UK, that’s just one of our specialisms. Cleaning is one of the best ways that you can conserve a building or any piece of stonework. Many people may be dubious about commissioning a company to clean an old building because they have heard that cleaning damages the building. However, if approached correctly and the right treatments are used, cleaning can bring immediate results.
One of the many treatments available to effectively clean and subsequently restore buildings of any age is through the use of a nebulous spray which is one of the gentlest methods of cleaning stone. A nebulous spray treatment, often known as an intermittent mist spray is the use of very low pressure water. These type of treatments are great for removing dirt which is water soluble or where chemical compounds have bound the dirt together. The aim of the nebulous treatment is to apply the least amount of water possible to soften the dirt, allowing easy removal by scrubbing or polishing. Using an ordinary low pressure spray will saturate the stone causing damage which is certainly what you don’t want! It is really important that before you commission anyone to complete nebulous cleaning, they have undertaken a full evaluation and are adequately skilled and experienced in its application.
The nebulous system is based on the use of water, transferring it through a very fine mesh filter to create a mist which is then applied to the building, concentrating on areas of buildings and stonework where dirt is extremely prevalent. The water produced by the system can be controlled by timers or electronically to enable intermittent spraying to eliminate constant running water which runs down the building and damages the surrounding stonework.
When we carry out this treatment we will ensure that the nozzles are placed as close to the buildings surface as possible to ensure that the water is directed to the right areas of the building. The great thing about nebulous spray systems is that they are extremely flexible and can spray when required rather than a constant stream of water.
One of the main advantages of cleaning with water is that it is cheap, plentiful, safe to use and kind on the environment and it is an excellent way to clean stones such as marble and limestone. What’s more, the dirt is softened which reduces the likelihood of surrounding or treated brick becoming damaged and enables the stonemason to monitor the stone as they work.
However, extreme care should be taken with this treatment as although it reduces the stones becoming saturated, a failure in a piece of equipment can cause ‘overtreatment’ or if the porosity of the stone is not identified correctly, damage can occur to certain finishes, surrounding timber or fixtures. Furthermore, water cleaning methods can sometimes accelerate the deterioration of stonework, particularly when it has already started to worsen.
Here at City Stone, we are specialists in stone cleaning and as such can complete any type of work, whether its chemical based or the using a gentler treatment such as the nebulous system. We will visit your premises before any treatment commences to determine the level of cleaning required and also the type of treatment that will suit the stonemasonry.