Specialist Masonry Cleaning & Restoration
We specialise in the cleaning and restoration of external building façades through our DG Stone division who have extensive knowledge of the relevant statute regarding listed buildings and conservation areas.
Our services include:
- Stonework – Repair, replacement, cornices, ornamental features, entrance steps;
- Brickwork – Repair, replacement, tinting, irrigating;
- Pointing – All styles including tuc pointing;
- Other masonry – Concrete, limestone, marble, granite.
- Abrasive – TORC*, sandblasting;
- Non-abrasive – DOFF*, high-pressure water;
*DG Stone have the Stonehealth Rosette Award for both DOFF and TORC. All our operatives are trained and all our machines are serviced every 6 months.
There are various ways to clean a façade and the method employed will depend upon many factors. Many of the requirements to clean masonry are resultant from mistakes made over the last century. This awareness of our skilled and accredited operatives at Vesta ensures that we specify methods and clean façades in a manner sensitive to such considerations. Vesta operatives have expert working knowledge of a range of modern and traditional techniques and systems including JOS/TORC, DOFF, Therma Tech, masons water clean and natural and chemical based poultices for soiling and paint removal.
We take great care in selecting the most appropriate cleaning method and we undertake discrete test samples before any work commences free of charge.
Cleaning technology has developed significantly over the years and Vesta remain appraised of new technologies at all time. Cleaning a façade remains one of the most economic means of maintaining and improving the appearance of a building, hence increasing the sales and rental value of a property. Vesta Construction Group Limited has the expertise and is licensed to employ the following cleaning methods.
Super heated and steam cleaning systems – DOFF Cleaning System
This hybrid of the pressure washer family produces excellent results on stone and brick masonry, using moderately high pressure water (upwards of 30bar) but heated to a temperature of 150°C. The system can be used on concrete and stucco and is suited to the removal of flexible soiling such as organic deposits and traffic film. It can also be used to soften brittle carbon sulpha. We have had very good results using the Therma tech system, with its low water usage and making use of the heat to achieve the best results.
Air and water aided abrasive cleaning – TORC/JOS Cleaning System
There are a number of air abrasive techniques currently available. These include a variety of machines, nozzles and abrasives from Vortech Vortex, Hodge Clemco, Neokleen, Liquabrade and JOS. This system is preferred by some conservation Architects and when used correctly by skilled operatives with the most appropriate medium it is highly successful.
Can be deployed on very detailed masonry or where more control and care is required in the cleaning method. ‘Active’ or ‘chemical’ poultices are designed for the removal of the various types of soiling and contaminants that are insoluble in water and for those which have penetrated deep into the surface. Alkaline poultices are generally used for cleaning or degreasing masonry surfaces and for paint removal.
Nebulous spray is a generic term for fine mists of clean water directed at the masonry from an optimum distance. The sprays can be used intermittently with the “dwell time” varying depending on site specifics. One of the advantages of nebulous water cleaning is its use of minimum amount of water for the minimum duration to soften the soiling.
There are numerous chemicals on the market containing varying formulations, some of which are highly toxic. The effect on the masonry will depend essentially on the chemical similarity of the solvent and solute and on the duration of their contact but cleaning with chemicals is a highly skilled activity and as with all masonry cleaning should only be carried out by professionals.