Stone & Brick Cleaning
While there are several pitfalls to cleaning older masonry walls, having a proper contractor like Diamond Decorators perform the work will allow a good evaluation of masonry and mortar condition to determine a good maintenance and preservation plan. All masonry which is exposed to outdoor conditions will require some maintenance as it ages.
A good goal to have in place when considering cleaning and refreshing older masonry is to clean the masonry as thoroughly as possible by using the gentlest means possible and finding the balance between squeaky clean and avoiding damage to the masonry. This is where you will find the experience of a masonry restoration contractor very useful.
They should be able to identify the hardness/softness of the masonry and be able to prescribe the balanced solution which will not damage the wall.
The second item on the list will be evaluating the brick or stone work to determine if there are soft or deteriorated portions of the mortar or masonry units and make recommendations for preservation. Some of the considerations will be:
- Should a water repellent be used or will it cause harm to the wall?
- Is there water damage occurring and what can be done to solve the problem?
- Is some mortar replacement required and should it be a lime mortar? If mortar replacement is required, should we repoint / tuckpoint all or some of the mortar?
- If mortar replacement is required, is the contractor qualified to match the mortar appearance?
- Is unit replacement required. Should some of the bricks or stones be replaced and
- Can a suitable replacement be found?
Professional masonry cleaning, especially to fragile walls should be completed with care and by someone who is able to determine the most suitable and non-damaging way to complete the work. That being said, the difference in a properly cleaned and maintained masonry wall is akin to a fresh coat of paint on a run down wall.