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Steam Cleaning Stonework

Low Pressure Dustless Blasting & Doff Steam Cleaning of Stonework at Burnley's Train Station, Lancashire

On this project in Burnley we were employed to cleaning the Stonework to the old Train Station. We used our DOFF super heated steam cleaning machine for this. We also used our Farrow low pressure Sandblasting machine on the area the DOFF system would not remove. The first part of the Sandblasting works involved cleaning the building before it was demolished. This was so the contractor did not have to Sand blast the building once constructed.

Sandblasting Train Station
The Doff system is ideal for removing algae and bacterial growth from stone buildings. We used this system to clean the stonework where there was a large amount of algae build up. The DOFF system is ideal for this method of Stone Cleaning as it will not damage the substructure as Sandblasting would. The system uses a pressured water run through a burner box to heat the water to +150oC. The system is used in the restoration industry by Restoration Contractors to clean delicate Stonework. Our Burnley Lancashire based Restoration Contractors have a lot of other stone and brick cleaning method at there disposal, to remove Paint, Carbon, Soot, Algae from Listed Building. All our Contractors are highly trained in the use of Stone Cleaning systems.
DOFF Stone Cleaning
Here you can see how easy the Doff Stone Cleaning System can remove the growth. The DOFF system takes seconds to clean the stonework. The steam also kill any algae spores preventing grow back. The PPE requirement for this Stone Cleaning system are minimal. Our Contractors generally use goggles & gloves. The Doff Stone Cleaning system is very easy to use. We carry out Stone and Brick cleaning in Burnley, Lancashire and throughout the UK. We understand how a Listed Building needs to be cleaned, either stone or brick. The Train Station in Burnley required Stone Cleaning. Most Building Contractors or Sandblasters would normally Sand Blast a Train Station like this, but this would damage the Stonework.
Stonework Cleaning
The stonework had been sandblasted around 10 years prior so it did not have a large build up of soot on it. Sandblasting a Train Station is not normally needed a much more delicate system can be employed. Using a Restoration Contractor over a General Builder or Sand Blasting Contractor would be advantageous. The Restoration Contractor understands these kind of Stone Railway Station Buildings. The Contractors knows that Sandblasting would damage the Stonework. The Railway Train Station has now been rebuilt into a new updated Train Station. We did not carry out the works under Network Rail we worked for a Contractor employed via Burnley Council.
DOFF Stone Cleaning
Steam from the Doff System heated to over 150oC. We also offer other types of Stone Cleaning techniques such as Chemical cleaning. This involves using a Paint Softener to soften the paint from the Stone work. It is applied with a brush and left to work for around 5 minutes. The chemical is then washed off the building using a high powered pressure washer. On some Stonework it may be necessary to apply and wash the Stone 2-3 times if the Paint on the Stone has many layers. The chemical does not affect the stone in any way as long as it is washed of correctly. We use another system called Peel Away for cleaning stonework. This is applied with a brush 2-3 times then left over night. Once the chemical has set you just simply peel it off relevant cleaned stone.
Sandblasting Burnley, Lancashire
On this elevation of the Train Station the stonework had not been cleaned before so the Doff system was slow at removing the soot deposits. We decided to use our Low Pressure Wet Blasting Equipment to clean the stone. Here our Restoration Contractor is using our Low Pressure Sandblasting system to clean the stonework on this Railway Train Station. The Farrow Sandblasting system uses a fine media mixed with water and compressed air to clean the stonework. The system is excellent for cleaning stonework and brickwork in built up areas as there is no dust. The dust is suppressed with the water. The pressure it operates at is much lower than traditional Sandblasting as lower as 50psi in some cases. We do not use silica based media for Sandblasting as these are now illegal
Sandblasting Train Station
Here you can see the old train station in the process of being demolished. We clean the stonework prior to the dismantling as the client did not want the Stone Cleaning under taken as the new Train Station was being built. The Sandblasting of this Railway Train Station was not undertaken by Network Rail. We undertake Sand Blasting and specialist cleaning throughout the UK in Burnley Lancashire. We only normally use our sandblasting equipment on Steelwork such as Railings, Tanks & Cast Iron Guttering. We would not normally use the Sandblasting technique on a stone or Brick building as this would damage the Stonework or Brickwork by eroding the background.
Sandblasting Stone Gatepost
We cleaned the gatepost using our low pressure Sandblasting system. The Stone Gate post was cleaned at an earlier date & the gate post top was then put in place. We had some repairs to do before the gate could be Sandblasted. This involved installing Stainless Steel pinning bars to secure a crack in the gatepost. The Stone Clean a gate post like this would take around 1 hour. This was the entrance to the Railway Train Station, with a stone gate post on each side of the entrance. The stone gateposts had not been cleaned from many years. The Train Station was not going to fit any new gates to the gate posts. We used a platform to access the Stonework for Sandblasting. Our Restoration Contractors selected a fine media to use in the Sandblasting equipment.
Cleaning Stone Gatepost
Low Pressure Wet Blasting the stone gate post. With this Low Pressure Sand  Blasting system minimal damage occurs to the Stonework. The main contractors have rebuilt the train station using the existing stonework that we sandblasted earlier. They also built some new stone walls around the perimeter of the site, the stone was new cropped units bedded on sand & cement. We would always use a lime based mortar for bedding stone. The lime mortar allows movement in the stone and also will allow the stone to breathe. Without using lime mortar the stone would become friable and can decay. Once the decay has set in on the Stonework it will continue until it can breathe which in most cases involves dismantling the stonework.
Stonework Sandblasting Burnley Lancashire
Stone Cleaning gatepost. This Wet Blasting system can also be use to remove paint from stonework. If the stone has been painted with a non breathable paint over time the paint will crack and allow water to ingress the background material. This will cause the background to decay over time. The decayed material will then hold large quantities of water causing more decay. The Low Pressure Sandblasting system will gently break down the paint surface, any decay or loose material in the background will also be removed with the cleaning. The ideal paint to use on stonework & brickwork is a breathable paint such as Lime Wash or Silicate Masonry Paint. These can be purchased from The Heritage Store in Burnley, Lancashire.
Stonework Restoration
We offer our Sandblasting services to private and commercial clients throughout Burnley, Nelson, Colne, Barnoldswick, Skipton, Blackburn in Lancashire & Yorkshire. The Blasting machine is mounted on its own trailer and we tow it with our vans. The machine only uses very small amounts of blast media. As the machine is a Wet Sandblasting system there is very little dust as this dust is suppressed with the water. We have used the system on Listed Buildings, Grade 1 & 2, Cottages, Farmhouses and also on stone walls and as you can see from the photo stone gate posts. These stone gate post were not painted they just had a carbon build up on the surface.
Sandblasted Stone Gatepost
Here you can see the stone gate post now we have cleaned it without Low Pressure Sandblasting machine. You can be the Sand Blasting machine behind the stone piller. We can undertake this Sand Blasting work while there are other operatives on site working as the system is dustless. We do need to have a small area to allow for over spray. There are other Low Pressure sand Blasting systems on the market. Most of the other systems are skid mounted and cannot be easily transported. We have in the passed as a test used the system to remove marker pen from a egg. We did this using a crushed walnut shell in the system. the system has to be kept in good working order so we are always servicing the Farrow System in our Workshop to ensure it works on site without breaking down. The Farrow brand has now closed but parts are readily available if you have a good mechanic


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