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Cleaning Procedures

Products are vulnerable to staining if they are not adequately protected from the elements before and during construction. Good site practice during construction should minimise the need to clean down on completion, however staining can occur for a number of reasons and the following guidance may prove useful.

General cleaning down of architectural masonry, walling & cast stone products (N.B not to be used on polished masonry.)

For guidance the following procedures should be applied after completion of the masonry construction:

We would urge caution: when applying any cleaning methods it is advisable to carry out a test area before commencing upon the main work. Always start with the least aggressive treatment and then proceed to the next. Firstly commence with a general cleaning down with water and sugar soap and a bristle (not wire) brush.

If the problem still remains when the stonework is dry then you can use Geocel ECOCHEM. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer's instructions and wet up first and always use weaker solutions first and increase as necessary, scrub off with cold, clean, water, do not leave product to dry in. Rinse off thoroughly.

As a last resort use CM1 Mortar Cleaner. This is an acid based cleaner and care should be taken with its use. Again follow manufacturer's instructions, wet masonry, use weak solutions first, increasing strength as necessary. Notwithstanding manufacturers instructions, only allow the product to remain on masonry for a very short time before rinsing with a hosepipe (repeating the treatment as necessary) as high pressure washers can 'blast out' the fines on the surface resulting in swirling patterns which cannot be removed (refer to Technical Information Sheet 2- Pressure Washers).
Please ensure that you protect adjacent surfaces and obtain all information regarding Health and Safety regarding the use of these materials and follow the recommendations.

Architectural Masonry and Cast Stone Products

The effects of marks and stains can be reduced with the use of a stiff bristle brush (not wire).

For the removal of general dirt and grime a mild detergent such as 'Sugar Soap' may be used. This can be obtained from most builders merchants.

The use of 'brick acid' is not recommended for the cleaning of Forticrete Masonry, as it can seriously attack the cement and aggregate matrix of the blockwork. In the event of staining which cannot be removed by general cleaning techniques, CM1 mortar cleaner by Hydron may be used subject to clarification from the Technical Department.

Power wash treatments are not recommended as they could 'blast out' the fines of the blockwork or damage the mortar joints at high pressures. However, a standard hose may be utilised when washing down.

Please note that mortar which does encroach on to the face of the masonry should be cleaned off as work proceeds. It should not be allowed to 'go off'.

Polished Masonry Products

Any mortars, plasters or materials sticking to the block should be removed with a plastic or wooden scraper prior to the contaminant 'going off'. Care should be taken to ensure that this process does not scratch the surface of the block.

The area must then be cleaned down using a mild detergent such as 'Sugar Soap', washed thoroughly and allowed to dry. A proprietary marble cleaner can be used to restore the product's sheen if the polished face is damaged during cleaning. A lamb's wool buffer can further enhance the product's sheen. Vegetable based waxes should not be used as they can attack the cement content of the concrete blocks. Please note that mortar which does encroach onto the face of the masonry should be cleaned off as work proceeds. It should not be allowed to 'go off'.

Astra-Glaze

Any grouts, mortars, plasters or materials sticking to the block should be removed carefully with a plastic scraper prior to the contaminant 'going off'. When grout is being used to point Astra-Glaze® it must be gun applied and wiped immediately off the face of the block if it encroaches upon it. Do not attempt to clean with acidic solutions.