Cast stone products are becoming increasingly popular as part of building aesthetics and structures. Products such as decorative heads, wall plinths and cast stone window cills are often used as part of new builds, but do you know how to maintain and care for them? In this blog, we’ll explain.
Cast stone should not, in normal circumstances, require any maintenance over many years.
However, to prevent deterioration of Cast Stone, the building must be regularly maintained with special regard to gutters, downpipes and watercourses. The stonework should be examined periodically and work should be carried out to any joints requiring attention and likewise to any vegetation that has overgrown the stonework.
Examine any metalwork etc, such as railings, that are fixed to or over the stonework and maintain as necessary to prevent them staining the stonework.
Cast stone weathers in a similar way to natural stone in similar circumstances and although the stonework may get dirty, this is not usually a problem. Whilst cleaning cast stone products is often carried out for aesthetic reasons, sometimes there are good reasons for removing dirt, especially if there are large amounts of encrustations.
All cleaning should be carried out by a qualified / specialist contractor who is conversant with the susceptibility of cast stone to various cleaning methods. When carrying out any cleaning method ensure that you protect all adjacent surfaces and obtain information regarding Health & Safety on the use of cleaning materials: follow the recommendations and use personal protective equipment (PPE). We recommend wearing gloves and goggles to clean your products.
We would urge caution when cleaning cast stone products: always carry out a test area before commencing upon the main work for any cleaning method. Always start with the least aggressive treatment and then proceed to the next if necessary.
The first course of cleaning cast stone should be with a mild detergent using a bristle (not wire) brush.
If further cleaning is required you can apply a proprietary non-acid based masonry cleaner. Ensure that the cleaner is suitable to be used with cast stone. Wet up first and always use a weak solution first and increase the strength if required. Despite manufacturer’s recommendations, keep the dwell time (time the cleaner is kept on the cast stone before washing off) to a minimum. Scrub off with cold, clean water and do not let product dry in. Rinse thoroughly with a hosepipe.
As a last resort a Hydrochloric acid-based cleaner can be used to clean cast stone, but great care is needed when these types of clears are used. Again, ensure that the cleaner is suitable for use with cast stone. Wet up first and start with a weak solution, and increase if required. Despite manufacturer’s recommendations keep the dwell time to a minimum before rinsing with a hosepipe. Repeat the treatment as necessary.
Do not use neat acid on cast stone.
Despite manufacturer’s instructions do not use high pressure washers to rinse cast stone as these can damage the face of the stone resulting in swirling patterns which cannot be removed. For full information regarding cleaning and the use of pressure washers please refer to Technical Information Sheets 4 and 2 respectively found on the Forticrete website www.forticrete.co.uk
Click Cast Stone supplies a wide range of cast stone products that can be purchased online, available within 4 working days if you select express delivery. If you need more information on our cast stone product range, contact us by call 01909 775 000 or email [email protected].