Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stone care techniques

I was reading this column published on Friday August 31,07 in alghad jordanian daily-- and then I decided to speak my mind on it.

Here is how I feel about it :

The market is awash with stone care products but the owners of these stone buildings are unwilling or unable to utilize these products that keep their building aesthetically sound. Stone surfaces can very easily be maintained by power washing them annually with 1500-300 psi power washing machine. However when the dirt is allowed to dwell on the surface for a number of years it first penetrates into the porous stone surface, hardens, and builds up just like the plaque that adheres and builds on the human teeth. Once the dirt on the stone surface hardens and gets exposed to hot and cold and rainy weathers, removal of the dirt becomes that much more difficult. The key to maintaining beautiful looking stone surface is preventive maintenance, power wash the exterior of the entire vertical surfaces from all four sides of the building at least once a year and you can rest assured that your building will look as good as the first day you built it for many years to come. Conversely, ignore power washing your building surfaces for five or more years and your building will look very ugly. In any event, even those who ignore the preventive maintenance stage can still get their building back in shape by moving into step two of stone care and that is called corrective and restorative maintenance techniques. In this stage the building surface must be cleaned using a number of ways among them acid based chemical to etch the surface, sand blasting, or poultice, any of these methods would take care of the cleaning part, after the surface had been thoroughly clean, an impregnator would have to be applied on the stone surface by using either a spray gun, a soft wool lamb applicator, or hand brush. In some instances more than one application would be needed especially if the stone surface had gone into vigorous cleaning prior to the application. Once the impregnator dries up the stone surface would look like brand new again and all it would need is a regular hosing with a garden hose about twice a year. I'm amazed about how much the Jordanians ignore the maintenance of the exterior stone surfaces of their buildings, I even once thought about opening a stone care business in Amman consisting of washing all the intolerable ugly looking permanent grime adhering to the buildings stone surfaces.

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