Monumental Stones: Important Cleaning Guidelines for Better Performance

In general, monumental stones are highly durable because they are made from hardwearing materials. The common materials utilised include marble, granite and slate. These can withstand adverse outdoor conditions without degradation, so they will provide long-term service. Unfortunately, the stones are not infallible; negligence will result in the loss of aesthetics and even accelerated failure. Therefore, if you would like to improve performance and promote longevity, you should be diligent in carrying out upkeep tasks. Here are beneficial cleaning tips for your monument stones.

Choose the Right Cleaning Agent

The safest way to clean stone surface is by using plain soft water. However, if the surfaces are soiled, it is crucial for you to find the right cleaning agent or detergent for washing your monumental stone. This is because some harsh chemicals will cause corrosion and degradation of the structure. In general, it is not advisable to use regular household soaps for the tasks. These have soluble salts and might even contain strong basic or acidic constituents which promote corrosion. Instead, choose non-ionic detergents; these are mild and do not contain harmful soluble salts. You should avoid using chlorine bleach on the stone surfaces. This material might cause temporary cleanliness, but the surface will form brown stains over time.

Scrub the Surface Gently

You should choose the right brush for the cleaning process. Ideally, you should use a soft synthetic brush for the process. Hard bristles will cause abrasion and subsequent wear of the stone, and natural brushes will leave residues which may promote the growth of harmful biological organisms. Use the brush together with your diluted detergent mixture to scrub gently, with emphasis on the contaminated or stained areas. If your monumental stone is polished or honed, you can substitute the brush with a cloth and still get good results. If possible, you should use a pump sprayer for the water and detergent instead of a bucket. This will prevent contamination of the water during the entire cleaning process.

Additional Cleaning Tips

You might find biological growths such as lichen on the stone, especially if the surface has not been cleaned in a long time. In most cases, these can be removed using plastic scrappers. Alternatively, use diluted ammonia to scrub and eliminate the deposits. Do not use a pressure washer on the stone because it accelerates weathering, and dab the lettering on the surface with a cloth to avoid wearing. Finally, you should always ensure that the monumental stone is well-rinsed with clean water to remove all traces of detergent.