Safely and effectively removing unwanted soiling, staining and coatings from historic buildings
By Jamie Fairchild, Building Conservation Masterclass Tutor
Graffiti removal is an important aspect of Masonry Cleaning especially when it relates to a delicate historic surface such as this example; plasterwork within a C12th monastic ruin, part of the Scheduled Ancient Monument. Add some bats in the vaults beneath and a running flood in the adjacent river – how should we tackle this and safeguard the fabric and ecology?
First carry out a site survey and meet the resident ecologist. Undertake some small spot tests and keep a photographic and written record. Propose a methodology for approval by the conservation body. Return ASAP to carry out the work. The ground beneath the masonry is unpaved – there is a high risk of the waste leaching into the soil or washing out to the river. To control this, we elect to use a Vacuum Recovery System. The hot rinse water sprays the surface within a hand held enclosure, connected to a vacuum. The waste water, paint and spent reagent is recovered and pumped to a tank in the vehicle.