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Stonework: Repair & Conservation

The repair and cleaning of stonework is an emotive subject. While many people think that cleaning stonework makes a building look more attractive, unfortunately cleaning can sometimes seriously damage the stone. Cleaning of stonework, if undertaken at all, should also be regarded as a regular process which may need to be repeated every few years. Due to the serious deterioration of some stone surfaces since cleaning, considerable research has been carried out to determine the cause. Cleaning techniques must be very carefully matched to the type of stone, and it needs to be appreciated that a gentle clean may not result in a great visual difference. Cleaning processes also require a rigorous attention to health and safety issues, both for operatives and the general public.

Repair of defective stone also needs to be carried out with great care. Often minimal repair is the preferable option; due to the patina on existing stone, new stone often looks very out-of-place, even when it comes from the same quarry - which is often not possible.

Stone which is not laid in the correct way - usually laid to correspond with its natural bed - can also deteriorate remarkably fast, particularly in damp and frosty or polluted atmospheres.





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