Historic? wall tile cleaning

Dave Byrne

Cleantalk Member
Morning all - more wall than floor this one!

I've an opportunity for wall cleaning, look like glazed bricks / tiles in a local train station. The darker lower tiles look glazed, not 100% on the whiter ones.

I'd be looking at STS sprayed on in sections (bottom up) and agitated with a brush, then rinsed off with plain water (probably via hard floor hand tool) and towel dry.
Station edit.jpg

Alternatives is Stone and Brick cleaner (bottom up) and same agitation / rinse process.

The buildings are late 1880s / 1890s so not 100% on mortar.

Opportunity for lots of high ticket jobs off the back of this (and it's local so great advertising) so naturally looking at the best outcome without ruining a 19th Century wall lol!

Cheers
 

Jacob Ward

Cleantalker Veteran
Only issue would be using an acid if the wall contained lime or cement based grout or adhesives

I'd say try nitro at 1 to 20 warm with a scrub and see what happens, trains mean diesel carbon and sticky stuff . So I'm thinking nitro primary or sts.

Both won't harm either the glaze or the mortar, the only worry would be when scrubbing and finding a lose tile imo

J
 

Dave Byrne

Cleantalk Member
Good point re Nitro / diesel fumes 👍

I'm doing a site visit tomorrow, so I'll take a couple of small pre mixed bottles with me to test.

I'll caveat loose tiles in the quote.

They seem super keen, inspection tomorrow and job Weds. They haven't seen the quote yet...
 

Ken Wainwright

Cleantalker Veteran
Is the building listed?

If so, although it may not affect what you do, it's worth considering and seeking written permission to clean using your nominated procedures and products. From Wikipedia
" When alterations are permitted, or when listed buildings are repaired or maintained, the owners are often required to use specific materials or techniques "

Then, are there any specific clauses in your insurance covering a listed building?

Just in case
 

Dave Byrne

Cleantalk Member
Well my estimate was accepted, subject to site visit tomorrow and RAMS submission, and formal quote.

@Ken Wainwright I will ask the question, I don't think it is (there is all sorts of holes drilled into the brickwork, surface mounted leaflet holders etc) but I will ask the question.

Looks like the company has a contract for renovation at a number of northern stations. I could be onto a winner here.
 

Dave Byrne

Cleantalk Member
Ah - they have now asked for the floor to be included in the spec - looks like smooth concrete, so I'll be STS and CRB (blue brushes are as hard as I have), rinsed off with hard floor wand.
I'm going to caveat this on the visit tomorrow as it looks quite heavily soiled, so results / expectations managed.

At the start of the conversation the chap was adamant he wanted "steam cleaning" - I've steered him away from this to a chemical clean to keep things managed.
 

Dave Byrne

Cleantalk Member
Update following site visit...

Lower bricks are glazed and come up well with a Nitro / STS scrub and plain water rinse.
White bricks are very porous and don't look great after a good scrub with Nitro / STS - may improve using hard floor hand tool to rinse.
Plenty of missing grout and some streaking down the glazed brick section where the glaze looks to be affected by something that's run down the wall.

Thoughts on groutblaster for the white bricks??

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Dave Byrne

Cleantalk Member
Well this is turning into a bit of a pig of a job!

I'm really struggling to achieve decent results (imo) on most of the walls, they seem to have absorbed so much soil over the years.
They are improving, but not to the standard I had hoped for. I'm going back Friday to give them another go with STS.
 

Attachments

Jamie Biles

Cleantalk Member
would something like oil-off stronger mix combined with XR hand pads or the mop version not work.guess if bricks damaged that much may shred sponges to bits but they are sacrificial and incredibly effective on multi-tude of surfaces. Did they state if had done before and what result was,may be being hard on yourself or they may had low pressure steam cleaning or soda blasting in past.
 

Dave Byrne

Cleantalk Member
would something like oil-off stronger mix combined with XR hand pads or the mop version not work.guess if bricks damaged that much may shred sponges to bits but they are sacrificial and incredibly effective on multi-tude of surfaces. Did they state if had done before and what result was,may be being hard on yourself or they may had low pressure steam cleaning or soda blasting in past.
They've no idea of previous attempts, usual sub sub sub contractor job.

My direct client has been cool "you can only do what can be done" effectively.

First conversation, they were asking for steam cleaning, I suggested that wouldn't be suitable for the environment (station entrance, fire alarm panels, TVs etc all over the place.)

I'll plod on with Nitro / StS and the hard floor bristle mop head, warm rinse via hand tool. See where we are at the end 😀
 

Russ Kirk

Cleantalk Member
Well this is turning into a bit of a pig of a job!

I'm really struggling to achieve decent results (imo) on most of the walls, they seem to have absorbed so much soil over the years.
They are improving, but not to the standard I had hoped for. I'm going back Friday to give them another go with STS.
I sometimes have allot of success with acids and abrasive cleaners on soot stained quarry tiled floors. Carefully tested dilluted acidic detergents for that brick work and just try “ The Pink Stuff” in a little test patch.
This stuff really gets me out of some pickles, it adds an abrasive effect to your detergents. Really gets that black staining off porous ceramics etc
I know im gonna get shot down in flames but you need a steamer for those grout lines to blast out the dirt and to melt the buildup. 5,5 bar pressure at least
 

Lewis Newby

Cleantalk Member
How about a pressure washer lance with a qc on it, might be more effective then using a t+g hand tool. I clean my van using one on the tm.... Well I've done it once so far, the vans filthy now 🙈😂
 
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