A Brick Works service is a comprehensive conservation service to maintain the structure and appearance of brick facades. This service is unique for each brick property and is designed to offer a complete transformation. Standard services combined to deliver this complete restoration package include:
Regardless of the property's age, our team of operatives are highly knowledgeable in identifying the most appropriate restoration solution to conserve historic brick properties.
Brick Damage and Staining
Staining can have diverse causes and each needs to be identified to ensure most appropriate treatment.
This phenomenon, seen as an unsightly “bloom”, usually white occurs in brickwork where the normal escape of water vapour via the mortar is impeded because the cement mortar has hardened to the extent that it is no longer breathable.
The evaporation of moisture will then take place through the porous brick and even concrete and the water present will have dissolved salts that are naturally to be found in clay, sand, brick, and mortar and in the ground, where masonry may have been stored prior to being laid.
On reaching the surface the water will evaporate and leave behind, the crystalline structure of the salts on the surface.
The efflorescence can be removed, and the masonry renovated using a DOFF machine with superheated low- pressure steam. However, whilst a first treatment will remove that initial surface efflorescence the process will need to be repeated at least three or four times over a period of months as the salts with water will continue to leech out until the concentration of salts in the masonry has diminished.
Lime staining, lime running or lime leaching can occur on new masonry and sometimes on established brickwork. It emerges in a similar fashion to efflorescence. However, on drying it converts slowly to insoluble calcium carbonate. Lime staining will often be accompanied by efflorescence salts, but because lime staining is insoluble it will not weather away in the same way.
Iron staining, due to iron, manganese, or vanadium in the original clay, can produce orange through to dark brown stains and can impact both the brick face and the mortar joints. Manganese can result in similar brown staining. Vanadium salts cause a yellow to green stain. For the best results to avoid damage to the brick, professional cleaning is the best approach.
This is common during and after construction, and it is the run-off from the concrete component of a structure and leaves a residue on bricks. Mortar splashes are another cause which, once dried, can be tricky to remove without damaging bricks, especially if it has smeared. The best approach is to use a proprietary cleaner, and the operatives must follow all the health, safety, and environmental guidelines.
Dirt and Grime
In urban areas and city centres such as London, Manchester and Newcastle, high volumes of traffic pollution and historic pollution from soot, contribute to airborne deposition of carbonic material. This can become ingrained in the exterior of brick and reduce the breathability of the building which is essential for its longevity as failure to remove the deposits will eventually lead to water damage internally. Specialist cleaning solutions are frequently necessary and require careful use by experienced teams. (THIS REQUIRES THE USE OF A TORC MACHINE)
A high-pressure water system will cause damage to any form of brickwork and hence the reason that Spectrum, only use non-abrasive brick cleaning techniques including Doff steam cleaning and chemical assisted brick cleaning products. This ensures brickwork is cleaned efficiently with no damage to the bricks or surrounding pointing whilst also removing all types of organic and biological matter, surface coatings, paint, and pollutants.
Doff Steam Cleaning Bricks
In most cases deep cleaning, using Doff steam cleaning is enough to bring a building back to prime condition. This is a fast and efficient cleaning process where a 'DOFF' machine, unlike simple steam cleaners, produces low pressure superheated steam up to 150º C making it incredibly effective at removing stains, whilst, due to low pressure, gently cleaning the substrate without damage.
Torc Cleaning Stains on Brick
The UK's history of pollution and smog have left many stone and brick properties in urban areas throughout the country with heavy carbon stains. Whilst a DOFF machine is highly effective at removing organic matter and most stains, heavily ingrained carbon stains require the TORC treatment.
The TORC is not a blasting system due to the sensitive controls available.
The unique feature of the TORC system is the revolutionary modulised nozzle (available in aperture sizes from 5 to 13mm) which create a gentle swirling vortex with low volumes of water, fine inert granulates, and compressed air.
With the appropriate nozzle fine detailed stone carvings can be cleaned with damaging the substrate.
Effectively removes carbon pollutants, lime & cement paints. paint and plaster residues, oxidised bitumen, lime-scale from Stone, brick, terracotta, ceramic tiles, concrete in addition to oxidation and sulphation from metallic surfaces.
We Abseil to Work
We have a well-earned reputation for a professional ability to work using rope access, abseiling down building exteriors to review and effect repairs and restoration. This provides three major benefits for our clients.
● Speed with less time spent accessing and completing the project.
● No scaffolding and hence less access cost
● The lack of scaffolding minimises disruption to occupiers and the surrounding neighbourhood
● Surveyors can inspect work closely via our operatives wearing camera helmets, and can be directed by the Surveyor on the ground via radio contact.