There are numerous approaches available for cleaning the various materials used in stone and masonry structure. Selecting the correct cleaning method is essential as to avoid potential damage to the host materials. Merlin Contracts offers a wide range of cleaning techniques. They include:

• Therma Tec
• Traditional Grit Blasting
• Wet Grit Blasting
• VOR Tech
• Chemical Cleaning
• Nebulous Water Cleaning

Service Overview

The JOS technique works with a mixture of water (up to 10 gallons per hour), low air pressure and fine inert safe abrasive powder. Together these form a swirling vortex, which when fired onto the contaminated surface, removes the unwanted elements such as graffiti, certain types of paints, carbon deposits, stubborn dirt and scale from a wide variety of materials from brick to stone, metals, even wood and plaster.
The TORC system creates a gentle swirling vortex using a mixture of low air pressure, little water and a safe inert fine granulate. The Torc Head is modularised into separate components which results in an efficient and gentle swirling vortex using even less water and granulate than the original Jos system. The removable nozzle cone can easily be changed so that a larger cone can be used to clean large areas such as ashlar or a smaller nozzle cone can be used for more intricate detail such as an elaborate capital or rustications.
The DOFF cleaning system cleans stonework and masonry using high temperature steam. When the temperature in the system is high the pressure on the surface being cleaned is very gentle and the volume of water is low. The surface is therefore not saturated and will be dry within minutes. The steam/superheated water will remove moss, algae, fungi and other biological matter and will also kill off spores. This means there’s then no need to use a chemical biocide during the removal process or as a protection against further biological activity.
This system is highly effective for removing soot, grease, oil and organic matter from a wide range of substrates. The ThermaTech system produces superheated water, a liquid spray at 150°C. This temperature is capable of melting and removing many paints, surface treatments, chewing gum, wax and bitumen. ThermaTech reduces reliance on chemicals, and boosts the performance of milder agents. It also uses less water than conventional hot and cold water pressure washers.
Traditional Grit Blasting
Traditional Grit Blasting is an abrasive process to smooth or form surfaces whereby sand/grit is Blasted under high pressure. Grit blasting has traditionally been used in construction, for metal and ceramics works among others, and can provide a decorative effect as well as cleaning effect. There are numerous abrasive materials that can be used which range from dust to 3.5mm. The abrasive material is carefully chosen depending on the substrate to be cleaned.
Wet Grit Blasting
Wet blasting is very similar to dry grit/sand blasting but instead of using air and media, it introduces an abrasive into the high pressure water and leaves a dust free environment. This equipment comes into its own when working near public areas or areas of a delicate nature where dust cannot be tolerated. No breathing apparatus is required by the operator and it eliminates any danger to other staff or public near the work area being affected by dangerous cacogenic sand dust. When wet blasting we use pressures from 150bar (2175psi) up to 500 bar (7300psi) depending on the type of work that is going to be undertaken. This gives us a massive scope on the type of work that can be done.
VOR Tech
The Vor Tech cleaning system is a low-pressure micro-abrasive cleaning technology designed for the sensitive restoration of facades and monuments. The Vor Tech nozzle projects a low pressure swirl of air, water and an inert, micro-abrasive media powder to clean surfaces gently and effectively without damage to the substrate. Using interchangeable nozzle tips and turbines, the versatile Vor Tech cleaning system. Nozzle easily adapts in seconds to the specific cleaning task, whether it be cleaning intricate architectural details or a large-scale facade.
Chemical Cleaning
Chemical Cleaning is the method of removing dirt, paint and staining to bricks and stone. Specially formulated brick cleaning chemicals are applied to the surface and then rinsed off using cold or hot high pressure water. The chemicals breakdown and dissolve the dirt, paint or staining to ensure the brick or stone is revealed to its full glory. This is an environmentally friendly way of effective brick and stone restoration and is also very effective on efflorescence, mortar Staining, paint removal, mismatching brickwork and graffiti removal.
Nebulous Water Cleaning
This system is still used where appropriate and entails the wetting of the (mostly) stone façade to soften the surface contamination. Once soft the contamination is removed by hand scrubbing with non-ferrous brushes and then rinsed down with cold water washers.

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