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Question DetailsAsked on 4/24/2014

I have a coquina stone fireplace that needs to be cleaned. What type of company should I contact?

It is a 30 year old fireplace. We had the inside cleaned but I need the outside of it cleaned. All the stone on the hearth has soot on it and it looks awful.

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1 Answer

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Coquina is TOUGH to clean, because it is made up of masses of cemented shells so is very porous, and strong acidic cleaners cannot be used because they will destroy the shells or the natural cement between them.


To avoid getting a smeared sooty black mess over the entire area, which is what you get if you scrub with a spoonge or brush, I would recommend going, at greater cost true, with a highly experienced stone shop that also does maintenance - the same place you would go for stone countertops and veneer coverings.


Coquina and lava and similar porous rocks take multiple passes of careful cleaning, making sure to not smear or dribble the soot down the surface while cleaning. Dapping with sponges and rags with detergent works for small areas. About the best method I have found for larger areas is to use a steam carpet cleaning outfit with detergent like Dawn that will cut the oils in the soot, which jets the steaming mist on the rock and xxxx it right back off all around the jet simultaneously - takes two men, one steaming and gently sponging or scrubbing with a bristle brush, and another right below him with a wet-dry shop vac vacuuming up any stray liquid that dries to drip down. Goes VERY slowly - probably about 10-20SF/hour or so depending on how sooted it is, so can take as much as a day or even longer to do a larger fireplace.


After thorough cleaning, you might consider having them bleach any remaining soot stains (though will bleach the coquina in that area too), then having it sealed to make it easier to clean the next time.


For really badly stained surfaces, soemtimes you have no choice, after cleaning the worst of it off, but to build a visqueen tent around the mantle/hearth, hook up a large negative pressure with a vacuum truck (carpet cleaner type) or large window fan, and sandblast it clean. Takes a fine touch, as the shells and commonly the cement too are just lime, so very soft and cut easily with sandblasting. Commonly fine plastic balls or other softer material is used as the blast grit to reduce cutting into the material.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

0
Votes

Treat it with nano titanium dioxide

Source: http://www.selfcleaning-titaniumdioxi...

Answered 1 year ago by Scumlover




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