My client recently had the decorators in, and the decorators had to wipe the limestone wall and fireplace to remove paint splashes.
They removed the paint splashes, but the cleaning left wiping stains on the wall they could not remove.
My cleaning thrilled my client;
We are very pleased with the work; it came up really good.Thanks very much. – Mrs Brock
The stains happened because the decorator’s cleaner emulsified the oily soils sitting on the surface of the stone. The porous stone then soaked up the dirty slurry, leaving ugly marks.
Warm air carries airborne oily soil particles throughout the home. As the warm air travels up the wall, it deposits the oily soils on the wall.
We call the process, convection.
Therefore, a wall can look dirtier at the top than lower down. This is more often seen above radiators and fireplaces.
Remove Surface Dust
The first step in cleaning any Limestone is to remove all traces of dry soil and debris before using any liquid cleaner.
This is important because limestone can be a very porous stone. So the stone can soak up cleaning slurry.
By removing dry soil first, we are minimising the amount of soil that can soak into the stone.
If the decorator had wiped away the surface soil, they may not have left the ugly wipe marks.
Cleaning The Limestone Fireplace and Fire Surround
As I was cleaning the wall and the fireplace, I cleaned the wall from the top, working from right to left.
I needed to stop any cleaner soaking into areas of the wall I was not working on. So I used plastic sheets to stop the cleaner and rinse water running down the wall.
I also protected the ceiling and side walls from splashing.
This picture shows soil build-up on the top edge of the protection. The rest of the tiles underneath the work area
I was unsure if the installers had sealed the limestone. So I did not want to allow the stone to soak up the emulsified oils and soils.
This soil was already difficult hard to remove but much easier than if I had allowed the cleaners to run down the wall.
I worked on one tile at a time, cleaning the tile and immediately rinsing with clean water.
As I cleaned, I could feel that some tiles had residual grout haze. So I used non-acidic grout haze removers to remove the surface grout without damaging the wall.
Once I finished cleaning a row of tiles, I moved the protection down one tile and repeated the process.
After I cleaned the fireplace and wall, I left it to dry.
Finally, I applied two coats of high quality impregnating sealer. The impregnating sealer will help stop oils and soils soaking into the surface of the stone., and will make the wall, fire surround and fireplace easier to clean.
How Often Should You Clean A Limestone Fire Surround
I suggested cleaning the wall at least once a month using a microfiber dust mop. It only takes two minutes. Then damp mop the wall with the correct cleaner every three months to remove any sticky residue left behind from the dry mopping.
Limestone Fireplace Cleaning Bromley -Fire Surround Cleaning Tips
If you have a limestone fireplace, or limestone fireplace surround you need to know how to clean it. Because cleaning a limestone fireplace is not as simple as using any handy floor cleaner.
Many cleaners contain ammonia, vinegar, bleach, acids and other harsh chemicals that can damage limestone. Also, some soap-based cleaners leave a residue, that can build up over time into a sticky, dirt-attracting film.
These simple steps will help you clean your limestone fireplace.
Remove dry and loose soil with a vacuum cleaner and a dry microfiber cloth
Protect floors and adjacent walls with absorbent cloths and masking paper to prevent splashes damaging surrounding walls and floors.
Working in small sections, clean the stone with a limestone cleaning chemical and rinse immediately with clean water. Repeat until the area is as clean as you can get it. Then move on to the next area.
Allow the stone to dry.
Apply one or two coats of high-quality impregnating sealer.
If you have any concerns about cleaning a limestone fireplace surround, please contact me and I will be happy to talk you through the process or give you a quote for professional fireplace cleaning.