Laser Cleaning Assists Building Facade Restoration

Facade restoration Facade restoration Sandstone cleaning Morning cleaning information

Victorian sandstone facade located on busy London road cleaned

The owner of a Victorian terrace property in the heart of London decided to completely refurbish the facade of his impressive residence. After researching various facade cleaning methods and speaking with a number of industrial cleaning contractors the owner decided on Tube Tech’s innovative laser cleaning service.

A UK based international petrochemical company shipped a severely fouled styrene polymer bundle to Tube Tech in order to minimise costs as they own an identical changeover replacement already. A production anomaly led to a thick, hard, brittle deposit forming on the shell side of the bundle and also severe bend blockages in tubes. Our challenge was develop a method to unblock polymer from the U Bends within a small 2m square footprint in front of the exchanger so in future it could be cleaned in-situ, saving on crane costs, scaffolding, damage, gaskets, bolts and third party costs.  A triple lance feeding mechanism was modified to allow lances to negotiate and unblock the every U-Tube. The client correctly pointed out that it was a pointless exercise if only the straight section was cleaned and the hairpin bend left blocked. By using Tube Tech’s globally patented Plate and Shell Jet every last particle of fused polymer was removed, even from deep inside the bundle. All the tubes were unblocked, descaled and polished using the modified triple lancing method.

Challenge:

  • This classic Victorian terrace was located on a busy London road and the sandstone facade had become damaged through environmental pollution.
  • Exhaust fumes and everyday grime were evident on the front fascia and window surrounds.
  • Traditional facade cleaning options such as sand, slurry, water and and sodium bicarbonate blasting all create excessive waste and the pavement surrounding the house would need to be cordoned off to the public during the clean.
  • Such restrictions would have involved the local council and significantly increased the costs of the project.

Solution:

  • Using the worlds fastest laser cleaning system, up to 4 x faster than any other system available, Tube Tech were able to successfully clean the sandstone facade and window surrounds in two eight hour shifts, with zero waste!
  • Both portable and quiet the Laser allowed pedestrians to walk in close proximity to the building.
  • Grime and environmental pollutants were removed from the sandstone base, a process called ablation.
  • There was no damage to the underlying substrate.
  • The highly trained Tube Tech technicians were able to work quickly and safely across the facade and achieved the immaculate clean which the client was looking for.

Tube Tech Comment

Mike Watson, Managing & Technical Director: “It was a pleasure working on such a classic piece of architecture and our expertise was greatly appreciated by the owner of the building. A laser system this fast made the cleaning process look really easy. It was easy for us to handle and required no maintenance”.

For more information or to discuss your cleaning challenge call us on +44 1268 786999 or e-mail info@tubetech.com, alternatively click here to fill out our contact form.


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