Stone Cleaning - Cost or Price? Correct Stone Cleaning Method is Cheapest!

Dirty Stone?

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Clean Stone

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Before Stone Cleaning

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After stone Cleaning

When Choosing an Exterior Building Cleaning Contractor Don’t Choose on Price Alone, Experts are Seldom Cheapest and For Good Reason

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Stone Cleaning Guide – Cost or Price?

Stone Cleaning Guide

22nd April 2018 Stone Cleaning

Cost or price; which is more important when cleaning the stone?

There is a crucial difference between cost and price of stone cleaning:

  • Price is what you initially pay for something
  • Cost is your long-term investment into that service

Should you fail to determine both the price and the cost before any exterior cleaning work begins you could find yourself with an unpleasant (and expensive) shock in the future.

A cautionary tale from a local business (make sure you avoid their mistake)

A business close to our head office in Ashford had the stone tiled façade of their building pressure washed last year. It looked clean for about four months but then a black mould started growing once again on the building. Before they knew it, their building looked dirty again, only a few short months after it had been supposedly “thoroughly cleaned”!

Why did this happen?

Quite simply, the wrong cleaning methods were chosen.

Most people don’t know how to clean different types of building substrates. After all, why would they when cleaning is not their specialty?

Their building was looking dirty due to dark organic matter growing on the surface. The cleaning company they hired for the work chose to use cold water pressure washers to clean this organic matter off of the stone.

When you cut your lawn in the summer, you’ll know that the grass can often grow back very quickly. The same quick regrowth can occur on a building where organic matter is only pressure washed from the façades of buildings with cold water pressure washers.

Don’t forget the gutters

Having to contend with dark organic matter growing on the surface of their building wasn’t enough as there were also hidden gutters on the building located just behind the top level of stone.

This meant that the cladding roof, itself covered in organic matter growth, was left completely uncleaned. The first time it rained following the clean, these micro-organisms were washed down over the parapet, causing a re-soiling of the façade.

Had an initial survey been carried out (as it should have been), it would have shown that this particular building needed the gutters cleaned and the roof sanitised.

Frustratingly, had the work been carried out correctly on the building it would have remained clean for far longer. In fact, when the outside surfaces of a building are cleaned correctly they can stay cleaner for up to six times longer.

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An all too common problem

Unfortunately many exterior building cleaning companies (stone cleaning) seem to choose the cleaning method that is easiest for them to carry out rather than the cleaning method that is best for that particular building. 

An incorrect cleaning method may briefly remove the problem but it won’t remove the cause of the problem

(Should you want to learn more about the correct way to clean the exterior of your building, our sister company, Purple Rhino’s SoftWash Systems Ltd, provides training in both the cleaning of buildings and the correct use of equipment and chemicals. You can learn more about them at www.softwash-systems.com)

What should have been done

The best way to stop mould or organic matter from growing back on a building is to Softwash the building by using a special blend of SoftWash chemicals.

This method will clean and sanitise the surfaces, removing any microscopic vegetation and ensuring there is nothing left behind that could regrow.

(Although we’ve highlighted the dark organic matter in this example, a professional grade building clean should of course remove all types of staining, including rust, efflorescence and limescale build-up.)

The true value

If you make a decision on which company to use based purely on the price of their quote, you may end up paying more in the long term. Should you go with the cheapest quote, it’s highly likely that the building will need to be cleaned more often than you would like. While the short-term result may look good, the long-term result will be more expensive.

Even though some cleaning companies may seem more expensive when you first look at their quotes, always be sure to balance ‘cost’ and ‘price’ to ensure you really are getting the most cost-effective exterior clean for your building.

When you choose to have your building cleaned by a professional exterior building cleaning company, their more thorough and longer-lasting clean can help reduce the frequency of exterior cleans you’ll need – saving you money in the long-term.

We know that companies like this may seem more expensive when you first compare quotes, but their better methods can help protect and prevent damage to the surface of your building.

Remember, the result you’re after is a nice clean building. Not as a one-off or for only a few weeks but permanently.  A clean building looks fantastic to employees and visitors alike and will help your business stand out in a positive way!

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