If you’ve got a stone or concrete building, or you have features made of stone or concrete, having them look fresh and clean is of high importance. In fact, the older a building, the more impressive it looks – and the more important it is to protect the stone or concrete and keep clean. That’s where DOFF steam cleaning comes in. Want to understand the science behind it, and more about its uses and benefits? Read on!
What is DOFF steam cleaning and how does it work?
Basically, DOFF cleaning is the process of gently using steam to clean stone. An industrial steam cleaning machine is used, and it keeps the temperature and the pressure high within the nozzle – this can be adjusted throughout the clean, as needed. As an example, usually the ideal temperature would be 150°c, but this can be adjusted to suit a variety of different surfaces. Each minute, the machine will release up to five litres of heated water and steam through the hose nozzle – which means it works on concrete surfaces without there being any saturation, thermal shock or damage as a result.
DOFF cleaning works effectively on masonry and stonework, as while the steam’s temperature is kept high during the cleaning process, the DOFF works gently and keeps the water volume relatively low. Ultimately this means that the stone’s surface dries as fast as possible, since the DOFF means that it hasn’t been saturated.
What surfaces can you clean with DOFF steam cleaning?
There are many surfaces that can be treated and restored with DOFF cleaning, such as –
- Tiles – encaustic and glazed
Similarly, surfaces including but not limited to: swimming pools, hospital floors, walls, toilets, kitchens, food factories etc. can all benefit from DOFF cleaning – it doesn’t just clean, it disinfects too.
Sectors such as medical, transport, and food production can benefit from DOFF cleaning, plus it’s exceptionally useful in National Heritage sites as it’s gentle but effective in restoring older buildings and taking them back to their former glory. Using cleaning methods that aren’t so gentle on these Heritage site type of buildings and/or listed buildings can result in them not being able to withstand the abrasion and starting to decay or crumble.
In terms of DOFF cleaning’s ability to tackle the variety of substances that get caught up in or stuck to brick / concrete / wood / tiles etc – it’s been proven effective in removing
- Spores (kills them)
- Bird fouling (and sadly also human fouling)
- Wax coatings
- Grease and bitumen
- Oil build-up
- Chewing gum
- & other related biological matter and/or waste
A build-up of fungi, moss, and other biological elements can cause brickwork and building exteriors to look dirty, old and faded over time. It also reduces the amount of energy needed to remove any caustic or toxic chemicals or elements on the surface being cleaned. Its low carbon footprint is beneficial to stonework cleaning, as it will then significantly reduce the amount of moisture that is absorbed into the walls – making it the ideal solution for even the most delicate and sensitive materials and surfaces.
The benefits of DOFF steam cleaning
As we’ve already touched on, DOFF steam cleaning is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to cleaning but also protecting, the surface in question. With so many of the older buildings in the UK being made from stone, that accumulation of fungi, algae and moss can have a pretty quick effect on their visual appearance.
Removing biological matter, fouling, chewing gum, and/or a build-up of moss and dirt, comes with its challenges, especially when you consider the façade, and any paint or protective coatings applied to the area you’re cleaning – you could end up chipping away at the stone if the pressure is too high or abrasive.
Many buildings will also have their own specific legal requirements when it comes to hygiene and sanitation (especially in this post-pandemic world!), which is why DOFF cleaning is practical across multiple sectors.
Finally, as DOFF cleaning is gentle on surfaces and also nature, it isn’t likely to cause jarring for the person using it, and it’s friendly on the environment as there are no harsh chemicals used, nor will it disturb the surrounding area – it’s the safest way to clean stone. No matter how old the stone is or how damaged it may be, DOFF cleaning goes a long way in helping to restore it in a safe and non-intrusive way.
If you’ve got a building that’s in need of restoration and cleaning – commercial or domestic! – get in touch with us today and see how we can work for you.