A glossary of stone and other façade materials
A regular façade cleaning regime is important for buildings of all ages. The most obvious and visible reason is aesthetic – tackling the build-up of pollutants which can obscure architectural details and diminish the overall appearance of the structure.
Most common façade materials and substrates
From a conservation perspective, an ongoing battle against the elements is essential to tackle pollutants such as exhaust and industrial fumes which, in reaction with rainwater, can become acidic and damage the façade. Finally, there is restoration – bringing façades back to life and uncovering deeper structural issues, such as spalling stone, which can often lie unseen and undetected beneath a layer of dirt and staining.
Building façades weather and discolour at varying rates, according to a range of factors including location, ambient pollution levels, prevailing weather conditions and the substrate itself. The last of these, the stone or manmade materials from which make up the façade, also plays an important part in the suitability and efficacy of any cleaning techniques used. At Thomann-Hanry®, our wide experience as conservation and restoration specialists encompasses a wide range of materials – this glossary outlines the most common of these, their defining characteristics and their response to cleaning techniques.