Historic building restoration requires serious considerations in a multitude of different processes. One of which, is the decision to remove and replace original building materials and structural elements or attempting to restore original materials and structural elements by carefully cleaning them.
When removing and replacing materials in a historic restoration project, much of the beauty and value of the original structure is forever lost. Modern building materials will never aesthetically match up to the original structural look and feel of an old historic building. And secondly, removing and replacing old, dirty or contaminated structural elements is an extremely expensive proposition; adding much undue cost and time to the project.
Of course, there will be situations that require certain elements of the historic structure are replaced. Not every element of an old historic building can be cleaned, reused or repurposed. But ultimately, the more materials that can be salvaged, cleaned and reused, the more successful the restoration project will be.
What Cleaning Method Offers The Best Results?
Once the structural engineers have determined what materials need to be replaced and what materials can be cleaned in place, it's time to decide which cleaning method is going to fulfill all the requirements.
To thoroughly clean and restore a historic structure, the chosen cleaning method must be:
Safe: Construction projects are inherently dangerous. Adding risk to a restoration project by introducing a cleaning method that adds secondary waste, unnecessary chemicals, solvents or puts other trades at risk is definitely not a good option.
Ecologically friendly: Using solvents, acids and harsh cleaning chemicals needlessly endangers operators, trades, secondary personnel and ultimately the environment. Historic restoration is rooted in the idea of saving and protecting our natural resources and historic structures. The appropriate cleaning method will respect and fulfill that goal without damage.
Economical: With all the choices available, using the most effective and efficient means to clean is an obvious requirement. Dry ice blasting is the obvious choice here.
Efficient: Time is money. Dry ice blasting is fast, effective and very efficient.
Mobile: In order to clean historic structures in place, without dismantling, moving, replacing and rebuilding crucial elements, the cleaning method must be able to go to where the problems are.
Clean: Does your cleaning method make a mess? CO2 blast cleaning does not add any secondary waste to the project and containment is a breeze, making clean-up fast and easy.
Once the structural engineers have decided what can be cleaned in place and you have chosen the best cleaning method to keep your project profitable, now it's time to find a responsible cleaning contactor to do the work.
In our next installment, we will explore what to look for in a dry ice cleaning contractor.