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D.J. Cooper Building Conservation - The Latest News in & around Swindon, Wiltshire

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18/03/2020: More Graffiti Removal

Some people just can't resist spoiling the appearance of a lovely old piece of local stone with graffiti. After all, as you will see from the before image below, it is hardly a Banksy now, is it?

Luckily, the owner of this wall called us and after an initial discussion, then test clean of a small area, we were able to remove the paint while leaving the delicate stone substrate a surface to be proud of.

If your building has suffered such an attack, remember that stone and bricks are delicate too, and can be easily damaged by inappropriate cleaning methods. For sound advice and prompt, efficient removal, call us now or click in the header of any page to send us an email.

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12/02/2020: No Walls Were Harmed in the Making of this Picture

The years of traffic grime that had built up on this wall made it look thoroughly unloved and uncared for. By choosing the right combination of abrasive material and technique, it was removed quickly and efficiently whilst preserving the delicate brick substrate and the cement pointing. When contamination looks tough, there can be a temptation to choose a cleaning method that is too harsh for the substrate. With over 30 years of experience, you can be sure that when you call us to remove contamination, all aspects of your job will be considered in making the most efficient path to the perfect finish.

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16/12/2019: What's the snow on your building harbouring ready for the spring?

Christmas is coming and with it the inevitable newspaper stories about the hardest winter in eversomany years… Like you, I will believe it when I see it.

However, what is fairly certain is that most parts of Britain, Gloucestershire included will experience some snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures. This coating of frozen water can trap and harbour biological contamination such as moss, algae and bacterial growth, almost unseen. It remains there until the extreme weather passes, when it is ready to start full growth again.

Who knows? The growth may have even been given a stronger hold by the ice expanding to open up tiny fissures. All the better to key onto the stone or brick surface beneath.

If you are suffering with moss or algae on your building, be it a public showpiece or a modest family home, you may be able to save yourself trouble further along by giving a thorough clean before the really bad weather sets in. Using our superheated steam systems not only removes the current growth but helps to sterilise the surface to prevent re-growth for longer. Call us on the number shown or click in the header of any page to send an email and outline any concerns. We are always happy to advise and offer a free, no obligation quote for removal of any of the contaminants that plague buildings.

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12/11/2019: True Grit

Gritblasting as a cleaning method has more to it than may meet the eye. With the variety of cleaning media available, it is possible to select exactly the right one, not only for removing whatever contamination needs to be removed, but also for preserving the often delicate stonework beneath.

It is also possible to select precisely the wrong one and do more harm than good.

The selection process has to take into account, not only the size of grains to be used, but their sharpness, hardness, shape and chemical composition to make sure of the perfect cleaning job every time. If you have a stone or steelwork cleaning project to complete, it is worth taking into account that we have 30 years of experience in making the decisions that make the difference, and can advise on every aspect including the choice between:

  • Iron Silicate
  • Steel Shot
  • Steel Grit
  • Aluminium Silicate
  • Glass Grit
  • Garnet
  • Aluminium Oxide
  • Pumice Grit
  • Glass Bead
  • Calcium Silicate
  • Bicarbonate Of Soda
  • Plastic Abrasive Grit
  • Walnut Shell
  • Corn Cob Grit
Call us on the number above, or click in the header of any page to send us an email for straightforward advice on tricky cleaning jobs.

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09/10/2019: Do you have bird fouling problems?

Bird fouling is a growing problem in many town and city centres. With increasing populations of pigeons and urban gulls, many buildings can quickly become covered in droppings.

This is not only unsightly, but can be damaging to delicate stonework too. The RSPB recognises that urban gulls and rural gulls are two distinct groups which rarely mix, so it is no good waiting for them to return to the coast. The lack of natural predators and ready source of food from landfill sites and discarded fast food makes towns a great breeding place for the urban gull.

The seagulls get a taste of their own medicine from a protesting cormorant

This diet, gleaned from our throwaway society also contributes to the corrosive nature of droppings. These attack everything from the stone of historic buildings to the paint on modern cars. Bird droppings have also been linked to the flu like disease, psittacosis, salmonella and cryptococcus, which recently contributed to the death of a child in a Glasgow hospital.

For buildings, regular, effective cleaning can help preserve the exterior, removing caustic bird fouling before it has a chance to cause permanent damage. With years of experience, DJ Cooper has the equipment and the knowledge to sympathetically clean stonework, not only effectively removing the contamination, but also cleaning in a manner that is sympathetic to the substrate.

If you are suffering from bird fouling on your building, give our specialists a call on the number above or click in the header of any page to send us an email.

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29/08/2019: Basement Paint Removal by Sandblasting

In many cases, sandblasting, or grit blasting can be the most effective means of removing old paint, even multiuple layers of different paint types can be effectively and safely removed in this way, making it ideal for some older buildings that have been repeatedly painted over the years.

The key is in choosing the most appropriate grit type, particle size and application pressure, so if you have a thorny paint removal task in prospect, give us a call or click in the header of any page to send an email to arrange an appraisal visit.

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15/08/2019: Therma TEC Superheated Steam Graffiti Removal

This doorway and arch were cleaned to remove graffiti and traffic film using the Therma TEC superheated steam method.

Whilst being highly effective at removing the paint and years of accumulated grime, this system is very gentle on the underlying stone, so can be used even on fairly soft stone surfaces.

Whatever your cleaning problem, we have a method that will clean effectively while preserving the substrate of material, as well as many years of experience in getting outstanding results, so give us call on the number shown or click in the header of any page to send an email.

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