Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cleaning Historic Exteriors

I love Spring. Along with the season's wonderful blossoms and the gift of new life, it also means time for spring cleaning- not my favorite thing to do.  When it comes to cleaning the exterior of your historic home, proceed with caution.

Here are some tips to think about:

-Take care not to use harsh chemical washes which can damage historic masonry or leave a  permanent discoloration or residue.
-Resist the urge to power wash your home's exterior unless absolutely necessary. This is especially important for exterior materials that are porous in nature. Even then, start at a very low psi level (garden hose equivalent) and then work up to 200-400 psi.
- It is best to clean dirty spots the old fashioned way: with a natural bristle scrub brush and a biodegradable cleaning solution.

Visit here for the Preservation Brief on cleaning historic masonry. To learn more about the dangers of abrasive cleaning to historic properties, read the Preservation Brief here.

Remember, always use the gentlest means possible when cleaning, treating, or repairing a historic property!