Ornamental masonry is no doubt a class of its own. But be it indoors or outdoors, stonework can accumulate dust, dirt, stains, and even mold and mildew over time. Knowing how to clean and maintain stonework will not only sustain its beauty but also help you get the job done easily.

Following are some top tips on how to go about this chore efficiently and effectively:

Basic Maintenance

Stonework is meant to last for decades and mopping/ sweeping it regularly is the key to ensuring its durability.

  • For indoor stone walls, mop it once a week with a clean cloth to prevent dirt buildup in the crevices.
  • For outdoor stonework like patios, sweep the entire surface by starting with a horizontal or vertical motion and finishing in the opposite direction. This helps remove dirt that falls in the cracks between the stones.

Washing and Stain Removal

Try to wash stone surfaces about once every month. For this, you will need a high-pressure garden hose and some extra cleaners as discussed below.

  • Spray the surface once to get rid of any dust and dirt that remains after mopping.
  • If there are any visible stains, especially grease marks on brick pizza ovens and barbeque pits, scrub them clean with a mild household liquid detergent such as dish soap.
  • If the stain persists, try using a special stone soap instead. These are available online as well as at most home improvement stores.
  • Whether you have polished or unpolished stone, it’s better to stick with pH-neutral cleaners and avoid the ones with an abrasive action as they can damage the finish which will greatly compromise its overall look.
  • Alternatively, you can prepare your own grease stain remover for stones at home. Mix half cup of ammonia in 1 gallon of water and then spray it lightly onto the affected areas. Let sit for a minute before rinsing with pure water.
  • When using ammonia solution, make sure to wear protective glasses and use waterproof gloves for safety purposes.

Preventing and Removing Mold and Algae Growth

Keep your stone dry as moisture promotes mold and mildew growth.

  • Mold colonies on top of sealed stone can be easily wiped away with a soft-bristled brush and cloth.
  • If mold infestation has spread through pores of unsealed stone, you can use a 50/50 solution of bleach and water to kill off these unwanted microorganisms. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a nylon brush. Wash and dry the stone surface before sealing it.

Other Tips

  • Applying a weather sealer and/ or water repellent on outdoor stonework is the number one thing you can do to protect all your stonework. It will provide long-lasting life and protect it from acid, stains, fading, salts, and costly repairs!
  • Make it a habit to inspect your stonework periodically. Watch out for chips or small cracks that can possibly lead to major structural damages. If you notice anything wrong, contact a stonework contractor in Southern Maine to fix the issue right away!

Stonework in Portland, Maine

With the COVID-19 pandemic making us all rethink our health and hygiene standards, now is a good time to clean the stonework in your house.

If you don’t yet have something-stone but are planning to install a stone patio, brick oven, stone fireplace or the likes, learning how to clean and maintain stonework with the tips discussed above will surely help you keep it looking as good as new for years, if not decades to come.

If you are ready to get started with the project of your dreams feel free to contact the pros at Stone Solutions Maine.