Patching, Cleaning, & Caulking
In the event you find a spot on your fireplace that needs a little patching, you will find the process quick and easy.
Your shipment will include a premixed patching liquid, to be used with your grout material, only for patching. Simply mix just enough in a cup to fill the patch area to the consistency of cookie dough. Dampen the area to be patched and apply the dough, keeping the fill inside the patch area. You may use a very small trowel tip or something similar to apply and smooth. Matching the existing fireplace texture/look is left up to the eye of the person patching. If the patch is troweled smooth, it may have a slight change in texture, compared to the surrounding stone. Clean the area lightly with a damp sponge and let it dry naturally. Using an acid wash on a cotton swab, after material has dried, may help etch the patch. It may take a few days for the patch to reach its final color, so give it time as the grout mix is the same mix used during the pour of your fireplace.
Regardless of the degree of care exercised during construction, a final wash-down will be needed and normally whatever is specified to clean brickwork will adequately clean Cast Stone. The most common stains, due to construction, are dirt and mortar. Dirt can be removed by scrubbing with a mild detergent and water. Mortar stains and residue will require use of masonry cleaner. We recommend “Lime Solvent 101” by ProSoCo Products, mixed 6 parts water to 1 part Lime Solvent solution.
Using a soft bristle brush, water and this diluted masonry cleaner will allow the stone’s surface to be cleaned without being etched. Smaller brushes, such as a toothbrush, may be required to clean inside corners or detailed areas of the surround.
Take necessary steps to protect surrounding areas that may come in contact with the cleaner. Soak the stone with water prior to washing, with any acidic cleaning solution to prevent surface burning. Ensure that lower stones are frequently drenched with water, because as solution is rinsing down the stone it can gather strength when reapplied.
Allowing the cleaner to dry on the surface may result in stains and residue. Using fresh water, thoroughly rinse the stone’s surface to remove any chemical residue or free sand immediately after cleaning and before it is allowed to dry. Do not allow the cleaner to remain on the grout joints any longer than is absolutely necessary, as they are much more vulnerable to discoloration and deterioration when exposed to acid solutions.
If the surround has stubborn stains that are not affected by recommended solution, contact our office for assistance. When unusual stains appear, the same procedures, which are recommended to clean concrete, will normally clean Cast Stone. The most important step to stain removal is identifying the stain and its cause. There are de-greasers and paint removers readily available. Any treatment should be tested on a small inconspicuous area prior to cleaning the main unit.