07.1 CLEANING FREQUENCY

The choice of a particular cleaning frequency depends from the aggressiveness of the atmosphere existing in the zone where the manufacture is located, painted, anodized, burnished or auburn.
As a general rule, the atmosphere’s aggressiveness depends from three factors:

  • The air humidity level, which causes the condensation phenomenon when in contact with the surfaces exposed to the external;
  • Pollution, especially the presence in the air of industrial smoke, especially sulfur dioxide;
  • Saltiness present in the air of the sea regions.

These phenomena have a bigger or smaller relevance, that can be divided into two levels of aggressive factors, that are:

  • Standard level, irregular presence of condensation and/or proximity to industrial areas and/or distance from the sea above 1500 meters;
  • High level, persisting condensation and/or direct and continuous exposure to industrial smoke and7or distance from the sea below 1500 meters.

To choose the cleaning frequency you can rely on the following general suggestions:

  • Normal frequency (every 3-6 months) in conditions of Standard aggressive factors: limited traffic, distance from the sea;
  • Intense cleaning frequency (every 1-3 months) in High aggressive factors conditions: high traffic concentration, close to industrial areas and seaside.

07.2 PERIOD’S CHOICE

Even the choice of the period when performing cleaning interventions has a great importance. A correct choice is to take into consideration the monthly rainfall, responsible for transporting aggressive substances present in the atmosphere, hitting the buildings
For example, if the cleaning is performed twice a year, it is advisable to operate in March and October. If you perform the cleaning three times a year, the months of March, June and October are the most recommended.

07.3 WARNINGS FOR A CORRECT CLEANING

Before proceeding with cleaning you need to know the type finish and its behavior and compatibility with the cleaning products.
When the artifact is covered by a thick layer of dirt and has to be cleaned for the first time after many years from the installation, it is necessary to perform some preliminary tests.
The person performing the cleaning intervention must be able to understand if the painted or anodized surface has suffered a damage or if it is just a dirt accumulation that can be easily removed.
For the cleaning operations you usually use products made by different producers and sold under many commercial names. In general, there are three types of products available:

  • Alkaline type;
  • Neutral type;
  • Acid type.

During the cleaning, you must pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Don’t use alkaline or acid detergents;
  • Don’t use abrasive products and/or materials;
  • Don’t use organic solvents;
  • Don’t use detergents with unknown chemical composition;
  • Don’t use the products directly on the surface to clean, but be sure to always dilute them;
  • Surfaces during the cleaning must be cold (T<30°C) and you must not use steam spray machines;
  • When choosing among the various cleaning products, you must keep into consideration that buildings facades are made of different materials, such as aluminum, concrete, steel, sealers etc.

You must pay attention especially to strong cleaning products because even if at first they might seem more effective, might lead to real disasters in the end. In case of continuous facades, usually aluminum and glass cleaning is performed at the same time; it is obviously necessary that that the person performing such operation is able to clean both surfaces. Anyway, the last phase of the cleaning process is always a good rinse of the parts treated, with an adequate amount of water, and subsequently drying with soft cloths or buckskin.

07.4 ALUMINUM SURFACES CLEANINGO

Aluminum surfaces cleaning usually requires the use of neutral detergents. The kind of product to use depends on the degree of dirt present on the surface.

  • Well preserved surface: it is sufficient to use a neutral detergent with a clean cloth and rinse with cold water.
  • Highly damaged surfaces: a simple cleaning is not sufficient, but it is necessary to use specific products.

Below, some general indications that should be considered.

ATTENTION!

  • The use of alkaline or acid products is highly not recommended, since they might damage the aluminum and the finish.
  • All the cleaning products must have a Ph as close as possible to neutral.
  • It is highly not recommended to use abrasive tools such as sand paper, steel wool, metallic brushes, high pressure systems etc., that might cause bruising or damages to the oxide layer.
  • It is necessary that the product used is not aggressive towards the materials that come into contact with it, for example seals, glass, silicone etc.
  • For the anodized surfaces with metallic effect, created by the presence of little flakes incorporated in the superficial layer of the paint film, the use of improper cleaning products can result in the removal of such flakes, spoiling the appearance of such finish. To keep the metallic effect and to prevent aspect changes consequent to the action of external agents or dirt deposits, these coatings must be cleaned with appropriate products.
  • Also for this type of surface, before performing the cleaning of the visible face, you must perform some tests to choose the most suitable detergent and non-abrasive auxiliary products. The technique consists in cleaning a small portion of the surface. The evaluation is positive in those case when there is not a variation between the cleaned part and the adjacent part, previously protected.

07.5 BRONZE SURFACES CLEANING

FINISHTYPE OF CLEANING
ANTIQUE BRONZE AND BURNISHED BRONZEStrictly apply a neutral detergent with a clean and soft cloth. The temperature of the product applied as well as that of the bronze profile must not be excessive. Therefore, avoid application during the hottest part of the day or when the coating is directly exposed to the sun. when rubbing the cloth on the bronze cover, the movement must be delicate and not circular. Once the dirt is removed, rinse with plenty of cold water. When the cleaning process is finished, apply bee or carnauba wax with a clean cloth, to give brightness to the bronze cover and protect it from weathering. For a better aesthetic result, avoid circular application, but proceed with longitudinal movements.
LOVED BRONZEThis type of finish is very delicate and therefore must be cleaned more often and only with a soft cloth. Avoid an excessive pressure and/or rubbing that might damage the finish. In case of persistent dirt, only use lukewarm water. Avoid applying any detergent except from water as well as any abrasive material that would irreparably damage the finish.

Below, we give some indications that should be respected.

  • The elements of the artifact must be cold during the cleaning, and not exposed to the direct sunlight.
  • The detergents used for the cleaning should be cold as well, you mustnot use steam spray machines.
  • Do not use alkaline and acid detergents.
  • Do not use abrasive materials.
  • Do not use organic solvents.

It is necessary that the product used is not aggressive towards the other materials with whom it might come into contact, for example seals, silicone, glass etc.