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New technologies offer safe building cleaning.

A new wave of facade cleaning techniques is being introduced to the New York City area. In tests performed by Yates Group, Ltd., some are proving to be highly effective and safe for the environment.

Because all of these techniques work without the use of chemicals and solvents, they will help eliminate some of the potential hazards associated with building cleaning. If mixed in improper ratios, for example, some chemicals can deteriorate building materials, harm pedestrians, and pose a hazard to the environment.

It is important to remember, though, that these new methods are still in the testing stages, and that, if used properly, many chemicals pose no danger to buildings or the environment. Our trained workers and site managers, under the guidance of our company's two principals, who are both licensed professional engineers, take great care to blend and examine all chemical cleaners before applying them to a building.

One of the simplest of the new methods uses regular, household baking soda. The non-toxic material is sprayed at low pressure onto masonry or stone using a feeder tube.

This low-impact technique, combined with the mildly abrasive texture of the baking soda, gradually removes dirt. After use, the baking soda is washed off.

A more high-tech method uses tiny, non-toxic glass beads. Developed in France, this technique employs complex machinery that blasts the beads at a wall, then collects them with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.

The beads strip off dirt without creating dust - one of the greatest drawbacks of traditional cleaning techniques. In addition, the beads don't pit or erode masonry or stone; you can put your hand in front of the spray nozzle without getting hurt. Because of the machinery needed, however, this method can cost significantly more than chemical cleanings.
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Author:Klein, Roy
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 19, 1992
Previous Article:$10M federal grant for housing.
Next Article:Finding solutions to indoor air problems.

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