What chemical would you choose?

This is what I’m up against. I love unique restoration jobs and thought I would see if anyone had experience with this situation. It appears to be mostly organic growth, some roof runoff, and years of general pollutants (exhaust, whatnot, you know). The surface is cracking and has definitely been subject to some very valiant, yet sub satisfactory, attempts to repair. My goal is to get this sucker shining without further damaging the surface. My first thought is to start with ecochem, followed by a long and gentle rinse, with the possible addition of a neutralizer and/or sh softwash. What do y’all think?

limonene and SH. Just my opinion though.

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I would choose Nike running shoes


For the granite base I would talk to your local stone provider. It will soak up whatever you use so Im thinkin sh is a no go. The plaster is hammered. While a softwash with a stronger than normal sh mix, as well as some ebc should clean it, it will run down the granite. Test it well. But I would talk to a stone importer first. Also, granite is supposed to be sealed. So if you do get the job, sell the maintenence.

But Id run!


Sodium percarbonate or hydrogen peroxide I think would work. Test for sure.

Go talk to your Prosoco dealer.

They are one of the industry leaders.

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I’m interested in the limonene, in general, as it sounds like a fantastic cleaner in the right scenario and would probably do a great job on the pollutants. I see folks, primarily racer, raving about it for brick and that could make it very applicable here, especially if the plaster is similar to traditional mortar. SH scares me on anything with stone (really, anything that isn’t synthetic), as it has a way of going a little “too far” on some natural and/or organic surfaces. Can you tell me more about how you have used limonene or products with limonene?

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I like the way you think. The local stone provider is someone I probably should have consulted, years ago. The maintenance is a good call, especially since the owner already asked to make this a recurring payment service.


I didn’t know what that was but I do now… guess who’s getting a shiny new Prosoco dealer for (belated) Christmas! :raising_hand_man:t2:

I’ll dig into this. I always do a test area or 10,000 (I’ll look like a psychopath throughout the process and charge, accordingly) on the challenging ones.

Reason #5743 to expand my footwear options beyond cowboy boots and flip flops. I got some crocs with a pretty aggressive tread and adjustable heel strap for Christmas that I might need to keep on hand for a speedy escape. Those suckers are super lightweight and the sight of them is slightly nauseating, so they may be perfect for this scenario.

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Thank you all for your input, I love it. So, here’s our (we’re in this together, right?) plan, folks:

I’m shooting these pictures over to ecochem, prosoco, and my local stone provider.

I’ll ask the stone provider if they have any experience with any of the other possible solutions; limonene, sh, peroxide, etc.

I have a feeling the stone provider is already going to have prior knowledge of prosoco and, if not, those two are getting an introduction. I’m much more interested in buying products from chemists than trying to become one, myself, and it looks like prosoco has my solution.

I’ll report back in case anyone else is a glutton for punishme, err, might find it helpful.

…Did any nike’s survive the great tantrum of 18’? I don’t remember if it was the far right or the far left that spurred it but those suckers were goin’ up like tinderboxes… much like our beloved freedom. Am I right, or am I right?

PSA: please don’t feed the troll in me. I have a hard time not poking fun at things, especially public tantrums, regardless of the source.

Most the building not very dirty. However the part you showed the close up of is going to take something a little stronger to get rid of the paint or whatever that it. Talk to Eaco chem on their One Restore and Prosoco has a newer product called Reveal that might work since you have all those windows to be concerned about - https://prosoco.com/product/reveal/

I and a few others had a long thread on here about a year ago on restoring older historic buildings and I put a ton of info in there if you can find it along with some links to approved GSA methods.

A lot of the cleaners for these type building have sodium hydroxide in them and then they want you to buy their neutralizer, which you’ll need, but it’s generally just oxalic or acetic based which you can do your own.

I found the thread - Orange appearance of Lueders Limestone
suggest you read it. Good luck. Do not be cheap on your bid. That’s probably a $5,000 job at least for just that front facade if they want it done right. You’re going to have a traffic management problem on this one(pedestrian). Going to need helpers for that, etc. I did another thread on all of that somewhere.


Great advice, all around. I love one restore and am hoping it will suffice. Thanks for the link to reveal, as the windows are a huge concern and I want to check out their products, anyway.

The flaking is like a plaster top coat sort of material. It’s actually not flaking so much as just majorly cracking. I couldn’t lift any with a fingernail and almost everywhere I did a “tap test” it seemed sound. The close ups show repairs where someone troweled something over the cracking top layer.

I appreciate the helpful insight and will delve into the links/threads tomorrow. I think $5000 would be about right, considering the chemicals, lift, and pedestrian management. I’m just thankful for the convenient parking, which I’ll be fully monopolizing.

You’ve gotten a lot of good advice here, one additional thing that struck me is that the sidewalk there looks pretty nasty and the chems you will be using are going to “clean” parts of it. You might want to talk to them about that since you’re not going to want to have the building sparkle and then have clean streaks going to the curb. In a previous part of the conversation you were concerned about SH being too much on the stone. I clean cast stone every week using SH, sometimes straight and it has not presented any problems.

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Good eye. I plan on cleaning the sidewalk. It will be part of the quote. When I do specialty/sensitive projects I provide a detailed process to the client with my quote. I have fun with it and I believe it helps to justify my price. I’ll include any neat tidbits about the history of the building and I’m hoping the local stone provider can educate me on where the stone would have come from, who the craftsman might have been, etc. Our house is 109 years old and I was able to find chair rail for our guest room that was salvaged from a church built the same year. Turns out, the trim was milled, not only in the same place, but likely by the same person that made the trim in the rest of the house. I love stuff like that and enjoy presenting it to building owners. This is a roundabout way of saying, yes, I need to and will include cleaning the concrete as part of the process/price. It won’t be optional. Got lucky on that grate/drain though.

We, the chemists of the world, appreciate that!

Stone isn’t my thing, so no comment on the chemicals

I’m with @MDA1775 on using SH on cast stone. I always do a spot test and have yet to come across any that the SH had a negative effect.
In fact, I find I have to spray it on and reapply over 30 minute dwell for it to penetrate and kill the mold in the pores followed by a long rinsing.

Any plans to contend with chemical run-off when rinsing so it does not go down the drain? It looks to be a downtown-ish building where all your water run-off will hit the gutter and drains.

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I’m not counting sh out, but after following the links and advice on here and traveling down the subsequent rabbits hole, I’m going to be playing with some of the specialized chemicals available. There will be several test spots and, who knows, maybe a vote. You’re right about the downtown drainage issues but I got lucky, as I’ll be able to stick a sump pump in the basin under those grates, block the drain line, and roll. I didn’t have time to make the calls today but I’m hoping there’s a point where the PPM and/or ph is acceptable to go into the drain, as I am guilty of way over rinsing. I swear I’ve hailed as much potable water off as I have chemicals/pollutants.

Thanks for sharing your experience with sh. It’s is definitely logged and will be considered.

One Restore on the granite. I had a building this year that I was allowed to do a demo in order to get the job. One Restore was the answer. I started with a roof mix and then went up to straight SH thinking it was organic. That didn’t touch it. Once I hit it with One Restore and gave it a 5 min dwell, it rinsed off easily with a low pressure tip.