PROSOCO manufacturer's rep Mike Dickey

PROSOCO manufacturer’s rep Mike Dickey explains how to clean excess mortar from new red brick construction with Sure Klean 600.

We stand behind the performance of our products, but we know we can’t control how they’re applied out on job sites every day.

So we tapped into the expertise of our local manufacturer’s rep, Mike Dickey of Dickey Sales, and our own John Young, PROSOCO digital marketing manager, to come up with this video demonstrating how to clean red brick.

Dickey talks specifically about how to remove excess mortar from new red brick construction without harming the tool joint with Sure Klean 600. He explains how to determine your dilution rate, what adjacent surfaces should be protected, and the personal protective equipment you’ll need before starting.

Watch the entire video >>

Can You Identify This Project?

Can You Identify This Project?

Did you miss the summer 2014 edition of PROSOCO News? If so, you can now read it online. As you may or may not know, we transitioned this quarterly publication to digital starting with this last edition, so the summer issue didn’t hit physical inboxes of our readers. If you want to be sure to be on the list to receive future issues of PROSOCO News digitally, sign up today. We’re also now publishing monthly newsletters focused on the latest industry trends, product updates and more information to help your business from each of our three product lines — masonry cleaning, building envelope and concrete flooring. Just check the boxes at the bottom of the sign-up form to tell us which information you want to receive.

Back to the point of this post — I know from past issues of PROSOCO News how popular the Can You Identify This Project section is, and we didn’t fail our loyal followers of this contest in our most recent edition. If you’ve got a guess for this round, send it in to me, Darcy Boyle, at darcy.boyle@prosoco.com. Those who correctly answer will receive a certificate, a special PROSOCO prize and glorious gloating rights over your colleagues.

Take a guess: This building in a major metro region of the U.S. was cleaned with Sure Klean® 766 Limestone & Masonry Prewash and Sure Klean® Restoration Cleaner. The middle swath was the last section to be treated.

hallwayIf you were to sift through our archives here at PROSOCO or even take a walk down the hallways, you’d quickly notice evidence of some of the historic landmarks our products have been used on over the many decades we’ve been in the restoration cleaning business. The Empire State Building, Trinity Church, the Pentagon, the list goes on and on.

You could say we’re pretty proud of the role we’ve played in the origins of restoration cleaning in this country.

That role was confirmed at the recently held Architectural Ceramic Conference at MIT in Boston, where research conducted by Irene Matteini, Frank Matero and Reza Vatankha illuminated the evolution of terracotta cleaning over the years. Matteini is a graduate student in historic preservation and conservation science at the University of Pennsylvania; Matero is a professor of architecture at the school; and Vatankha is a lecturer in historic preservation.

“The research did not focus on any one method, but rather the introduction and trends of all methods reported on in literature and by current practitioners,” Matteini said in an email. “PROSOCO has been an important agent in the development and commercial application of chemical-based masonry cleaning systems.”

Restoration cleaning timeline

Click on the image to see a larger version of the timeline.

On a timeline presented at the conference as well as at the RESTORE Workshop in Philadelphia this spring, PROSOCO and its products were mentioned nearly a dozen times. In 1962, for example, PROSOCO launched Boyer’s Restoration Cleaners R-1 and R-2, the first commercially available surface cleaners formulated for old masonry construction. Those formulas would later evolve into Sure Klean® Heavy Duty Restoration Cleaners. The timeline goes on to call out PROSOCO products that were used to clean and restore Philadelphia’s Furness Library, Chicago’s Reliance Building, New York’s McIntyre Building and more.

Watch the entire presentation by Irene Matteini.



We’re very pleased to present our new logos for PROSOCO and our three sub-brands (Sure Klean®, Consolideck® and R-Guard). These logos were specially designed to represent you – our customer, us and the project. Independent research identified what PROSOCO does best — our second-to-none customer service and technical support. We routinely go above and beyond for our customers. We’ll go wherever the job takes us and put the success of your project above all else. That’s been our identity for 75 years and going strong, and that’s our promise to our customers.

Stay tuned for more pieces of our new brand as we roll them out in the upcoming weeks and months. You’ll see updated sales materials, print and digital ads, website, new container designs, a new trade show booth and more. Anywhere you normally see the PROSOCO brand, you’ll start to see our new and improved look.

PROSOCO headerConsolideck

Polk County Courthouse, Des Moines, Iowa

Polk County Courthouse in the state capital of Des Moines, Iowa, was built in 1906 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo by Kevin Gwinn

As a college student 15 years ago, I got a job at a bustling coffee shop called Java Joe’s in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The gig had its perks — like endless free coffee, and its drawbacks — like hauling overfull bags of wet grounds and other trash out to the alleyway dumpster every night. Thankfully, the clock tower of the nearby Polk County Courthouse illuminated the dark alley. It glowed like the moon on clear nights and always caught my eye as I lugged the trash out over my shoulder.

The courthouse has once again caught my attention. I recently received some photos of the historical limestone structure from PROSOCO rep Kevin Gwinn of Tri-G Products in Minnesota. Kevin had conducted a test panel on the building four years ago with PROSOCO’s Enviro Klean® ReKlaim. “There were five contractors there that day just to see how well it was going to clean,” Kevin recalled.

ReKlaim cleaned biological staining and pollutants off Des Moines' Polk County Courthouse in 2014.

A close-up reveals before-and-after images of an application of PROSOCO’s Enviro Klean® ReKlaim. Photo by Kevin Gwinn

They, including general contractor Forrest & Associate of Des Moines, were clearly sold. Years of biological stains and pollutants from downtown traffic had built up on the structure’s exterior, and ReKlaim got the nod in a $2.2 million project to perform a restorative cleaning, along with sub-contractor Bob’s Sparkle Wash of Minnesota. Crews also used our Sure Klean® Limestone and Masonry Afterwash as a neutralizer.

The cleaning portion of the project is nearly complete, said Scott Allen, project manager with OPN Architects of Des Moines. He couldn’t have been more pleased with the performance of ReKlaim and the limestone afterwash. “It was really almost night and day in some of the areas that were heavily stained,” he said. “It was pretty amazing how much grime it got off.”

Allen specified the products used on the building, and said he was confident in PROSOCO’s products because he had worked with them before.

Variations in the limestone’s texture caused some differences in how easily the stains were removed. “The smoother the stone, the cleaner we were able to get it with the first pass,” Allen said. “As the building was rougher in texture, it took a little bit more effort, but we were able to get it off.”

CNN profile the Bullitt CenterWe know, we know, we talk a lot about the Bullitt Center. We can’t help but be proud of this acclaimed Seattle project, dubbed the “world’s greenest commercial building” on which our R-GUARD and Consolideck® products were used.

But we’re not the only ones still basking in the feat of this net-zero energy building. CNN recently ran a video profile on it as well. In it, a CNN correspondent interviews Denis Hayes, the President and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, and goes behind the scenes, so to speak, to look at the functions of the building’s brain center, temperature controls and waste composting.

Denis says that some buildings endeavor to go green in one aspect — solar-paneled roofs, or resilient building materials (like PROSOCO’s R-GUARD and Consolideck® products), for instance. The Bullitt Center “did it all.”

“(Tenants) are becoming very aware of the fact that their employees are more productive when they’ve got access to fresh air and access to sunlight,” Denis says in the video.

When the correspondent says, “And yet, we’re standing on a floor that’s empty right now,” Denis responds: “But we’ve got a building that is 85% leased one year from the opening date in a market that’s got a surplus of office buildings. We think we’re doing okay. We are the first to have done something that is an essential part of the sustainable human future.”

Watch the CNN video in its entirety >>

That’s an often-heard mantra here at PROSOCO, particularly when it comes to our R-GUARD line of liquid-applied air- and water-resistive barrier products. We invest in high-tech equipment to measure our products’ performance in real-world weather conditions, not just industry standards.

So we were pleased to see this write-up by Alex Wilson, founder and executive editor of BuildingGreen LLC, who recently visited our Clackamas, Ore., facility to see a demonstration of our specialized test chambers that simulate actual weather conditions including wind, water and humidity, on wall assemblies and components.

Wilson describes the demo:

“I watched as the submarine-like glass doors of the large chamber were closed and the fury of wind and driving rain were cranked up on the controls. We could see on manometers just how much pressure the wall assembly was having to endure, and we could watch high-pressure nozzles spraying high-velocity streams of water at the assembly.

“The operator can turn a few dials and simulate 150 mph wind and driving rain, wreaking havoc on the wall assembly constituents.”

For more on our unique testing chambers, watch our test of a wall assembly to structural failure with winds at -200 mph.


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