Colleen “Coke” Peters in Technical Customer Care got this photo e-mailed to her the other day. Colleen and the other members of PROSOCO’s Technical Customer Care Department get photos like this all the time. This one came from a contractor hired to clean and repair the deteriorated brick in the photo.
The photo came, as they always do, with questions ~ what is that soiling on the brick and how do I get it off?
Now wouldn’t it be great if there was an app for that?
You just hold your smart phone up and take a photo of the wall. The app analyzes the photo and recommends products and procedures. Our head programmer, Steve Singer agreed with me that such an app would be cool. He also said it would be tough to execute.
“You’d have to have some kind of spectrometer in the phone,” he said. “You’d need some way to positively identify both substrate and contaminants.”
The problem, both Colleen and Steve say, is that just because the white stuff looks like efflorescence, that doesn’t mean it is efflorescence. And the black stuff could be carbon staining, but it might also be biological soiling. Or both. Very tough, Steve says, for an app to make those fine distinctions based on an image.
A smart, experienced person, on the other hand, can make those distinctions. A smart, experienced person can recommend easy tests you can use to verify what you’re up against. A smart, experienced person can consult with other smart, experienced people to give you the benefit of multiple minds.
It would be tough for an app to do that, Steve says. Heck, it’s tough for most companies to do that. I’m pretty sure PROSOCO is the only manufacturer of products for cleaning, protecting and maintaining concrete, brick and stone architecture that offers such a high level of professional support.
After consulting with Chemist Chris Moore in the PROSOCO Lab, Colleen offered this advice to the contractor:
Sorry for the delay. You have a job ahead of you.
The black streaks on the brick look to be atmospheric and some biological growth too. I would start with an application of BioKlean. I’ve attached the product data for your review. This should go approx. 100 sq. feet per diluted gallon, be sure to neutralize the surface with Sure Klean Limestone & Masonry Afterwash, diluted 2 parts water to 1 part product.
If this does not remove all the black stains, then I’d use Sure Klean SafRestorer, I’ve attached the product data sheet for this also .
After you have finished repairing the joints, you can use Vana Trol at a dilution of 8 parts water. Make sure to prewet the surface with water and rinse thoroughly.
If they would like to apply a Water Repellent, Sure Klean Weather Seal Siloxane PD is a breathable penetrating water repellent that has a natural look.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
As if there’s an app for that!
Something else we’re kind of proud about here at PROSOCO — When you call PROSOCO’s toll-free phone number 800-255-4255 — during our regular working hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time you will always talk to a real person. You won’t have to press “one” for this or “two” for that at the bidding of a recording.
And since all these people who answer when you call ARE people, and my friends, I’m going to introduce them:
We’re proud of them and the job they do.
And the fact is, there’s just no app for that.
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