Interior Stone Cleaning and Preparation For Building Conversion

The preparations for interior stone cleaning and building conversion of premises that are occupied by a company while the modifications are taking place will naturally require a plan of action that will cause the least amount of disruption. Renovation work will have to be carried out in a logical progression, so that no reconstruction or modification work will need to be redone at a later stage.

stone cleaning with high pressure equipment

A critical path for conversion work and stone cleaning should be therefore always be planned in advance, based on the condition of the property and any problems that have been identified in a building survey.

Preparations for Repair and Remodelling

Damage to the structure can be largely avoided by making the right decisions in the planning stage to make sure that the right techniques are going to be used. This is of particular importance when working in older buildings with stone walls.

A building report compiled by a chartered surveyor should be the starting point, as this will identify where specialist work is required, for example, if there are any drainage or subsidence problems that require essential work to be done.

The type of construction work and the extent of the alterations that need to be made should be considered for all parts of the property. Then the right decisions can be reached about the type of equipment and materials required.

On some older buildings it may be that the stone floor restoration and cleaning is required. This should be done using appropriate equipment and protected from any possible damage as a result of work on walls or other supportive structures.

Preparations for extensive remodelling of a building should be based on a measured survey of the property. A layout of the building is usually provided by the property owner when making a planning application. This same scale drawing can be used as the basis for decision making about how to segregate areas where construction work will be taking place while other parts of the building continue to be in use.

The most practical way to prepare for doing modifications on a building whilst the company is still working is to start at the top, with construction and interior cleaning work carried out on one floor at a time. This will allow renovated areas to be available for decorators and fitters, while interior construction and stone cleaning processes are continued in another part of the building.

Interior Stone Cleaning Processes

Before natural stone surfaces can be effectively sealed, they have to be thoroughly cleaned. This is equally important for any newly installed stone surfaces as it is for pre-existing ones.

Old stone will have residues that need to be removed from pores in the surface. These will usually be deposits left behind from previous cleaning materials or aftercare products.

Before new sealant can be applied, it will be necessary to ensure that all traces of previous sealants are removed from an old stone surface. These deposits will have formed into layers or as a protective film of oil that requires complete removal.

Newly installed stone also requires cleaning before a sealing product is applied. A suitable cleaning product should be chosen, to remove all dust, dirt and grease from all the exposed surfaces.

A newly cleaned interior stone surface must be completely dry before applying any protective sealant. This should be spread evenly across the stone surface, with any excess removed to avoid pooling.

For at least an hour, no one should be allowed to walk on or touch a newly sealed stone surface. The stone must be allowed to dry naturally and kept free from moisture for twenty-four hours after sealing. It should be left for at least another three days before washing.

Preparations for Protection of Property and Cleaning Up

Before work commences, vulnerable parts of a building that might be damaged during construction work will need to be boarded up or otherwise covered over.

A mop and bucket, scrubbing brushes and specialist drying machines should be available for use immediately after work has been done.

When all the construction or remodelling work has been completed in one area it will be necessary to give it a final cleaning. All packaging and protective coverings should be taken away and no or flakes of plaster or fragments of material left behind.

Minimal Disruption When Working on the Interior

It is important to prepare for a logical progression of reconstruction work, with adequate provisions made so that interior modifications and stone cleaning work can be carried out on a building that remains occupied during working hours. When renovation work is taking place in one area, that part of the building should be kept separate from any other area that is occupied. Each area should be left clean and ready for use after the work has been completed.

Everyone involved in the interior renovations or stone cleaning work will need to stick closely to a schedule that has been planned according to the building report and a measured survey based on Stone Federation guidelines.. This will result in less disruption and should ensure that nothing is left undone or has to be redone once the work is completed.

Buying The Right Industrial Floor Paint

When it’s painting time the greatest task set before you is to select the proper paint for the job the first time around. Industrial floor paints are designed to hold up under tough conditions. There are, however; a couple of different types to choose from.

factory flooring

Prior to making your selection, there are some important factors which must be taken into consideration. The type of flooring, e.g. concrete, wood or asphalt, the amount of traffic it receives and the type of finish you hope to achieve. It’s always worth talking to various industrial floor paint suppliers to see what they recommend from the lines they stock, but this guide is designed to help you to understand which types of paint are the most suitable for differing surfaces.

Deciding upon the type of paint to use

Epoxy resin paint and polyurethane are the two most prolific industrial floor paints in use. They are both brilliant for protecting floor surfaces against the damages from chemicals, oils, stains and wear from heavy traffic. Each of them is developed to be durable, easy to clean and maintain, and to be light reflective. They sound fairly similar, and in some respects, they are, however, there are definite differences, and each provides its own unique set of benefits

Benefits of Epoxy resin industrial paint for flooring

Epoxy resin paint comes in three different types. These include 100 percent solids, solvent based and water based. The reason for the difference in formulations is because each delivers a different degree of thickness when applied in a single coat. This also makes them easier to apply and gives them certain bonding properties.

The highest quality formulation is the 100 percent solids due to the thickness of the spread when coating and its ability to harden firmly and resist damage from impacts. This makes it the perfect floor paint for areas which are subjected to high traffic, abrasions and spills. There are also other formulas which are designed to hold up under constant exposure to UV rays, ideal for use in outdoor areas.

Benefits of polyurethane Industrial flooring paint

Polyurethane is also considered to be high quality floor paint, like epoxy resin, but the difference is that the paint is only between 60 to 70 percent solids. The thinner covering after drying does not mean it is inferior to epoxy resin though.

The benefit of polyurethane paint is that it is more flexible than epoxy and just as effective in handling impacts and even more resistant to scrapes and scuffs. In addition, it has a higher resistance power than epoxy resin for chemical spills. It comes in a variety of finishes ranging from satin to glossy.

Is polyurethane better than epoxy resin industrial floor paint?

Only in some instances is polyurethane paint a better choice. When treating industrial surfaces that are made of concrete, epoxy resin is far superior as it bonds to concrete surfaces quite well, and the thickness provides a type of filler when there are small cracks in the finish.

Epoxy resin paints are self-levelling whereas polyurethane is not. If you are treating a concrete floor then the best choice would be epoxy resin.


Selecting the best paint for the job includes first determining the type of surface that will be painted, the type of finish you wish to achieve, the amount of traffic involved and the type of use that it will get.

Both products are excellent choices for the appropriate surfaces, so long as the right selection is made for the flooring material. Polyurethane provides an option unless the surface is concrete; in this case, epoxy resin is the only way to go for successful and long lasting results.

Planning Processes Unique To Industrial Construction

The planning process for an industrial construction has unique features that may not be found in other construction projects. These features apply whether a company is building a new premises or expanding their existing facility.

The planning process is a crucial step in the construction of the new building and will need to be fully completed before any actual building work can begin. It is therefore important that as much care and attention as possible is taken during this stage, and this may involve input from the owners of the business, architects and builders.

The decision to undergo industrial construction is one that would not have been taking lightly by the business and by getting things right in the planning stage problems can be avoided further down the line.

Accept That Plans May Change In The Early Stages

Often when a company has an idea of what they want their construction to be, in the early stages of getting their plans together they find that some ideas will not be as feasible as they first thought.

If the company starts out with the outlook that this may be something that will have to be addressed, it will not cause as much disruption to the planning process as might be expected. If the company accepts that plans may have to change at some stage of the design process then they can react to these changes in a flexible manner which may lead to a solution being reached quickly. The rest of the planning process can then carry on without too much delay.

Ensure Any Future Developments Are Considered

The nature of industrial construction often means that at some point in the future the needs of the business that the facility is designed to meet at the present time will not necessarily still apply in the future. This does present a difficulty during the planning process because it is not always possible to anticipate the direction the business will take in years to come. If the business already has provisional plans for work they may look into carrying out in the future, then these should be taken into consideration during the planning process for this construction. This should be done even if no final decision has been made because it will be easier to work this into the plans now rather than further down the line.

Ensure The Planning Permission Covers All Aspects Of The Building Work

Once the company is sure that they have covered all the bases with their plans, then they will need to apply for planning permission from their local council. It is important that all the plans have been double checked before they are submitted to ensure that everything that needs to be included is there in the plans.

While it may be possible to amend the plans once they have been submitted, it will be easier to address this issue while still in the planning stage. Having to alter and resubmit plans to the local council will only result in delays to the project and a stretched budget.

Unless the building is of a particularly controversial design, or there are other local issues to be taken into account, achieving planning permission should not be too difficult.

However, it may be beneficial for the business to consult the council at the various stages of the planning process to ensure that there not any problems once the plans are ready to be submitted.

Visit the UK Government’s online planning and building regulations resource.

Flooring Options for Food Production Factories

Flooring in factories that undertake food production will present a challenge to all flooring contractors. This type of floor will need to be anti-slip but will also need to be hygienic.

Aggressive cleaning chemicals often need to be used to clean the floor to make sure that the hygiene levels are up to standard. In some instances, steam cleaning is also another technique that may be used.

In addition to this, there is also a danger that hot fat or oil may be spilled on the floor and these will need to be cleaned up straightaway, and this may happen several times a day.

All of this means that the floor will need to be tough and durable in order to stand up to this level of cleaning and any spillages that may occur. The floor will also need to have anti-slip properties, which means that even when it is wet or greasy, the surface of the floor will still grip the footwear that is being worn by employees.

Installing this type of flooring is not a job that the factory owner will want to carry out more often than is necessary and it is therefore important to ensure that the correct floor is laid first time round. There are a couple of options for the type of flooring that can be used in this environment. Let’s take a look.

Polyurethane Resin Floors

This type of flooring system has a number of features that make it ideal for use in food production areas. There are no flammability issues and when the floor is installed it will not leave behind a strong odour which may interfere with the food that is being produced and also means that employees can return to work quicker after the job has been completed.

Resin flooring is also able to stand up to changes in temperature that sometimes occur in the food preparation environment. It provides a high level of resistance to moisture and to chemicals which means that it is easily able to withstand common chemicals that are used for cleaning and also steam cleaning.

Aggregates can be added to the resin to give the floor a non-slip texture. The durability of this type of floor means that it can withstand abrasions and impact from a number of sources. It can also stand up to the amount of pedestrian and wheeled traffic that are common in food production factories.

Polyurethane Floor Paint

This paint can be applied to an existing resin or concrete floor to give it the properties that are required to make it safe for food preparation. This floor paint will give the floor all the properties of a polyurethane flooring system but has a number of advantages in terms of installation.

The whole process is a lot less time consuming than installing a brand new floor which means that it may be able to be carried out at a time when the factory would normally be closed, such as over the weekend, and this means that no disruption is caused to the business.

It can also be a lot cheaper than installing a new floor but the existing floor that is to be painted does need to be in a good condition. This type of paint is non-toxic and usually contains abrasion resistant fillers which help keep the finish of the flooring protected and will ensure that it remains durable for a significant period of time.

How to Safely Access a Manhole

Inspecting the inside of a manhole may not be something that you have to do every day, but a situation may occasionally arise where you would need to do so. With this in mind we thought that it would be good idea to go over some of the key points that must be adhered to in order to carry out an inspection safely.

Before entering the confined space of a manhole one should carry out some atmospheric tests in order to establish the conditions below ground.

There are three main tests to complete, these are:

• Oxygen content – A safe working oxygen level is between 19.5% and 21% and one should only enter into a confined space if the level underground is reading between these two figures. Constant monitoring of the oxygen levels is vital as suffocation in confined spaces is a very real threat if the level should drop. Conversely, should the oxygen level rise, there is a risk of explosion or the accelerated burning of flammable materials.

• Flammable or explosive gas check – The confined space should be checked for these gasses as the tiniest amount could cause an explosion should it come into contact with a spark or a flame.

• Toxicity – The toxicity level should be monitored in order to assess whether it is safe to enter the manhole or not. Any concentration of vapours can cause harm to the person entering the confined space.

All of the atmospheric tests must be carried out at all three levels of the manhole (top, middle and bottom) and for a minimum of 60 seconds each. With the help of manhole lifters, open the access point slightly and lower the detector or aspirator pump into the shaft to the desired level.


Ventilation systems should be in place and in operation both before and during any confined space inspection. A fresh air blower will help keep the flow of fresh air moving through the area, essential whenever diesel-fuelled machinery or gas cylinders are in operation.

Never, under any circumstances, use petrol-fuelled engines underground as the carbon monoxide from the exhaust is extremely dangerous.

Manhole cover lifting

The removal of the cover to the access point of the confined space should only be attempted with the correct manhole lifters for that particular cover.

Using the wrong type of hook or pick can result in injury and should be avoided. Before any manhole cover lifting takes place the assigned employee should have received adequate manual handling training.

General confined space good practices

Once the manhole has been tested and the cover has been removed you are now free to inspect the space as required. However, there is still great risk in entering a confined space so the following good practises should be closely adhered to at all times:

1. Ensure that the opening to the manhole is properly protected by erecting a temporary barrier around the entrance to prevent accidental falling by fellow workers or passers-by. This will also lower the risk of objects being dropped down the manhole onto the workers below.

2. Have a minimum of two people present at all times whilst working on a manhole. One should be the observer who can assess any potential hazards from ground level while the other works underground. Never enter an unattended manhole.

3. Never smoke, produce sparks or light open flames in or around an open manhole.

4. Wear protective clothing including non-sparking, non-slip footwear.

5. Be aware of the structural soundness of the steps/ladder inside the manhole. For vertical descents a safety harness should be used unless there is a threat of entanglement.

6. Lower tools down with a rope prior to entering the space. Do not carry tools or equipment down by hand. The same applies for removing them from the manhole.

7. If portable lighting is required use only explosion proof rigs and ensure that all tools are non-sparking.

8. Be aware of the emergency procedure for each particular confined space. Know your contingency plans and emergency arrangements before entering.

9. Follow the Confined Spaces Regulations Act 1997 and check to see if any other legislation applies to the task at hand.

The Best Ways to Prepare the Ground for Construction

Many outside of the construction industry might assume that we build any building right where we choose. Often they are not aware of, or never consider, the labour that is required just in preparing the ground to receive the foundation and, of course, the building. Without proper preparation, the building being constructed is liable to be unbuildable and prone to collapse.

The Process of Soil Stabilisation

In order for the ground to be made ready to build upon, the soil itself has to be easy to work with. It also has to be made ready to handle the weight of the load which is going to be placed upon it. Lime is used to not only strengthen, but also improve the workability of both the soil and ground.

This makes it easier for labourers to manipulate it properly for the job at hand. Quicklime will eliminate moisture from wet soil and this will not only improve the surface area, it will also reduce waiting time considerably.

Lime is also perfect to use in the preparation of the earth underneath motorways and roadways which are in the process of being constructed, as well as many other man-made surfaces. It will raise the amount of weight that can be handled by the surface as well as make it more stable and durable.

Soil Modification

Lime is a great choice for soil stabilisation on a short term basis as far as altering the properties of soil are concerned. It is even effective in stabilising soils that are of a finer grain and consistency. However, it is with soils that are clay based in their makeup that lime has proven itself to be the most effective. It creates changes in the workability of the thick, paste-like soil that gives it a high level of tolerance for being worked with more easily. Modifications themselves take place due to calcium cations, which are released from the lime to replace depleted cation. These are typically present on the surface of the ground as a result of a high Ph level. As a direct result, the mineralogy of the clay surface is changed, providing the builder with a much more consistent base on which to work.

Benefits of Stabilisation & Modification

The following are completed and provided through the above technique:
• A solid platform that is workable and able to be properly constructed upon
• A reduction in plasticity
• Stability of the site and working ground is improved
• Capacity to hold moisture is reduced
• Swelling is reduced due to the reduction in moisture held

The main benefits of ground stabilisation and modification are the strength that is gained and provided, ensuring the quality of the project and the safety of the builders. This strength tends to last a very long time, even under the most severe weather conditions.

Short term benefits include gaining time that would otherwise have been lost in the construction process and ground that can be made into a consistency that is workable, durable, dependable, and efficient.