Cleaning Polished Black Granite

Procedure code:
National Capitol Region Specifications
Last Modified:




A. This procedure includes guidance on cleaning Academy
Black Granite.

B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:

1. Safety Precautions

2. Historic Structures Precautions

3. Submittals

4. Quality Assurance

5. Delivery, Storage and Handling

6. Project/Site Conditions

7. Sequencing and Scheduling

8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)

These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).


A. Pressure Readings: Described herein, shall be measured
at the nozzle of the spray apparatus, not at the masonry
surfaces as follows:

1. Low pressure wash shall measure between 100 psi and
400 psi.

2. Medium pressure wash shall measure between 400 psi
and 800 psi.

3. High pressure wash shall measure between 800 psi
and 1200 psi.

B. Construction Engineer: As referred to hereinafter, means
that person or persons representing the Government or
acting for the Governments Contracting Officer.


A. Cleaning operations shall be carried out by a firm with
a minimum of five years specialized experience in the
cleaning of historic architectural masonry.

B. The Contractor shall submit to the Architect written
record of projects for which the Contractor has performed
masonry cleaning of materials the same as those on this

C. The Contractor shall arrange with the Construction
Engineer for a site test of protective methods and
cleaning materials and methods which he proposed to use
to prove that chemical damage to glass, polished black
granite, or air conditioning units, painted surfaces,
trees, shrubbery, and grass will not occur.

D. Regulatory Requirements: Comply with municipal and
Federal regulation governing the cleaning, chemical waste
disposal, scaffolding and protection to adjacent

E. Field Samples:

1. The Contractor shall clean 25 square feet
(approximate) sample panels on each type of
masonry. Locations of sample panels to be cleaned
will be selected by the Construction Engineer.

2. Prior to cleaning sample panels, the Contractor
shall submit to the Construction Engineer
his written description of cleaning
methods, working pressures, materials and equipment
proposed for use in cleaning each type of masonry.
Actual samples of any chemicals shall be submitted
along with letters of certification from
manufacturer that chemical concentrations do not
exceed those specified above.

3. Adjust the cleaning concentrations, working
pressures and methodologies during test panel
cleaning, as directed by the Construction Engineer.

4. Sample panels shall be cleaned by the Contractor
using methods, materials, and working pressures
previously submitted and approved. Sample panel
cleaning shall be performed in the presence of the
Construction Engineer. The working pressures
during sample panel cleaning shall be varied up to
the previously submitted and approved capacities to
determine the best working pressure.

5. The Contractor shall obtain the Construction
Engineers written approval of cleaning methods,
working pressures, materials, equipment used and
sample panels before proceeding with building
cleaning operations. For this written approval
purpose, the Contractor shall allow a minimum of
seven calendar days after completion of sample
cleaning to permit the Construction Engineer to
study the sample panels for negative reactions.
Approved sample panels shall be marked and left
unaltered. Approved samples will be used as the
standard for similar work throughout the project.


A. Packing and Shipping: Deliver materials to the site in
the manufacturer's original and unopened containers and
packaging, bearing labels as to the type of material,
brand name and manufacturer's name. Delivered materials
shall be identical to tested materials.

B. Storage and Protection: Store materials off the ground
in a dry, clean location. Remove materials which are
damaged or otherwise not suitable for use from the job


A. Environmental Requirements: No cleaning shall be
executed when air or masonry surface temperature is below
45 degrees F, unless adequate approved means are provided for
maintaining a 45 degrees F temperature of the air and materials
for 48 hours subsequent to cleaning.


A. Perform general cleaning of masonry before the repair and
pointing of the masonry, unless mortar joints are in poor
condition. Serious deterioration could foster excessive
moisture infiltration into the masonry. Perform final
wash down of the masonry no less than 30 days after
masonry repair and pointing is completed.

B. Perform cleaning and washing of the exterior masonry only
during hours of natural daylight.



A. The Procter & Gamble Co.


A. Soap for Black Granite: Mild detergent with no abrasives
and water soluble, such as "Tide" (Proctor and Gamble),
or approved equal.

B. Warm Water: Potable, non-staining and free of oil,
acids, alkalis, and organic matter, heated to
approximately 180 degrees F.


A. Garden hose

B. Brushes: Fiber bristle brushes



A. Tests/Inspection: Inspect site conditions and drainage
to determine that cleaning operations can be conducted
without endangering or causing interference with other
materials or work at the site and to determine that
drainage is adequate to safely carry away all waste
material produced during the cleaning operations.


A. Protection:

1. All necessary precautions shall be taken to protect
all parts of the building not being cleaned from
damage during the cleaning process. The Contractor
shall use masking tape where applicable to seal
edges of coverings during masonry cleaning
operations, and remove such coverings when masonry
cleaning operations are completed on that section
of the building.

2. All work shall proceed in an orderly fashion;
working from top to bottom of each scaffold width
and from one end of the elevation to the other.

3. Take all necessary precautions and protective
measures to protect surrounding materials on the
site and surfaces of the building not being
cleaned, from coming in contact with the cleaning
materials and run-off.

4. Take necessary precautions to protect workmen and
pedestrians from cleaning chemicals, overspray and

5. Provide protection to prohibit chemicals or run-off
from coming in contact with any painted, polished
or metallic surfaces. Build dams to divert flowing
water to drains in compliance with municipal codes.
Contain or dilute used cleaning materials prior to
disposal in accordance with code.

G. The Contractor shall test all drains which he plans to
use to assure that those drains are functioning properly
before beginning masonry cleaning operation in each area.
The Contractor shall immediately report the location of
drains which are stopped up or blocked to the
Construction Engineer.

H. During cleaning operations, the Contractor shall prevent
solids, such as masonry cleaning residue, from the drains
and drain lines. Drains shall be serviced daily. The
Contractor will be held responsible for cleaning out
drains and drain lines which become blocked or filled as
a result of work performed under this contract.


A. Pre-wet the granite with a low pressure (100-400 psi)
warm water.

B Apply soap diluted in water 1:32 by volume using a soft
fiber brush and allow to stand 3-5 minutes.

C Scrub surface and rinse granite with low pressure clean
water to remove all soap and soil from granite.

Last Reviewed: 2017-12-11