how to clean mortar off manufactured stone?

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tenax

New Member
Jan 31, 2009
56
lethbridge alberta canada
i've read all the guides that talk about using a soft brush to brush it off before it sets overnight and i'll try that, but that sounds unrealistic to me that that will be sufficient to clean off mortar residue completely..can i use water and rag to do so in the real world?:)
 

webfoot

New Member
Jan 15, 2009
20
Southern Ontario Canada
AS I am a Stone Mason 20 yrs,don't use water on fresh morter! Wait for morter to be thum print dry,but not to dry and use a soft brush to clean the morter joints and to feather in any small holes in the joints,
If joints are some what dry u can use a stiff brush on the stone.If morter still wont come off,try a wire brush but be careful not to leave scratches in the stone face. Good Luck!
 

tenax

New Member
Jan 31, 2009
56
lethbridge alberta canada
they say not to use a wire brush on eldorado stone but i have a couple of new ones so i guess i'll try it gently? the crumbly stuff i get that the bristle brush would take off but i don't see how mortar that smeared on the stone is going come off with any brush? this is dry stack stone by the way so the joints aren't turning out to be an issue..just the mortar i got on the faces with my icky fingers!
 
Jan 3, 2009
219
WI
I'm an electrician by trade, not a mason, but work with those fellas a lot. Listen to Webfoot. Better yet get an unemployed mason to help. There are lots of unemployed tradesmen out there right now. The older white haired guy is the one to hire. Good stone masons are not appreciated. I have a natural field stone fireplace8'x 4'X 22' tall with stone all around. All I did was bring the stone into the house for him.

In the end you will be grateful you involved a mason.
 

tenax

New Member
Jan 31, 2009
56
lethbridge alberta canada
well, the 1850 to 2000 dollars that i was quoted to do 50 square ft of eldorado stone was nuts to me, given i priced out material all in to be about 700 dollars. while i do have respect for the trades and even more so for masons now that i am doing this, i still believe 1150 to 1300 dollars labour that each contractor wanted for a maximum 1 day job to be insane. (single guy job they both said) trades people are far from unemployed where i am (alberta canada). the new build market is still strong , even though not superheated like before, but the renovation market is crazy from all the tradespeople i've talked to. and the waiting period to get work done by anyone is a minimum 3 weeks..50% of those you ask for a quote on anything, don't call back at this point. and in any event, i'm too far into the project now to change course on it..there is a product for masonry smear removal i've found in research called sure klean and i can get some from a concrete place in town here tomorrow. i'm crossing my fingers it will work and will report back. also, i have some tsp and in heavy concentration,it might work. i'm going to try it on a stained unplaced stone today to see what it does.
 

tenax

New Member
Jan 31, 2009
56
lethbridge alberta canada
well, i ended up buying a hydrochloric acid based chemical, but don't think i'll need it..we'll see tomorrow..i ended up using laundry detergent mixed with water and rinsed with water and a sponge after. i used a soft steel brush to scrape the mortar..it's pretty good i think. more work to be done to finish things (some grouting between some of the wider joints and grout on the hearthstones and edges.

newfireplace.jpg
 
Jan 3, 2009
219
WI
Looks nice. Don't use the acid unless you have to. And then only for spot cleaning. It will most likely damage the artificial stone.
 

hensonconst1

Member
Jan 10, 2009
59
Western KY
looks like some of the corners need more mortar. It is called tuck pointing. wet the mortar with some sort of mist and ad mortar use a tuck tool to smooth it out. LOOKS GREAT.
 

tenax

New Member
Jan 31, 2009
56
lethbridge alberta canada
i ended up using a small toothbrush size wirebrush (carefully!) and laundry detergent and water for clean up..it worked pretty well.. yeah, i get you on the tuck pointing..there's not nearly that much light in my living room at any time (and it's on a wall that doesn't face any window) so the tuck pointing on edges may not be an issue really, but i think i'm going to use a dark grey grout on the edges and i'll use it to fill in carefully any undue gaps on the face as well.
 
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