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Stone/Brickwork Cleaning

Stone/Brickwork Cleaning

Case Study Power Signal Box, New Street, Birmingham


The external concrete aggregate panels were cleaned using chemical cleaning agents and low pressure water jetting. Due to its location directly adjacent to the main lines in and out of Birmingham and inner city traffic/buses years of smoke and grime were required to be removed.

At the instruction of the main contractors, client and Birmingham Conservation Officer the tower to the roof area was cleaned as a trial sample area prior to the full commencement of the main elevations. Low pressure variable controlled blasting was firstly requested by the Conservation Officer to the tower using Calcium Carbonate. Various trial sample areas were conducted by several contractors following which Relko Restoration & Masonry Ltd being the ones appointed to carryout the actual works to the tower due to the best sample panels.

 Following the trials and carrying out of this method to the whole tower Relko Restoration & Masonry Ltd conducted a sample of chemical and low pressure water cleaning which produced a better result and was more pleasing to client and conservation officer. This was necessary due the irregularity and roughness of the aggregate chippings where the chemical cleaning gave a more cleansed wash compared to the low pressure blast cleaning alone.



Parts of the building had to be cleaned out of hours where it was not possible to provide such protection and for trials of the above water proof run off section. These areas were cleaned during possession periods of midnight Saturday to 6.00am Sunday. Faced with heavy liquated damages of up to £15,000.00 per minute after 6.00am if electric could not be switched on resulting in train delays the main contractors required a competent and reliable company.

Stone/Brickwork Cleaning

Materials Used

Low pressure water jetting,

Duration of Works

2 Months


The cleaning and repair work on New Street Power Signal Box (PSB) was Highly Commended in The National Railway Heritage Awards 2001 and the scheme was praised for its sympathetic restoration of the exterior of the signal box.