Stone Preservation

Generally, coatings such as silicone water repellents should only be applied to stonework following expert advice and testing. Silicone treatment may in certain cases cause a build-up of salt deposits behind the treated layer, eventually causing failure. Silicone treatment should not be applied to already decayed stone surfaces. Polymeric silanes, such as Brethane (alkyl-alkoxy-silane) can be used to consolidate decaying stone. The silane is absorbed up to 50 mm into the stone where it polymerises, stabilising the stone but without changing its external appearance. Generally such treatment is appropriate for small artefacts which are in immediate danger of loss if left untreated.

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