Cleaning Lymestone? marble Stone rough face surround

professorkev

New Member
Jul 22, 2019
8
Central NY
I have this house I am remodeling and this stone I'm not sure how or if it will cleanup? Lymestone or os ot a marble types stone? I can't recall but my mom alaso has it on her fireplace (1960's) I haven't attempted anything yet but it's the next project after trim work.

Is it cleanable? what would you try?
I know it's porous so cleaners are a tough call. I though of tearing out have the fireplace and just refacing the main part or reface the entire thing.

THe people lived in this house for 20 years, obviously over the years they didn't get the fireplace checked and wasn't venting properly - soot markings throughout the house.

IMG_3563.jpg IMG_3562.jpg IMG_2368.jpg
 
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DAKSY

Patriot Guard Rider Moderator
Staff member
I'd try brushing it with a stiff-bristle brush (NOT STEEL) to see what loosens up & falls off.
Then I'd try soaking a clean white rag in hydrogen pyroxide & holding the rag against the stone - DON'T rub -
on a spot off too one side to see if that has an effect. Once that spot dries try the brush again...
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,224
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Cleaning porous unsealed stone can be really difficult. Vinegar will actually dissolve a bit of the surface of limestone, but that may just make it worse, because the soot can run deeper into the stone once it's dissolved in the fluid.

I'd personally rip out the old fireplace unit, inspect the chimney, and go stove shopping, and then decide how to proceed with the fireplace.

Knowing what is going there will definitely help you decide what should be done with the old stone facing.

One option to clean it up without cleaning it up- shorten up the stone facing by a half brick on both sides, and use the cutoffs to replace the stained stones in the middle.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,620
central pa
Paint and peel fireplace cleaner
 

professorkev

New Member
Jul 22, 2019
8
Central NY
Thanks for the replies. I'll try the brush technique and soak but I tell ya, It look pretty bad. I wondered how that paint and peel works. Read about that a few weeks ago. As for fireplace insert, yeah that's going. Found a new like one on craigslist but honestly I want to put in a gas fireplace. There is a gasline right below it too. Chimney guy I'm hoping will be in to check it out in a week or two and agree THAT could decide how to proceed.

your shortening up is ideal (way too long) don't know about splitting up the rock to create a new facing (beyond my scope)
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,620
central pa
Thanks for the replies. I'll try the brush technique and soak but I tell ya, It look pretty bad. I wondered how that paint and peel works. Read about that a few weeks ago. As for fireplace insert, yeah that's going. Found a new like one on craigslist but honestly I want to put in a gas fireplace. There is a gasline right below it too. Chimney guy I'm hoping will be in to check it out in a week or two and agree THAT could decide how to proceed.

your shortening up is ideal (way too long) don't know about splitting up the rock to create a new facing (beyond my scope)
Just get the paint and peel. I have tried tons of stuff and nothing else is even 1/4 as effective.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,224
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Thanks for the replies. I'll try the brush technique and soak but I tell ya, It look pretty bad. I wondered how that paint and peel works. Read about that a few weeks ago. As for fireplace insert, yeah that's going. Found a new like one on craigslist but honestly I want to put in a gas fireplace. There is a gasline right below it too. Chimney guy I'm hoping will be in to check it out in a week or two and agree THAT could decide how to proceed.

your shortening up is ideal (way too long) don't know about splitting up the rock to create a new facing (beyond my scope)
A cheap wetsaw is less than $100. If it's just a couple cuts you can put an abrasive cut-off in your circle saw for about $3 but the wet saw is way better.

I'd try bholler's thing first, he does this stuff every day.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,572
South Puget Sound, WA
Looks great. Is that really limestone? Almost looks like granite.
 

Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
781
Union Bridge, Md
I would be with bholler on this. On the years I've been in homes with fireplaces, the surrounds were never cleaned through the years. Now they call it patina.
 

professorkev

New Member
Jul 22, 2019
8
Central NY
Just doing the half gallons. Based on the first one I guestimate it'll take a total of 6 (so 3 gallons worth) $51/bucket ain;t cheap but quicker better than trying to clean with a brush or refacing. I think I mentioned, I am remodeling and selling this house in September. This stuff shouldn't be so expensive but oh well.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,620
central pa
Just doing the half gallons. Based on the first one I guestimate it'll take a total of 6 (so 3 gallons worth) $51/bucket ain;t cheap but quicker better than trying to clean with a brush or refacing. I think I mentioned, I am remodeling and selling this house in September. This stuff shouldn't be so expensive but oh well.
It is that expensive because it works so much better than anything else. But wow 51 for 1/2 gal...
 

professorkev

New Member
Jul 22, 2019
8
Central NY
It is that expensive because it works so much better than anything else. But wow 51 for 1/2 gal...

Yep! It is what it is. Cheaper option is to paint but that for me would be the last resort. $300 for paint in such a small area. That’s what makes me cringe.....BUT scrubbing would make me miserable. It’s good stuff though and working for me; amazingly. I’ll post pics when done and room painted
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,620
central pa
Yep! It is what it is. Cheaper option is to paint but that for me would be the last resort. $300 for paint in such a small area. That’s what makes me cringe.....BUT scrubbing would make me miserable. It’s good stuff though and working for me; amazingly. I’ll post pics when done and room painted
That's about what I pay a gal. But I assume you are paying retail.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,572
South Puget Sound, WA
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