Monday, September 29, 2008

Natural Stone Specialist September edition
Consultant Barry Hunt answers readers questions

Question: What is the best way to get rid of chewing gum from stone surfaces?

"The latest figures from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs state that some authorities spend as much as £200,000 a year dealing with the problem of chewing gum and that about £5million is spent across the UK.

There are no chemicals that could be used easily and safely to remove chewing gum, and even if there were, the costs of using them would be prohibitive. Freezing gum to make it brittle for easy removal is a well known process but it is not practical in large streetscapes where, again, the time and cost would be prohibitive. By far the most effective process I have seen used is a high pressure, hot water jet-washing, using water 80 to 90 degrees. The hot water softens the gum while the force of the water peels it from the surface. And as the released gum and surrounding area is wet, the gum is unable to stick back down and is simply vacuumed up."

Natural Stone Specialist

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