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What is DOFF Steam Cleaning and how does it work?

There’s more than one way to produce a great, clean finish that’s gentle to a building’s facade and the environment around it. See Brilliance has a number of tricks up its sleeve, and one of the most commonly used by our teams is the DOFF Steam Cleaning system.

This method of cleaning is an effective and practical way to revitalise the aesthetics of a building while extending and preserving its facade. Let’s take a look at what DOFF Steam Cleaning is and why we use it!

What does DOFF Steam Cleaning mean?

DOFF Steam Cleaning makes use of a gentle production of steam which is spread over a facade through an applicator at varying temperature and pressure. It’s known in the industry for being especially gentle when compared to other forms of cleaning, with litres of super heated water and steam being applied every minute onto the building surface.

Gentle cleaning like this is well suited to more delicate surfaces that cannot withstand the thermal shock or abrasion of other cleaning methods – a characteristic particularly common with listed buildings, Heritage sites, and older stone buildings or monuments.

What specific benefits are there to DOFF Steam Cleaning?

Different buildings respond in various ways to different kinds of cleaning – and they age differently, too. This is often due to the physical properties of their structure and facade and the age of the building. With so many of our older buildings in the UK being made of stone, for instance, the accumulation of fungi, algae and moss makes for serious deterioration and visual decay over time.

The removal of biological matter and the accumulation of things like moss, dirt and more is challenging; a cleaning process that’s too abrasive or of too high a pressure will chip away at stone and can even damage the facade and any paint or protective surface substances applied to it.

The DOFF Steam Cleaning system generates superheated steam at temperatures exceeding 150°C, but this isn’t your average kettle-whistle heat. The pressure remains surprisingly low, creating a delicate balance between heat and touch. This makes the DOFF system ideal for tackling stubborn grime on surfaces that wouldn’t tolerate harsher methods, like:

  • Historic buildings: DOFF Steam Cleaning gently cleans stonework, brick, and terracotta without risk of damage, preserving heritage sites for future generations.
  • Graffiti removal on stone: Say goodbye to unsightly tags without harsh chemicals. DOFF lifts paint and ink without harming the underlying surface.
  • Industrial cleaning: From modern stone facades to historic monuments, DOFF cuts through detritus and grime without leaving chemical residues.

Graffiti removal and legal compliance

It’s a sad fact that graffiti and fouling from wildlife and humans – often from simple chewing gum – accumulates even on listed buildings and monuments in time. DOFF Steam Cleaning shines here, with the gentle application of heat and steam still being strong enough to remove foreign substances like wax, oil, chewing gum and naturally occurring substances like algae and moss.

Buildings also often have their own legal requirements in terms of sanitisation and hygiene, particularly in industries like healthcare and food production. DOFF Steam Cleaning is very useful here, with the gentle steam cleaning format producing a great result that operates within the hygienic requirements of the building and its area.

What kinds of buildings have been cleaned using DOFF steam cleaning?

The list is long indeed! The See Brilliance team is a long-standing supporter of the National Trust and English Heritage, with our professional cleaning teams utilising the DOFF Steam Cleaning process to restore precious buildings to their original beauty and finish all over the UK.

We’ve worked with the National Trust and English Heritage many times, producing a hygienic and thorough result using DOFF cleaning methods that respect the physical complexities and sensitivities of historic buildings and the need to avoid any form of damage whatsoever to their facades and surfaces.

The benefits of DOFF go far beyond just cleaning power too. Here are some reasons why it’s a highly regarded cleaning and restoration system:

  • Eco-friendly: No harsh chemicals means less environmental impact and safer usage around people and pets.
  • Water efficiency: Low water usage compared to pressure washing makes DOFF a sustainable choice.
  • Fast drying: Surfaces dry quickly, minimizing disruption and inconvenience.
  • Versatility: DOFF tackles a wide range of cleaning tasks, making it a one-stop solution for many needs.

DOFF Steam Cleaning in action

See Brilliance was brought in to conduct extensive renovation works at a 300-year-old Grade II listed hotel in the Cotswolds. Our operatives conducted an extensive site survey to determine the best approach to restoring the stone facades of this large and magnificent site.

Using the DOFF Steam Cleaning system, our operatives restored exterior stonework to an almost as new condition whilst maintaining an eco-friendly and non-damaging approach to restoration that could not be achieved from other cleaning systems. Due to its versatility, efficiency, and gentle touch, DOFF Steam Cleaning was the most suitable option for such an important restoration.

DOFF Steam Cleaning in action - before and after photo

Can we help?

Do you have a building in need of restoration and cleaning? Whether you’re struggling with graffiti damage or need to remove the accumulation of dirt and foreign substances from your property, See Brilliance can help.

Our cleaning and restorative work will bring your building back to life – and it could save you significant money by reducing the frequency in which further cleaning is required. Contact us today on 01635 230888 or email us on [email protected]. We hope to hear from you soon!

Learn more about DOFF Steam Cleaning

Download the See Brilliance 2024 brochure