Dear Donny

Irish Daily Mirror - - SHOPPING - DIY EX­PERT DONNY SHERI­DAN AN­SWERS YOUR PROB­LEMS

Q AI have in­stalled a stone man­tel above my in­glenook fire­place and now the York­shire sand­stone looks a bit dirty. Can you rec­om­mend a stone cleaner? Keith Sykes, Hud­der­s­field If you ap­ply any­thing to sand­stone it will no longer look like sand­stone – it will have a plas­tic sheen which ru­ins the look. It is por­ous, al­most like a sponge, and will ab­sorb stains, so you need a seal for it to look freshly pol­ished. You can try clean­ing stone with pol­ish­ing pads, but if the stone is in place this would cre­ate a lot of dust. Fire­place man­tels are usu­ally made of eas­ily clean­able ma­te­ri­als like painted wood. You could ap­ply a sealer you would use on pa­tio paving, but that ru­ins the look. C an you rec­om­mend any­thing to clean brick win­dowsills with?

They are the same brick as the house but the sills gather dirt and moss. Dave, by email

A

It was pop­u­lar to use bricks for win­dowsills in the 80s and 90s. It wasn’t prac­ti­cal be­cause bricks ab­sorb wa­ter and the rough sur­face al­lows dirt to gather and moss to form. If bricks were used, they should have used en­gi­neer­ing bricks which are al­most wa­ter­proof. All you can do is scrub and power-wash them, but you will have to main­tain this up­keep.

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