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Effectiveness of granite cleaning procedures in cultural heritage: A review

Pozo-Antonio, J.S., Rivas, T., López, A.J., Fiorucci, M.P., Ramil, A.
The Science of the total environment 2016 v.571 pp. 1017-1028
cleaning, coatings, cultural heritage, field experimentation, futures trading, granite, paints, Iberian Peninsula
Most of the Cultural Heritage built in NW Iberian Peninsula is made of granite which exposition to the environment leads to the formation of deposits and coatings, mainly two types: biological colonization and sulphated black crusts. Nowadays, another form of alteration derives from graffiti paints when these are applied as an act of vandalism.A deep revision needs to be addressed considering the severity of these deterioration forms on granite and the different cleaning effectiveness achieved by cleaning procedures used to remove them. The scientific literature about these topics on granite is scarcer than on sedimentary carbonate stones and marbles, but the importance of the granite in NW Iberian Peninsula Cultural Heritage claims this review centred on biological colonization, sulphated black crusts and graffiti on granite and their effectiveness of the common cleaning procedures.Furthermore, this paper carried out a review of the knowledge about those three alteration forms on granite, as well as bringing together all the major studies in the field of the granite cleaning with traditional procedures (chemical and mechanical) and with the recent developed technique based on the laser ablation. Findings concerning the effectiveness evaluation of these cleaning procedures, considering the coating extraction ability and the damage induced on the granite surface, are described. Finally, some futures research lines are pointed out.