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Friday, June 1 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
48. (Architecture) Steam Heat: Use of high heat/ low pressure cleaning system on 19th century funerary monuments at Green-Wood Cemetery

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During the spring of 2016 Green-Wood Cemetery and the Kärcher company began a collaboration under the company's cultural heritage program. Kärcher is a leader in the European pressure washer and steam cleaning world, this project was their first in the United States. Two mausoleums and one large monument were chosen for cleaning. All monuments were white american marble, most likely from the east coast. All exhibited deterioration and soiling due to biological growth, gypsum crust build up and lack of routine maintenance. After small tests were completed in March of 2016 Kärcher teamed up with Green-Wood to complete all the cleanings in May of 2016. The cleanings took approximately seven days. The steam machine was originally formulated to clean large engines and other industrial components, however its gentle pressure and lack of chemicals makes it a unique conservation tool. Green-Wood was able to gain on site knowledge of the steam cleaning methods as well as low pressure abrasive techniques to continue the conservation efforts after Kärcher returned to Germany. This presentation will follow the Green-Wood restoration team and the Kärcher specialists through the conservation of the three monuments, describe the testing methods, best practices in the field, trouble shooting, and next steps.


Georg Shmid

Conservator, AeDis
Georg Shmid is a conservator with the firm AeDis in Germany. He assisted the Karcher team with the testing and treatment plans for the Green-Wood Cemetery project.
avatar for Neela K. Wickremesinghe

Neela K. Wickremesinghe

Manager of Restoration and Preservation, Green-Wood Cemetery
Neela K. Wickremesinghe joined the Green-Wood team during fall 2016. Ms. Wickremesinghe holds MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Friday June 1, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm MDT
Texas Ballroom (Foyer outside Ballrooms - Poster Session) Marriott Marquis Houston