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about steam cleaning

Through steam cleaning systems, water is passed under high pressure through a burner, creating steam that passes through a hose and reaches the spray nozzle at 150 degrees. The carefully regulated combination of steam, water and oxygen has adjustable working pressure and flow rate.  

The benefits

Steam cleaning causes a ‘thermo shock’ effect, which causes surface pollutants to overheat and break up so they can be removed without damaging the surface. This makes it ideal for cleaning render, old stone, masonry and softer substrates such as wood

Our systems are vehicle-mounted and fully self-contained so we can turn up, switch on and start working without requiring access to mains services, which is ideal out of hours.  

Steam cleaning is environmentally friendly, with low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It also reduces the need for harmful chemicals. 

Typical Applications

Steam cleaning can efficiently and effectively remove atmospheric pollution, fungi, paint, oil and grease, chewing gum and more, while mitigating damage to the surface. 


We help businesses and facilities managers quickly and safely remove graffiti, leaving their exterior building surfaces looking good as new. Aerosol spray paint is the most typical substance used, though we also come across a variety of other substances such as felt marker pens, waxy products, emulsion and gloss paint. We can often remove these contaminants over a small surface area using pressurised steam. We can also apply a special anti-graffiti treatment that makes it much easier to remove any future attacks. 


Algae requires moisture to grow, so it thrives in damp, sheltered or shaded areas. It typically affects hard exterior surfaces such as stone or brick façades or block paving, creating unsightly stains and contributing to the degeneration of the surface. It can also make exterior terraces, pathways and steps slippery and potentially hazardous. Pressurised steam is very effective for removing algae from exterior surfaces and we often apply a biocide after cleaning to inhibit regrowth.


A problem in urban areas with a high volume of traffic, pollution builds up when sulphur dioxide from vehicle exhausts reacts with stone, forming calcium sulphate crystals on the surface. Pollution gets trapped creating a black crust and dark staining. Not only unsightly, it affects the movement of water in and out of the stone which causes it to deteriorate. We use a combination of steam and a specific cleaning agent to effectively remove pollution. Regular cleaning can also help protect the substrate and prolong the life of the building. 


Steam cleaning, in tandem with paint softener, makes it easy to remove old, discoloured paint, without damaging the surace - even from soft historic stone. The unique ‘thermo shock effect’ that it creates - a combination of heat and pressure - breaks the paint up at the molecular level while mitigating the risk of damage. This allows paint to be cleaned off quickly and easily, ready for the surface to be repainted. 

Lime Run

Lime run is a hard white or grey crust found on brick and mortar joints. It occurs when, during construction, water dissolves water-soluble calcium compounds, which then reacts with the atmosphere. Once lime run has hardened, it’s difficult to remove. We use a cleaning agent to lift it and steam to remove the traces. We recommend preventative measures to protect brickwork from rainfall to avoid lime run.

Moss and Lichen

Moss and lichen thrive in a wet environment, especially where there's a pitted surface that allows them to root. They grow on hard surfaces such as roof tiles, block paving, wooden cladding and decking. To remove these organic contaminants, we use a combination of steam cleaning and a biocide to ensure that they are thoroughly eradicated and help inhibit re-growth. 

Steam Cleaning Systems

We can use any steam cleaning system that is specified on a tender. 

Steam Plus

Steam PLUS is a vehicle-mounted cleaning system that removes contaminants with high-pressure 150-degree steam. It cleans with a fully adjustable working pressure of between 50-200BAR and a flow rate of 7L per minute. 


A superheated water system, DOFF is a stone steam cleaner that effectively removes paint, organic matter, dirt and grime without damaging the surface. 


ThermaTech is a transportable superheated system that is designed for masonry cleaning, including paint, oil and chewing gum removal on heritage buildings. 


The high-pressure superheated steam cleaner Torik is portable and efficient, for quick removal of grime, fungi and many other types of soiling. 


We use a variety of accessories with our cleaning systems to help us achieve the best clean possible. These include pistols - to control water flow, lances - including telescopic lances which are ideal for hard to reach areas, and turbo nozzles which create spinning jets that hit the surface from multiple angles. We can also use a variety of brushes which are ideal for flat, horizontal surfaces.

Related Case Studies

Cleaning a Grade II listed building

We recently carried out cleaning for a Grade II listed building in the centre of the city. The General (thus named because it used to be the Bristol General Hospital) is a prestigious residential development located on the waterfront.

Read full case study

Petrol station forecourt cleaning at Gloucester services

OneFifty recently cleaned the petrol station forecourt at Gloucester services - an award winning service station located on the M5 motorway...

Read full case study

Ashton Gate Stadium

We were recently asked to remove dark, unsightly algae that was staining the high white steel structures situated at the top of the new south and west stands at Ashton gate.

Read full case study

Some of our clients


Client Testimonials

“As always OneFifty got the job done with no fuss. They’re our go-to supplier for exterior building cleaning.”

Mark Sheffield - Contracts Manager - Jones Building Group

“Please pass on my sincere thanks to guys for the demo and for getting Neptune cleaned.”

Wendy Tomlinson - Senior Conservation Officer, Cheltenham Borough Council

“You’ve done a lovely job and we would recommend your services.”

Elaine Whitfield - Consort Property Management

“A safe pair of hands - thorough, cost effective and report back in a timely fashion.”

Bloq Management Services

“Thank you to you and your team for delivering such high standards of service whilst representing RelyOn.”

Jason Husk - RelyOn Services

“I was very impressed with the finish your company produced and how quickly you managed to do it.”

Tom Brady - MD Building Services

Our Accreditations