LBC are a Rosette approved DOFF steam cleaning contractor based in North London who provide brick and stone cleaning services using the DOFF system right across London and home counties.
This article explains exactly what DOFF Steam Cleaning is, the benefits of using a DOFF machine, and also the comparable systems available on the market.
What is DOFF Steam Cleaning?
DOFF is a brand.It’s a very good brand.It’s created by a well-reputable company called Stonehealth. Stonehealth are a company in the North of England. They are the only company that manufacture the DOFF machine, and they do that very well. They’re a very good company, and they make a great product. However, what a lot of contractors and people do not want the consumer to know, is that the DOFF is effectively just a pressure washer and a boiler combined together in a nice package.
The DOFF is a pressure washer and a boiler.It is set up with a specific sized pump, at a specific pressure and flow.This makes the system acceptable for restoring brickwork, stonework, render, and other specific substrates.
Stonehealth have come up with this machine, which is set up to deliver a fixed pressure and water flow. Which makes it suitable for cleaning the substrates mentioned above. However, with the right know-how and expertise, a standard pressure washing system and hot water boiler can be adjusted to perform in the same way as a DOFF. With the use of an adjustable unloader, a pressure gauge and specific sized fan jets most pressure washing systems have the capability of performing in a similar manner as the DOFF machine.
Whats the Difference between a Hot Pressure Washer and a DOFF?
A DOFF Cleaning system is basically a hot pressure washing set up. Consisting of a pressure washing pump and a hot water boiler. The system is well engineered and it is set up at the correct flow and pressure to make it a great system for cleaning and restoring brick, stone and other surfaces.
From a standard pressure washer with a larger pump that delivers more pressure and more flow of water than a DOFF system. An experienced person can adjust the unloader to reduce the pressure that the pump is providing and also adjust the nozzle size to restrict the flow.This can then produce the same pressure and same flow of water as a DOFF pump. The DOFF system delivers around 100 bar of pressure at around 5 litres per minute.
DOFF VS TORIC VS THERMATECH
There are also other types of boilers. For example, the Mazzoni Boiler or the Lava Boiler that can be combined with pressure washing equipment to produce hot water and steam the same way the DOFF machine does.
There are also other systems such as the Torik and Thermatech machines.
To give a good comparison, when people speak about Hoovers, they’re actually talking about vacuum cleaners. Hoover is just a well-recognized brand for a vacuum cleaner. To give another example, the word Jeep. A lot of people say Jeep when they’re referring to a 4×4. However, Jeep is actually a brand, a model of a car manufacturer that builds these types of 4x4s.
So with a huge compliment to Stonehealth’s sales and marketing ability’s, their DOFF Steam cleaning systems have become the recognised name for the use of hot water and steam cleaning systems to carry out restoration work on stone, brick and entire buildings.
The DOFF Brand
Stonehealth have done a very good job of getting their brand out there.Getting in with architects, getting in with English Heritage so that tenders request ‘the DOFF Steam Cleaning System’. However, there are other systems that can provide the exact same level of restoration than the DOFF machine can. Now, it is worth mentioning at this point that LBC have a DOFF machine.The machine is a fantastic piece of British engineering.But it is just one tool in our toolkit used for certain types of restoration and cleaning work. We also have several hot water pressure washing systems, that when adjusted correctly, can perform in a very similar way that the DOFF machine can.
Cleaning contractors may find it annoying that they can produce the same results with their hot pressure washing systems, however the client has requested a DOFF system to be used. Stonehealth have also controlled the market supply to help keep the price of the DOFF system high. They do this by only renting DOFF units to company’s who have already purchased a system.
As mentioned above, your contractor really has to have a good understanding of flow and pump pressure and use the correct nozzle size so it is fair to say that there is a risk someone may get the pressure wrong which could lead to damage of stone, brickwork or pointing. An advantage of the DOFF system is that the pressure and flows are all set and fixed for specific restoration tasks which eliminate any risk of damaging the substrate.
DOFF versus ThermaTech.
ThermaTech is another combination of a pressure washing system and a boiler to produce a hot steam cleaning system at a level of pressure. The Thermatech system is suitable for restoring brick, stone, and render. Now, they are very similar, and there are some advantages and disadvantages of each system.