Last edited 26 Jul 2019

Types of stain on buildings

Limestaining.jpg

A stain, or staining, is the visible discolouration of a surface caused by the interaction of two dissimilar materials.

Stains can be accidental, intentional, or can be the result of the deterioration of materials, such as the rust which forms on iron or the patina that develops on bronze.

Stained glass is a type of glazing material that is intentionally coloured (stained), either by the addition of metallic salts during the manufacturing process, or by having colour applied to its surface and then being fired in a kiln to fuse the colour to the glass. For more information, see Stained glass. Timber can also be stained to alter its appearance.

The severity of unintentional stains depends on the type of material affected. For example, even small stains can cause serious damage to sensitive furnishings such as carpets, curtains and upholstery.

In relation to buildings and structures, some types of staining can be seen as adding character, however it may be an indication of an underlying problem:

Stain removal is a type of maintenance procedure, and a common technique is jet washing with chemical cleaning agents.

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