Stonework & Brickwork Restoration

Stonework

Stone is one of the oldest and most versatile building materials. Its use ranges from providing essential support and protection to sophisticated embellishments. There is an enormous range of different stones, methods of working and uses, all of which contribute to our architectural heritage. Approaches to caring for stonework have changed over time and continue to evolve as we learn more about the material and the way it interacts with its environment.

The essence of good in-situ restoration is that the repair should have the appearance of natural stone and be less dense than the substrate. It should be neatly squared off and have the same texture as the adjacent stonework. It is always advisable to clean the stonework prior to restoration, and a repair that has been carried out professionally should last for many years

Prior to the commencement of works it is important to establish the cause of the deterioration. These could be inherent in the structure, structural problems caused by movement, or environmentally related. Once the cause has been established, and an assessment and diagnosis undertaken the correct conservation needs can be determined and agreed upon.

Brickwork

Fired brick was introduced to England by the Romans, but production disappeared at the end of their occupation. Unfortunately relatively few of the structures they built survive today. However, brick buildings dating back to the middle ages can still be found in some parts of England today. Up to the 16th century, brick was regarded as a prestigious material and used exclusively for high status buildings. When re-established in the middle ages its popularity grew and it is now arguably the most ubiquitous of all English building materials.

Fired (or ‘burnt’) clay brick is arguably one of the most versatile and durable of all building material, but problems do occur, – such as movement, deformation, cracking , staining, accretions and surface deterioration and damage to both the surfaces of the bricks and the joints. Some of the options available to restore and conserve the existing brickwork would include structural repairs, cleaning, chemical consolidation, repointing and surface repairs.

It is important to use a specialist contractor well versed in the restoration of fine brickwork, and if in doubt it is worth seeking a specification from a professional such as a Conservation Architect for the repair of historic brickwork.

Establish Cause
Determine Conservation Needs
Carry out Assesment
Carry out Trials
Diagnose
Execute Work