There are many reasons why stone and masonry may deteriorate over time, and these can eventually lead to consolidation becoming necessary.
The most common causes are incompatible materials placed beside one another, inadequate weathering and poor quality repairs. For example, the use of hand mortars in re-pointing is a common cause of stone deterioration.
Once the cause of the damage has been diagnosed, various stone conservation methods can be adopted depending on the type of masonry and the extent of the decay. Consolidation is one such method.
There are many ways to care for masonry and stone in order to protect against deterioration, including complete renewal, cathodic protection and in situ surface restoration, but in some cases consolidation is seen as the only viable option.
Why choose consolidation?
The idea of stone conservation is to protect the material in such a way as not to detract from the history of the building, while also preserving its future. The ideal techniques require little interference with the original materials and are easily reversible in the event a superior technique is discovered.
While consolidation fulfils many of these criteria, it does involve the addition of chemicals to masonry and as such is not so simple to reverse. However, it will help slow the rate of decay in the structure, allowing it to simply continue at its natural rate.
Also, there are many factors which must be considered when choosing a consolidating agent in order to cater for the requirements of a particular masonry conservation project.
Among the key features to look out for is the degree to which the consolidator is water repellent, as a certain amount of water must be allowed in and out of the stonework in order for natural weathering to occur without damaging the structure.
Care must also be taken to ensure consolidation does not alter the appearance of the stone to the detriment of the building’s aesthetic qualities.
Contact us for more stone conservation advice
If you’d like to further details on the benefits of consolidation, contact Quadriga by phone on 01606 330 888, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why use Quadriga?
- A team of multi-skilled specialists
- Experienced historic building restorers
- Dedicated to innovation
- Understand traditional and contemporary materials and techniques
- Quadriga believe in conservation