Stonemasonry is the craft of shaping rough pieces of rock into accurate geometrical shapes. The resulting stones can be simple or highly complex, which are then arranged often with mortar to form structures.
Stone repair is the work undertaken on existing buildings where environmental elements such as pollution, algae growth or structural problems have led to damage which needs to be addressed to ensure the long-term value, quality and stability and breathability of the structure.
Where stone has started to crumble or deteriorate, the extent and depth of the damage generally dictates the best solution. In any project, the first step is likely to be cleaning to ensure a level starting base for understanding and making choices on treatment, colour and stone renovation.
With minor damage, repairs can often be as simple as skimming or stone-patching with a tested and colour-matched wet mortar mix. This works best with eroded or smaller missing sections or to sharpen the contours of decorative detailing. The idea is that when it dries, it appears seamless with the original stone.
With major repairs requiring the replacement of stone blocks, we assess the project and take steps to order matching stone and, if necessary, have matching details carved in advance by a stonemason in a workshop. If a full match cannot be found, we use the closest match and colour tint or skim to achieve the final effect required, working in partnership with our client.
The skill of the stonemason is critical as any repair materials must match the porosity and other general characteristics of the original stone, to ensure the long-term viability of the repair.
Why Might Your Building Require Our Stone Repairs Service?
All buildings are subject to the Water Cycle which sees in varying climatic conditions them subjected to temperature, solar radiation, airflow which vary whether the water is present as a gas, liquid or solid. Regional variations and orientation of the building also bring other conditions into play. On North facing elevations biological matter agents such as algae will become more prevalent, whilst airborne carbonic pollutant will be deposited on surfaces. Buildings in coastal areas will also be subject to salt deposition from airborne sea spray close to the coast. The result is the stone's weathering, which can either add to the patina of a building or make it look dilapidated and neglected. At some point, the effects of this constant change in temperature and climate will lead to visible damage, resulting in structural problems if left untreated.