Georgian granite steps were letting in water through the mortar joints. A common problem exacerbated by the introduction of cementitious repairs at some stage. Granite steps were gently cleaned using low pressure high temperature steam. All mortar joints were raked out revealing gaping holes between the stones. These gaps were filled with a waterproof membrane and re-pointed in lime mortar.
Repointing Using Lime Mortar
A little about the lime pointing process. Once we have raked out the old mortar and exposed we can start the restoration process. Re-pointing is the process of renewing the pointing in masonry construction. Over time, weathering and decay cause voids in the joints between steps, allowing the undesirable entrance of water. Water entering through these voids cause significant damage.
It is essential the mortar used for re-pointing have similar performance characteristics to the original mortar used. To conserve the integrity of the building it is essential to also employ the same pointing techniques and mixes used when the steps was originally built. The different pointing techniques visible on historic buildings reflect skills and craftsmanship developed over many centuries.
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