Traditional Irish Wigging to restore façade
Traditional Irish Wigging pointing restores Georgian Façade in Limerick’s O’Connell Street
Client: Sheahan and Barry Conservation Architects and Q Con Construction Main Contractor
Cleaned entire front and back façade using DOFF system. Repaired damaged bricks and replaced with salvaged bricks where beyond repair.
Re- built widow revels to original traditional featheredge.
We reinstated elliptical archway leaving it gauged and perfectly back to its original state.
The parapet stones and cappings were removed and repaired before being re-bedded back to their original position.
Applied a raddle coat to front façade using a traditional Tudor recipe
Repointed entire façade in original Irish Wigging style using a hybrid lime mortar mix.
Strengthened brick archway under front entrance and re-bedded limestone steps
Repointing Using Lime Mortar
A little about the lime pointing process. Once we have cleaned the bricks and exposed the substrate 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 bricks, 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 façade was originally built. The different pointing techniques visible on historic buildings reflect skills and craftsmanship developed over many centuries.
Both the mortar and the joints’ surface finish affect the brickwork in several ways. The colour and tone of the mortar lightens or darkens the overall brick facade. How joints are profiled affects how light is caught and reflected on the building. Historically, when bricks were hand made and less uniform, different pointing techniques were used to give the illusion of uniformity.
During restoration, pointing is raked out to twice the width of the joint. All repointing is carried out using traditional methods using lime mortar which allows the building to breathe. Replacement bricks are sourced from salvage yards to get as close a match as possible, taking into account age and colour.
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