Restoration of Victorian Façade

By Published On: December 9th, 2021

Restoration of Victorian Façade on Northumberland Road

Over 100 years of traffic and pollution led to the deterioration of this beautiful brick façade at the top of Northumberland Road. The introduction of cementitious mortar pointing and damaged rain water goods caused further damage to the façade leaving it in a very disheveled state. Bricks were spalled and parts of the granite sills and window surrounds were missing. The chimneys were overtaken with growth leading to the ingress of water.

Let the restoration begin:

It was therefore a full façade restoration job from the top down in order to conserve this beautiful building for future generations. Works were carried out over the long hot summer which is always a bonus. However, we did have to spray the lime pointing on a regular basis to ensure it didn’t dry out to quickly.

A chemical clean in conjunction with steam:

Our first task was to gently clean the façade using heavy duty restoration cleaner in conjunction with a low pressure steam clean. This removed all contamination without causing any damage to the patina of the façade. The cleaning returned the bricks to their deep rich orange colour. The cleaning process also exposed the substrate so we could assess for repairs.

Repairing bricks and granite features:

The façade was typical of the Victorian era featuring many decorative bricks and corbelling with precision cut and intricate patterns. It also features ornate granite capping, parapet and pillars. Parts of these features had broken and chipped and needed to be repaired.

Damaged and missing bricks were replaced where possible with matching salvaged bricks. Spalled bricks that couldn’t be removed were repaired using pigmented St Astier lime mortar.

Removing cement mortar to replace with original lime mortar:

All cement mortar had to be cut out from the joints using hand tools and fully cleaned out. The joints were then repointed using NHL lime mortar in the original flush style. Lime pointing allows the building to breathe again through the joints, not forcing water through the bricks which was causing the bricks to spall.

Chimneys rebuilt and re-haunched:

The chimneys were dismantled brick by brick, numbered,  rebuilt and re-haunched using lime mortar. This ensured their survival and made them water tight.

Stone grafts to granite sills:

Parts of the granite sills had completely failed and the granite window jams had fully deteriorated. Our skilled stonemason carried out grafts to the window sills rendering a seamless finish. We removed the stone window jams and replaced with matching granite.

A beautiful heritage building fully restored for future generations :

The result of the restoration works are stunning and we are delighted, once again, to have played our part in restoring this beautiful piece of our built heritage on this architecturally significant street.

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