Restoring the Beauty of Granite Steps: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Published On: August 3rd, 2023
After photo of Dublin Georgian steps cleaned and repointed by PMAC

Restoring the Beauty of Granite Steps: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are your granite steps showing signs of wear and tear?  In this step-by-step guide (pardon the pun), we will go over what it takes to restore your granite steps to their former glory. Granite steps are not only functional but also add a touch of elegance to the threshold of homes and businesses. However over time, exposure to the elements and regular use can cause them to become dull, stained or even cracked. But fear not with the right approach, we can restore them so not only will they be clean but they will also be safe to walk on. From cleaning, repairing to repointing, we will walk you through each stage of our restoration process.

Common issues with granite steps

Before we embark on restoring your granite steps, let’s first understand the common issues that can plague them. Over time, exposure to the elements can cause your granite steps to look dirty. Stains from dirt, leaves, or spilled substances can also mar the beauty of your steps. Additionally, cracks and chips may develop due to heavy use or extreme weather conditions. These issues not only affect the aesthetic appeal of your steps but can also compromise their structural integrity and could allow water to penetrate the steps. It’s important to address these issues promptly to prevent further damage of your granite steps.

before photo showing plants and cracked pointing
Front view of granite steps showing cracks and missing mortar
Front view of granite steps showing some stones removed so they can be made level

Assessing the condition of your granite steps

We will arrange a survey to assess the current condition of your granite steps and take a closer look at the surface for staining, cracks and subsidence.  This assessment will help us determine the extent of restoration required so we can provide you with a quotation for the works. The above photos show missing mortar which allowed plants to grow and over time the water caused the steps to move and sink down which ended up been a bigger job as the stones needed to be removed and reset in a level position. Another issue for the above steps is that they are shared between two houses so both parties needed to agree on the works.

Cleaning and removing stains from granite steps

We will chemically clean the steps before and after our restoration process. The steps are pre-washed using a mild detergent and then chemically cleaned using an appropriate chemical, taking into consideration the surface and the contamination. Our vans are fitted with custom built heated water tanks. High temperature at low pressure is the safest and most effective way to clean most contaminants from masonry. As stone cleaning specialists with Heritage Contractor status, PMAC can work on listed and ancient buildings, paving and structures without causing damage.

Repointing with Lime mortar

A little about the lime pointing process. Once we have raked out the old mortar between the steps we can start the restoration process. Repointing 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. All repointing is carried out using traditional methods using lime mortar which allows the steps to breathe as modern cements will have a negative impact overtime.

Maintaining the beauty of restored granite steps

After we have successfully restored the beauty of your granite steps it is best to ensure they stay in pristine condition. It’s important to follow a regular maintenance routine as cleaning the steps will not only keep them clean and slip resistant, it makes it easier to spot any future issues before they begin. PMAC can  provide periodic cleans as we have the right equipment to keep your steps looking their best.

Get in touch

Our legacy is quality projects we can be proud of. If you have Granite steps that require our expertise with, we would love to hear about it.

Dont hesitate to call us or send in the details of your project through our contact page at  https://pmac.ie/contact-pmac/

We look forward to hearing from you!

PMAC is a registered Heritage Contractor and a link to the site can be found below.

https://heritageregistration.ie/heritage-contractors-listing/

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