Restoring a Georgian Sandstone Porch to it’s original condition
On a recent façade restoration project on Merrion Road we were tasked with restoring a dilapidated stone porch. The original sandstone porch was victim to some dodgy repairs in the 80’s when damaged stone was just replaced with cast concrete. This work in fact led to further deterioration of the structure. Main Contractor EML Construction tasked us to restore and repair the porch. Fortunately, the neighbour’s porch was still in good condition and in it’s original state. We therefore used this structure to cut the moulds and templates for our restoration works.
The original structure was made from sandstone and unfortunately matching sandstone could not be sourced.
It was agreed with the client and Conservation Architect, Justin O’Callaghan, to rebuild the porch using reconstituted stone made from traditional mortar mixes.
We once again called in the expertise of our Lime Master, Brian Tobin to carry out the repairs.
The cast concrete was gently removed from the parapet to reveal the original stone beneath. This stone was non salvageable. Templates were taken from the neighbour’s porch and moulds created back at base. Brian used St. Astier traditional mix mortars to create replicas of the original sandstone. A light weight aggregate was added to the mix which facilitated the continued insulation properties of the refurbished roof. The mortar was engineered to ensure it was of equal strength to the existing stone. This will ensure the fused materials will weather at an equal rate and continue the thermal upgrading of the new roof.
The stone was cast in the workshop on the horse and brought to site to be fitted. All roof lead works were carried out by Heritage roof contractor Philip Edwards.
The sandstone porch had been damaged by the use of inappropriate chemicals and cleaning methods in the past. These had in fact darkened the stone. We brought the stone back to it’s original colour using the DOFF Heritage stone cleaning system. This is a gentle, super heated steam cleaning system that removes dirt and biological growth without causing damage to the stone substrate. Read more on Brick cleaning
Once cleaned, all stone work to the body of the porch was raked out and re-pointed in lime mortar. All necessary repairs such as dents and holes were carried out using the same mortar mix.
Brick cleaning and restoration
Once all restoration works were completed on the porch we gently cleaned the entire front and back brick facades using the DOFF system. The front façade had been re-pointed in recent years and was in good shape. We did carry out some repairs to the corbelling where previous repairs had failed.
All brickwork to the rear of the building was raked out and re-pointed.
We are very proud once again to have played our part in restoring and conserving another treasure of our built heritage for future generations.