There are a number of different causes for masonry damage in an historic building like Rick’s Brewery. Most of these are natural derived, but not all, here is my list of them:
- Hot cold cycling
- Expansion restriction
- Failing mortar
- Insect, bird, and rodent erosion
- External forces
- Wind erosion
We will explain all of these different source of masonry damage in a future blog. Our repairing the corner was necessitated by a combination of Failing mortar and a poorly place concrete patio slab. This large area of concrete was originally the floor of closed in porch. Unfortunately it was poured right against the limestone walls of the brewery. The large single piece slab would expand in the summer and pushed against the brewery walls. Eventually pushing the large corner stones four inches out of the wall.
Here is what the wall looked like when the two large misaligned stones were removed. Not a happy moment I can assure you. Not all of the mortar was powder, but there certainly was lots of it. Here are a couple more views, just to give you a better perspective on what 150 year old masonry looks like after it get exposed to the weather. If you attend to masonry damage early, you can greatly reduce how bad the damage will be.
Once all the bad ‘decayed’ mortar and dirt have been removed, the reconstruction can start. Our first step was to get a level starting plane that was appropriate for the existing stones. It also needed to eventually line up with the three large stones we were reusing.