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  • Writer's pictureSean Lennox | StoneCast

Masonry Restoration in Victoria, BC


Heritage masonry restoration being conducted by StoneCast at the city hall in Duncan BC
The city hall in Duncan, BC prior to its restoration by StoneCast in 2024

What is masonry restoration?


Restoring masonry is the act of breathing new life into that which has lost its original look and feel. Day after day, decade after decade, the sheen of new materials fades and if a regiment of maintenance does not take place, the elements take hold and don’t let go.

Restoring masonry structures entails diagnosing and treating the core issues that are so often associated with buildings that have been left to their own devices… moisture, moisture, moisture!!! Restoration services can range from surface cleaning to repointing the mortar between stones or bricks, and even rebuilding portions of the masonry itself.


A heritage brick chimney being restored by StoneCast in Victoria, BC
A heritage brick chimney in Victoria, BC after being rebuilt by StoneCast. The 100+ year old brick chimney was spalling and falling apart due to moisture issues.

What role does moisture play in the overall health of a masonry building?


Brick and stone are fantastic at pulling in and expelling moisture. However, if they become overly saturated and are unable to release the excess, spalling occurs and the structure continues to become compromised. There are a variety of reasons as to why moisture may be building up in and behind masonry walls. Examining the mortar that binds the structure together is usually the best indicator as to how and why moisture isn’t being properly expelled from the masonry.


Historical Restoration:

Masonry restoration plays a pivotal role in preserving historical buildings and maintaining their structural integrity. Across Victoria, BC, a city rich in architectural heritage, various techniques are employed to ensure that historic masonry remains resilient against time and environmental factors. Let's delve into some of the essential techniques used in masonry restoration, highlighting their importance and application.


What Does Masonry Restoration Entail:

Masonry restoration involves repairing, cleaning, and preserving masonry structures, such as brick and stone walls, chimneys, and facades. These structures often exhibit signs of wear and deterioration over time due to weathering, pollution, and other environmental factors. Masonry restoration aims not only to repair visible damage but also to maintain the historical authenticity and structural stability of the building.


Techniques Used in Masonry Restoration

Cleaning:


A sandstone wall in Victoria BC being steam cleaned by StoneCast

Cleaning is often the first step in masonry restoration. Over the years, masonry surfaces accumulate dirt, grime, moss, lichen, graffiti, and pollutants that can obscure their original appearance and accelerate deterioration. Here at StoneCast, we use a non-abrasive approach to cleaning masonry which involves low-water volume and high pressure steam to remove any and all undesirables from the surface of masonry. This technique does not overly saturate the stone, brick, or mortar while completely cleaning the surface.


Repointing:


A stonemason repointing heritage masonry in Victoria, BC

Repointing, or tuckpointing, is the process of removing deteriorated mortar from between masonry joints and replacing it with fresh mortar. This technique not only enhances the aesthetics of the masonry but also prevents water infiltration and structural damage. StoneCast uses mortar analysis and mortar matching techniques to re-create traditional lime-based mortars and restore masonry buldings to their former glory.



StoneCast Masonry Restoration is based in Victoria, BC, Vancouver Island and specializes in restoring and preserving heritage masonry buildings, chimneys, walls, and features. To learn more about our process and services, please visit our website: stonecast.ca

The logo of StoneCast in Victoria BC

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