Masonry restoration

Repair of structural damage

Lime mortars display exceptional plastic behaviours over time and can handle long-term movements in a construction. In spite of this, major events will create structural cracks, usually following joints.

The result of a sudden impact

Sudden impacts due to earthquakes, traffic, roadworks and construction will affect a masonry building. In the same way, changes in groundwater levels can give rise to devastating, structural cracks in a façade. Outwash of lime can also result in unstable walls, resulting in slippage of walls and total collapse. Such cracks may be clearly visible on both the inside and outside of the construction. Small cracks in the render might hide bigger faults in the construction and can be an indication. A series of long cracks is also an indication of structural issues and should be handled professionally.

Thorough repairs of the foundation

Damaged wall

The choice of repair method depends on the origin of the damage. Building physics and statistical considerations related to these buildings are important to evaluate before starting any repair. Live cracks should be monitored closely before deciding on the type of action as making superficial repairs without improving the foundations can often be a non-satisfying solution in the long-term. When the origin has been evaluated and neutralised, the work involving replacing, repointing and pinning with new construction material is started. Pinning (adding new stone in big openings) should be done using building materials with the same properties as the original. Mortars of the same quality as the original should also be used. If necessary, whole parts of the construction should be dismantled, building it up again from a solid base. Make sure to stabilise the remaining construction to avoid collapse.