Ridely Park, PA Job

Job Description:

Owners of an 1890 Queen Anne located in Ridley Park, PA were looking to spruce up their home. In its current condition the building was showing years of misguided repairs and maintenance. There were sections brick where years of paint splatter and excessive caulking needed to be removed. Metal fasteners that were left in the building needed to be removed, and there were sections of mortar that were missing or failing and needed to be removed and replaced. There was also sections of wall that had been repointed using Portland cement based mortar. This is a practice that is very harmful to historic structures. Portland cement based mortars are not water vapor permeable, and can trap moisture inside the walls. This moisture needs a way to pass back and forth through the walls, which is done traditionally through the mortar joints. The mortar joints of most homes built before the 1920s used a lime based mortar. These types of mortar joints allowed for water vapor to easily pass through the joints, helping to preserve the building material it surrounded. When lime based mortars are replaced with Portland cement based mortars that path for the moisture to pass through the joints is blocked, forcing the moisture to find another route through the wall. This shows up in two ways. On the exterior it shows up in the failing of brick or stone building material, where parts or all of the face of the material begins to fall off due to the moisture causing it to fail. The second place it shows up is in the interior, where walls that are plastered directly over the exterior building material start to flake off, because the moisture in the walls chooses to move inside rather than outside, causing the plaster to flake and fall off the wall.
To bring this home back to its original glory a careful plan was developed that preserved as much of the original historic fabric as possible. The walls were gently cleaned using paint strippers to remove the excessive paint and caulking. Other cleaners were used to remove biological growth and atmospheric pollutants. Areas of failing or missing mortar joints were removed and cleaned up and made ready for new material. Areas of Portland cement based patching from previous repairs were removed and prepped for repointing. All of the prepped areas were then pointed using ® Mortar custom mixed to match the existing surrounding mortar joints. This lime based mortar is an in kind repair, allowing the mortar joints to perform as they were originally intended when the house was built. Many unwanted metal fasteners that were left in the walls were removed and patched using the same matching mortar. With its walls now clean and missing mortar joints repaired this simple Queen Anne once again exuded its original charm.
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Job Images

Exterior before cleaning
Exterior after cleaning
Porch area before cleaning and pointing
Porch area after cleaning and pointing
Before paint removal
After paint removal
Before paint removal
After paint removal
Before pointing and cleaning
After pointing and cleaning

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Job Location Customer Comment
Allentown, PA The house looks great. I'm impressed with your work!
Quakertown, PA Very professional job. Men were very friendly, courteous and conscientious. Great crew.
Bath, PA Wonderful and quality workmanship. Helpful with any questions we had and even had suggestions for improvement of preventative maintenance.
Mount Airy region of Philadelphia, PA We deeply appreciate the time and consideration you gave our project. You knew our organization was concerned about cleaning and repointing the Frank Furness circa 1880's building. You were the only person who answered my questions clearly and accurately. In the end, you and your employees were the only masons to whom we could trust our historically certified building. The results are outstanding. We will gladly endorse your work to your future customers.

Thanks Again.

Mimi Jackson