Property damage can occur unexpectedly and can leave homeowners and business owners feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. However, restoration companies are equipped with the expertise and tools necessary to bring damaged properties back to life. Restoration companies like APT specialise in a variety of restoration services, including water damage restoration, fire and smoke damage restoration, and algae and mold remediation.
In this article, we will explore the methods and techniques used by restoration companies to restore properties and help homeowners regain a sense of normalcy after experiencing property damage.
Buying a dilapidated property and ‘doing it up’ is one thing – when it comes to listed and other historically important buildings, it is a completely different ball game that requires the employment of professional property restoration services who carry out such work regularly. Find the right property restoration company and your project will progress much more smoothly as they can advise and assist with legal requirements as well as carrying out the work.
Materials used by property restoration services on historic buildings are inevitably more expensive than mass-market products. We’re often presented with jobs to clean brickwork, stonework, marble, poultice and other materials (like concrete) that are commonly used on historic buildings. We are proud to be one of the first contacts for conservation architects, CADW, English Heritage (Historic England) & Historic Scotland since we have worked with them time and time again on complex, historic building cleaning and restoration projects.
Lime mortar for rendering/pointing and lime plaster on internal walls are used in preference to cement based mortars and gypsum based plasters. There are many advantages to the use of lime – breathability, resistance to efflorescence, self-healing and more. They are less likely to lead to deterioration of the fabric of an older building than would modern materials. But the use of lime based products requires different techniques, from mixing though to finishing, so using an ‘ordinary’ builder could lead to problems, for example, mixing lime mortar in the same way as cement mortar will reduce its final strength and it is very important to choose the correct grade of lime in the first place.
As far as masonry is concerned, sympathy is key to a successful project. Reputable property restoration services will use reclaimed or hand made bricks and carefully match the colouration of the replacement to those surrounding it. Old, damaged bricks will be carefully cut out, using techniques and skills that ensure that no damage is done. Stonework will be carved by trained stonemasons, not machine cut, thus ensuring that your project is completed to a high standard.
Flashing is another area where a property restoration service scores highly. Builders are used to using asphalt or similar. An historic building will require lead or other metals to be used. If these are fitted and manipulated incorrectly, they will quickly fail and water entering a building does not take long to create major issues.
Property restoration companies services’ will use a variety of different techniques on your project, techniques that are just not available to builders more used to working with bricks and concrete. When applying your lime render, the surface will be prepared in a manner appropriate to the use of the specialist material and the rate of curing will be carefully controlled so that it will adhere correctly and ensure longevity.
Good restoration companies like APT, will carefully number each brick, stone, lintel, woodwork etc. and stack it very carefully so that no mistakes will be made during reconstruction. A general builder is unlikely to have these skills, patience and organisation. During reconstruction of the masonry, jointing and pointing will be carried out using the correct grade of lime and in a way that protects the bricks or stonework. The use of an incorrect style of pointing can be very destructive over a relatively short span of time.
For the amateur restorer, a listed or other historic building can lead to many planning issues. Even if your property restoration service does not actually arrange for planning, they have insider knowledge and can work with your architect and you in order to make sure that your project keeps the planners happy and stays on track. APT are accredited by CADW to carry out work on historical buildings such as the grade II listed building, The Works in Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent.
So if you are intending to buy and restore a historic or listed building, or just want the best for your restoration project, contact APT on 0800 0723 773, the property refurbishment specialists, for a no-obligation chat, where we will be happy to offer expert advice and a free quote, if necessary; our 30 years of skills and knowledge speak for themselves.
Further information can be found on our Heritage and Building Restoration page.