I have been working with stone for man years and first became really interested during the building of an extension of a language laboratory at Hereford College of further education early in 1980. I worked on many projects, from small housing developments, major sewage plant repairs, listed buildings and stone cottages, progressing eventually to stone walling and creating my own type of walling system using every piece of available material; reinforcing the wall with concrete but in such a way that no mortar could ever be seen. I will try to find some examples of this later; I didn't take many pictures in those days.
I have worked on houses in the South-west and Wales, with Limestone, Bath stone and Costwold, as well as some lovely sandstones in and around the Wye valley for many different kinds of walling to houses and walled garden projects.
A light lime putty mortar mix was used on this repair. When I first saw this entranceway it had a verticle crack through the middle to the right side of the key stone, but this only affected the outer course. Some of the facing stone was removed, re-cut (pieces having significantly dropped) then re-fixed into their rightful positions.
You can see by previous attempts to repair this gable end wall, the mortar choice poorly reflects the stone making the mortar stand out, drawing your eye to the problem; obviously not merging into the beautiful stone facade to enhance it. To my mind is the wrong sense of purpose for this kind of property or solution as it should be the stone to be prized not the mortar surrounding it. At some point in its history, this wall had previously been covered in a cement spray in an attempt to protect it from erosion!
I had begun repairing this wall behind the pear tree in several places - at the bottom left corner and the centre at the first floor to the lower left of the tope window sill. It may be that eventually someone carries on where I left off to make repairs where needed and gradually turn the wall back to its original condition of gorgeous light honey Cotswold stone.
The stonework inbetween these 2 1st floor windows was repointed using the same lime putty mortar mix to show the stonework in a sympathetic manner, not to make the mortar obvious but subtlely enhancing the stone. Elsewhere on the property other builders had preferred to use a darker mortar and had not bothered adding the lime at all to accomodate the slight movements to this type of dwelling, creating cracking through the un-yeildingly hard cement.
This end stable wall has a varied range of problems. Much of the pointing has been used by birds for nesting materials as well as succumbing to natural erosion; the right hand gable timber has almost rotted away and the window is near to complete disintegration. Also the exterior door next to it, only 7 years old will have to be replaced or refurbished as most of it has succumbed to wet rot, being it was made with untreated timber and had been poorly painted in the process.
In this flash video is a chimney job in preparation with leadwork reformed ready for the lime putty mortar to complete the work. There are various different shots following the progression to finishing. Not all of the chimney needed pointing but the main areas north and east facing were the worst effected and this stack hadn't been touched for a long time.
The lime putty mortar in this case is made to shed the water it has to deal with to protect the pourous local stone from further damage.Prior to this work there had been significant damage to internal ceilings from rain.