The pebbledash unravels…

Work has begun to remove the cementious pebbledash from the facades at 18 Ormond Quay. This slow process involves directing chisels towards the underlying mortar joints to protect the face of the bricks. It has also made our scaffolding platforms look like earthquake victims…

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Flaked sections of removed pebbledash on the scaffolding.

Below is the building immediately prior to scaffolding in late August 2017.

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The dashing has come away relatively easily, largely due to the fact that the brick had been painted in the early 20th century, before the pebbledash was applied – as also evident in historic photographs of the building. This created a ‘buffer’ between the dashing and the face of the bricks, preventing an otherwise tighter bond.

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First floor level with newly exposed brick, originally designed to be seen and dressed with finely ‘wigged’ pointing between the bricks.

The coatings consist of about five layers of limewashes and modern paints, the earliest of which is a red wash that was probably applied as early as the 1880s when improvements were carried out for a variety of grocers that occupied the building. This paint will be removed through a mixture of water washing and a slow, methodical process of chipping using hand hammers.

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Brick with paint and limewash layers.

The brick is a good, hard yellow brick with a substantial plum-coloured component, typical of the 1842-43 construction date. Some bricks will require repair and fewer still will need replacing.

The thick cement reveals that framed the windows have also been removed, exposing evidence of the original, slim ‘feathered’ reveals of lime mortar that will be reinstated.

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Exposed fragment of former lime mortar reveal, a technique known a ‘feathering’.

Once the brick is cleaned in the next week, a large sample of wigged pointing will be trialled by our contractors Nolans Group for inspection.

We’ll keep you posted!

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