Whether it is an old Victorian building on the edge of the city or a grandiose World Heritage site, historical buildings have a charm and cultural value that is priceless. These buildings have seen a lot of history through the years and often boast rich architectural features and other unique details that have stood the test of time. The owners of these treasures must take great care to keep them in top shape and looking great, including their masonry restoration. However, when work needs to be carried out on these types of buildings, it can be extremely challenging to get the job done right. Not only is extra caution required, but there can also be some unexpected surprises once the work is underway.
What Makes A Building Historic?
The requirements for a building to be officially considered historic vary by area, but there are generally three essential attributes: historical significance, sufficient age and a reasonable degree of physical integrity.
A property typically needs to be at least 50 years old to be considered historic. However, sometimes buildings that are younger might meet this definition if their place in history is clear.
Their historical significance can be defined through a direct association with events or individuals that shaped history, by possessing the distinctive characteristics of a particular style of architecture or type of building or boasting a high artistic value and fine craftsmanship, or by having the potential to provide information that is important to the public’s understanding of the past.
It must also retain its historic physical integrity, which means that the property should be relatively unchanged, and its character-defining features should still be present.
Why Masonry Restoration On Historic Buildings Can Be Tricky
Historic buildings often require more maintenance than similar buildings of their age given the interest in preserving their cultural value. All of the work that is carried out must be done respecting the building’s original state as much as possible while keeping any relevant regulations in mind.
Outlined below are several reasons that carrying out masonry restoration on a historic building is a complicated job that is best left to the professionals.
Buildings Can Be Very Delicate
One big reason that masonry restoration on historic buildings can be challenging is the fact that they can be very delicate and prone to damage. Some historic buildings can be extremely old and were built of materials that are highly susceptible to wear and tear.
In addition, modern chemicals and equipment are not always compatible with older building work and could damage the structure. Whether it was the site of a historical event or the first building of its kind in the area, it is important not to place it at risk of losing what makes it so special. That is why it is important to enlist the help of experts when carrying out masonry and other types of restoration on historic buildings.
Stay Within Regulations
Each city will have its own regulations governing historical preservation, and failing to adhere to these regulations can be an expensive mistake. It is important to submit any plans early in the process in case adjustments need to be made. The appropriate agencies must be contacted, such as the state historic preservation office or the relevant architectural or historical commission, before work begins.
Matching The Type Of Material Used For Masonry Restoration
When restoring masonry on a historic building, it is essential to match the type of material that was originally used. Depending on the age of the building, it can be extremely difficult and time-consuming to track down the right material, although experienced masonry restoration professionals often have access to the right materials.
It’s not just the material that needs to be matched; the techniques used in restoration must also mimic the original ones in order for the finished project to maintain an authentic appearance.
Renovations on historic buildings, including masonry restoration, may be able to qualify for a federal grant. However, these programs do have certain requirements that must be met, so it is important to research before applying. Federal and state historic tax credits may be an option for covering some of a historic building’s restoration costs.
Talk To An Expert In Historic Buildings Masonry Restoration
Restoring masonry on a historic building does not have to be a daunting job. With the right research and a team of experienced professionals on your side, you can enjoy beautiful results that preserve the building and extend its life.
When carrying out masonry restoration on a historic building, it is important to entrust the job to professional contractors who have the experience and knowledge of the unique requirements of these types of properties. The experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration have the right knowledge and equipment to carry out work on historical buildings successfully.