Stone is a natural material and expands and contracts with changes in the weather.
Blocks and the repairs to them must be breathable enough to allow any water vapour to escape to avoid damage from the freeze and thaw cycle.
Having a compatible repair is a must as materials that aren’t able to act in concert with the original blocks will cause cracking necessitating another, more expensive repair.
Although it would make our lives easier it isn’t possible to standardise the repair process. Each location, building and issue is different and needs to be treated with care and a great deal of knowledge regarding materials and techniques.
Our local craftsmen are experienced and qualified to repair stonework, brickwork, terracotta, faience and stucco rendering to the highest of standards.
Finding the right stone, shaping and properly fitting is all part of the process and if any one of these is deficient then the whole job will be below standard. This is why we only work with the very best in terms of materials and craftsmen.
Each of our jobs is treated individually and we assess the existing structure and advise the best course of action for a long-lasting and cost-effective repair.
Our Edinburgh based stone repair service is the repair of decayed or damaged stone…
This is a different process from the replacing of a decayed stone, whereby a whole stone is cut out, discarded, and replaced with a new stone.
Instead, it is the act of restoring the masonry piece back to its original profile and re-instating its surface finish, texture and colour.
The stone is then sized, dressed and fitted as per the original stone.
How our stone repair services work
The First Step in Stone Restoration:
When we are restoring stone in Edinburgh our masons chisel back the existing stone until all the decayed and loose material has been removed. We then wet the stone to be repaired to slow down the setting of the mortar once applied to the repair.
This improves its binding to the host masonry, and stops cracking. If the repair is deep, we insert stainless steel screws into the masonry to give improved grip to the stone.
The important aspect of this is that with any stone masonry repair, the preparation needs to be perfect as getting a good finish from poor preparation can be almost impossible.
The Stone Restoration Second Step:
The next stage is to apply coats of a lime-based repair mortar we use called Lithomex. Often referred to as Lithomix, we may have to apply several coats of Lithomex to complete the repair depending on the depth of the affected area.
For deeper repairs we need to build up these in a gradual process. We can only apply around 8mm of Lithomix at a time and need to allow it to dry out if we are to attain optimum results.
The final coat of Lithomex is left 1-2mm proud of the finished surface and left to harden – at least overnight but ideally longer.
Step three in Stone:
Next, we rub down the repair to its final shape and profile.
This is done by using abrasive pads, blocks, knives, and straight-edges. Depending on the stone being replicated, this is the most skilled part of the operation and can often be very time-consuming as making a mistake at this point could ruin all the good work done so far.
This is why we only use the very best in qualified tradespeople so that we know that the repairs will be completed correctly.
Any surface finishes, such as droving, stugging or broaching are applied at this stage.
The final stage in restoring Edinburgh stone:
Finally, we “age” the repair (if appropriate) to match with its local surroundings a wee bit better.
This procedure can sometimes make the stone repair almost disappear, which is the desired result.
Having said this some owners prefer for repairs to be left in a ‘green’ state and to have the repair weather in naturally.
The Stone Repairs In All The Pictures On This Page Were Carried Out By Us Using Lithomex Stone Repair Compound
Tell Me A Bit About Lithomex…
Lithomex is a lime based stone repair mortar marketed by Masons Mortar in Leith, Edinburgh. For long lasting and convincing results you simply cannot beat Lithomex stone repairs.
Lithomex is carefully formulated to be stone-like once it has set. Firstly, any sandstone in Edinburgh can be exactly colour matched using this product.
More important than the aesthetic qualities of Lithomex is the way it behaves when applied to stone. First, it is manufactured to be porous to water so when the repaired stone gets wet (with driven rain for example) water can escape through the repair just as it would if there was no repair.
Why Is This Important?
If the repair were waterproof, like a cement repair is for example, water can build up behind it, unable to escape. When this happens in winter the trapped water can freeze, which causes it to expand, which then pops the repair off. Not good.
Moves in Harmony:
Another great feature of Lithomex is the way it moves in harmony with the repaired stone. When stone gets warm, cold or wet, it contracts or expands.
This happens often. Lithomex is designed so it contracts and expands at the same rate as the natural sandstone ensuring they don’t part company.
When we first visit you, we bring a box of Lithomex samples to allow you to choose an exact colour match for your building. This is a huge jump forward from the ugly and destructive grey cement-based stone repairs we see all over the city.
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