The British love affair with bricks and mortar is well documented, though the actual form can vary from the rural idyll with roses round the door and a thatched roof, to the vast waterside warehouses of the Victorian era, and many of our grandest public or commercial buildings. What is more, maintaining them and carrying out brickwork repairs becomes a minefield when the types of brick and joint details vary so much; especially on older properties.
Unsurprisingly then, we at Plastic Surgeon have developed a range of techniques for the repair or coating of existing brickwork, and the services of our finishers are frequently called upon to deal with the result of weathering, physical impact damage and even graffiti.
Typical of the repairs our stone and brick finishers carry out was a two day contract on a historic country hotel, where the façade had been disfigured by the installation and subsequent removal of both a porch structure and multiple signs: leaving unsightly imprints due to variable exposure to the elements, and a series of ragged holes.
Using their experience in repairing different types of masonry, the finishers involved mixed coloured sand, cement and pigments to achieve an accurate match with the surrounding brickwork, which was used to fill all of the areas of damage. Then our renowned brick tinting process was brought into action to permanently conceal the outlines of the porch and signs from the elevation.
As is normal with our finishers’ operations, Plastic Surgeon conducted a full risk assessment, before providing all the necessary access equipment and assuring the hotel patrons access to the hotel was not interfered with at any time.
It is of course also very common for frost or prolonged exposure to aggressive atmospheres to take the edges, or even the whole face, off softer bricks. And with so many of the brick types no longer being available, the building owner can be faced with exorbitant costs for the manufacturer of special orders. That is presuming the original clays are available, while Elizabethan and other old bricks do not even match the mould sizes utilised nowadays.
Once again the economic alternative is to call on our help, with Plastic Surgeon’s portfolio of successfully completed projects including work on many historic and listed buildings.
Sadly, no property is safe from vandalism these days and we have therefore added both graffiti removal and the application of protective coatings to our repertoire. This even extended to restoring one client’s home to its former pristine condition after it had been attacked with paint bombs; soaking deep into the porous surfaces. Then on another recent contract, three of our finishers took just a couple of days to rid a property of smoke damage that had occurred when arsonists attacked a neighbouring retail unit.
Bricks and mortar remain the Brits’ favourite investment, and Plastic Surgeon has the skills to keep them in tip top condition.