Big Reveal

With the scaffolding gone it is a delight to see the beautiful harling and new windows at this historic property in the Highlands. You might never know that we had been there and had carried out significant repairs.

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traditional hot lime harl repairs Highland Inverness

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The house had been experiencing dampness in the gable wall. The damp gable was resulting in elevated moisture levels internally throughout the house resulting in condensation appearing on windows, and rot in a number of sashes. These had been “repaired” in the past with an unsuitable wood filler but as you can see from the photos, it has not been a success.!

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Damaged sash and case windows Highlands Inverness  Rot in bottom rail of sash window Highland Inverness

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Damp problems in stonework are rarely a result of one single issue, and more often there are a combination of factors at work. This can complicate diagnosis and repair. If you only tackle one problem, you are likely to spend a lot of money only to find that the condition of the wall does not improve. A holistic approach is required.

In this instance, cement harl had been applied to the gable and as inevitably happens when you apply cement to stonework, this had hairline cracks. It was allowing water into the wall, but not allowing evaporation to take place. The render was also taken up and over the stone sills, coming over the timber sill of the windows, providing another weak point for water entry. Lead flashings around the back of both chimneys were defective. Splits in stone on the chimney had been “repaired“ with a mortar facing smeared over the crack.

The harl was removed, leadwork sorted, new windows installed to on elevation and new lead tray sills installed to the other. The gable wall was repointed and harled in a gauged hot-mix lime mortar. AB Masony have done a great job matching the new lime harl with the existing.

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completed harling repairs Highland Inverness

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Damp walls came take a long time to dry out completely, but we will be monitoring the gable and the internal environment of the house over the next few month. When we see signs that the drying process is underway it will confirm that moisture has stopped entering the wall and the repairs have been as success.

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MAAC studio are accredited conservation architects and principal designers working with traditional buildings throughout Scotland. 

If you need independent advice give us a call ?