Ornate Plaster Repairs have recently been completed on the cornice located in the gallery staircase at Burnley Town Hall.
Water Ingress from the 130 year old slate roof has caused damage to the ornate plaster work located on the 4th floor of the Grade II listed Building. The plaster has started to detach from the lathe frame work above, which has caused sagging and cracking of the beams & cornice.
Props were install in April 2019 to support the structure, protecting the ornate plaster work from further sagging & Cracking. Work has been ongoing since January 2019 to restore the Town Hall Roof & Water management systems. The roof has been completely stripped back and re-laid with new felt, batons & welsh Blue slates. The roofing works are now complete.
The clock tower has also undergone extensive restoration to the stonework, copper dome & Oak Cupula – https://restoration-services.uk.com/burnley-town-hall-clock-tower-restoration/
A survey conducted on the plaster revealed extensive Crystallisation. Efflorescent or Soluble salt crystallisation causes aesthetic problems and the loss of historic material. In extreme situations, it may endanger the structural safety of old buildings due to a progressive disaggregation of the plaster. This kind of crystal build-up can occur in any building, of any age, where water is passing into the structure. This water will find its way out of the plaster through evaporation leaving the salts behind.
An access scaffold was erected and specialist ornate plasterers commenced work to restore the decorative features back to a safe condition. The ornate plaster repairs involved removing any Crystallisation build-up and debris, without causing damage to the remaining plaster nibs.
Using penny washers and screws the plaster has been secured from below, at it’s thickest and strongest point, back to the timber structure above. Additional Timber Pattresses were also installed to provide a secure fixing point for the Greek Key decoration.
Areas where the plaster had de-bonded, repairs were done by applying a 6mm coat of haired lime plaster, gauged with 40% fine casting plaster. A plaster finish coat of 2mm of fine stuff & gauged lime was then applied.
Any surface cracks were cut out, repaired and remoulded with a lime putty & casting plaster mix.