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Ice Blast Restores Timber Frame

Ice Blast Restores Timber Frame

Monday, 15 August 2016

 

I have surveyed historic timber framed buildings all my working life and have experienced a number of ways which have been used to restore structural timbers to their former glory.

Over the centuries exposed timbers can become heavily coated with stains, paints etc. and the process of cleaning them has not been totally successful. Sandblasting was particularly popular but it was found that original features of the timber were either lost or damaged and the surface left with a lacerated finish. Furthermore, it involved a considerable amount of residual sand, detritus, etc. Conservation officers and English Heritage therefore moved away from this process.

I was recently involved in the restoration of a Grade II Listed house and was introduced to an altogether different method with the use of dry ice blasting. The whole process being gentle and very effective on timbers as it works by freezing the coating from the beams. The dry ice has a surface temperature of minus 78oc and this causes an instant thermal shock and then, as the CO2 expands from its solid to its gaseous state, it releases the coating causing all paint, dirt and grime to leave the timber fully intact. The whole process is very efficient and the results are simply first class. (See photo). There is also a minimal amount of clearing up to do afterwards!

For more on dry ice blasting and enquiries in respect of conservation, surveys and general information on timber frame and other historic buildings, contact Andrew McLeod FRICS.

 

 


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