A landmark listed building in Leeds has utilised Safeguard Europe’s Stormdry Masonry Protection Cream to protect its terracotta façade from penetrating damp.
Apsley House was originally designed in 1903 by George Corson, whose notable works include many of the distinctive Victorian buildings in the city’s centre, such as the Grand Theatre and Central Library.
Owners J Pullan & Sons converted the Grade II listed building in 1990 to provide premium office accommodation.
The building’s exterior features a handmade terracotta façade. After many years of exposure to rain penetration and atmospheric pollution, it was decided that a durable and undetectable treatment was needed to protect the terracotta, without disturbing tenants.
After two alternative external treatments were tried and tested to deal with the water penetration, Safeguard’s 20 year Masonry Protection Cream, Stormdry, was eventually chosen to maintain the façade.
Stormdry was specified after Safeguard technical staff visited Apsley House to test the efficacy of the treatment on easily accessible but unobtrusive parts of the building.
The technical team recommended that any cracks to the terracotta or repairs to the mortar were filled and re-pointed with Stormdry Repointing Additive No. 1 before applying the Masonry Protection Cream.
The BBA-certified cream has undergone accelerated ageing tests to guarantee its effects will remain active as a masonry water repellent for at least 25 years.
The product is applied by brush or roller and will cure colourlessly to match the original finish within 12 hours.
Stormdry penetrates up to 12mm in flettons so that it can bridge cracks in the masonry more effectively and to guarantee a greater life expectancy.
As the cream lines the pores of masonry as opposed to blocking them, walls treated with Stormdry will continue to dry out, enabling water vapour to escape whist preventing water, such as penetrating rain, from entering.
It also boosts the thermal efficiency of a building, as masonry insulates more effectively when dry. Bricks for example have twice the thermal resistance when dry rather than wet.
According to tests conducted on solid wall constructions by the University of Plymouth, the treatment will provide energy savings of up to 29% and offers significant savings as opposed to having traditional insulation installed.
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