Lochplace Building Conservation offers a wide range of analyses of building materials to meet every requirement. We recommend you choose an analysis package below. Alternatively, please contact us for free advice on a suitably tailored package.


Basic Mortar Analysis
This analysis is conducted by our mortar experts using a variety of standard manual, microscope and laboratory techniques to establish strength / disaggregation of mortar; type and colour of aggregate used, type and quality of binder and the aggregate/binder ratio.

The report also offers practical recommendations to recreate an appropriate mortar, and it's application, suitable for conservation and restoration.
Sample size required: 20 grammes.


Advanced Mortar Analysis
This analysis comprises of all the analysis conducted in our Basic Mortar Analysis with the addition of a number of advanced scientific methods:

X-Ray Fluorescence to establish the elemental composition.
X-Ray Diffraction to establish the chemical structure.
Confocal Microscopy to identify minute organic material.

The Advanced Mortar Analysis Report also offers practical recommendations to recreate an appropriate mortar, and it's application, suitable for conservation and restoration.
Sample size required: 20 grammes.

 

Why Analysis?
There are three main reasons why building materials in old buildings, particularly Mortars, should be correctly identified:

1. To allow for the correct selection of new or replacement mortars. Correct identification of materials, their compatibility, durability and aesthetics are all-important in the selection of new and replacement mortars and renders. Incorrect selection can lead to number of serious problems, which inevitably may cause failure of the mortar. The more common problems associated with a poorly identified mortar are: Inability to adhere to background. Presence of high salt levels. Differential thermal movement and flexibility. Inability to breathe. Careful and informed selection of the components of the new mortar is vital in conservation where the new and old need to be visually compatible, in 'patch pointing' for example.

2. To examine the archeological value of the mortar. The identification of the components of the mortar in a historic structure allows us to record various periods in a buildings development. It can also reveal the introduction of new and imported materials to the building at different stages of its life.

3. To identify problems with previously attempted repair work. Previous repair or replacement work may have been inappropriate. It is not uncommon for misguided repair work to actually be the cause of the problem. Mortars may fail for no apparent reason. Identification of the exact reason for failure is important, particularly if removal and reapplication of a mortar is being considered.

 

   
The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork, Ireland
Tel : + 353 21 477 6677 - Fax : + 353 21 477 6063