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Arlington House - SK Conservation Limited

Arlington House is a complex of mostly unlisted later 20th-century buildings in the Bath conservation area.  The site includes a surviving Grade I-listed Georgian façade from an older building that had to be demolished following a fire in the 1980s. SK Conservation Limited are specialists in stone conservation using traditional stonemasonry methods and techniques sympathetic to each project to which they are contracted.

The Problem

Several layers of impermeable modern acrylic masonry paints had been inappropriately applied to localised areas of the Georgian façade, specifically the ionic Bath Stone columns and plain frieze / cornice above them. After an enforcement notice was issued by the council, these required removal followed by cleaning of the stone substrate.

Owing to the location of the site in an area with high pedestrian traffic, the building needed to be sealed off to be made safe for works. This in turn created significant challenges around using cleaning equipment in confined spaces, especially because of the low visibility caused by steam. Another problem was the hardness of the local water supply.

The Solution

The site was secured with scaffolding and cladding in order to protect the public for the duration of works. The ThermaTech superheated water-based cleaning system was used in combination with acrylic paint softener to loosen the paint that needed to be removed.

To offset the effects of the hard water, SK Conservation descaled the ThemaTech at frequent intervals during the course of the works. They worked with Restorative Techniques’ training and technical support team over the telephone to ensure that the most effective protocol was followed at all times.

The Outcome

The acrylic paint softener was very successful at loosening the existing paint, making the task of using the ThermaTech system to remove the paint much easier. In spite of the cramped conditions, the ThermaTech system removed the paint quickly, allowing the job to be finished ahead of schedule.

Having the ability to control the pressure and the temperature of the ThermaTech allowed SK’s operatives to ensure that they protected the carved Bath stone columns extremely effectively. The clients were very pleased with how well the paint had been removed, while the integrity of the original stonework was maintained.

  • Arlington house Georgian façade
  • Arlington House column under restoration 1
  • Arlington House column under restoration 2
  • Arlington House column under restoration 3
  • Arlington House view of multiple columns 1
  • Arlington House view of multiple columns 2
  • Arlington House column, another view
  • Arlington House columns restored