Through careful research and planning, Durable Restoration preserved a portion of St. John’s Episcopal Church for future generations.
Recently, the Lancaster church’s front steps started to buckle an crack apart due to an ongoing issue that had not been correctly addressed until Durable Restoration was brought in to remedy the problem.
“We do a lot more investigation and research. We don’t just go in and repair,” said Don Holton, a Durable Restoration foreman with more than 26 years of experience. “We figure out the problem rather than covering it up.”
Due primarily to rust jacking, the metal railing on the church had started to corrode, expanding and causing the steps to crack, where the metal meets the stone at the base of the railing, Holton said. Initially, another contractor had repaired the stone steps, but failed to address the rusted metal railing.
The solution required a three pronged approach for the railing. Our craftsmen grinded away all areas of rust and applied a rust-preventative paint to the railing. The next step was the installation of a PVC pipe over the bottom portion of the railing. An epoxy was then applied to provide a water-tight seal between the railing and stone.
Having already removed the broken pieces of stone, our masons installed stainless steel rods to connect the pieces to the base of the stairs. Using a color-matching mortar, the stones were patched together using Cathedral Stone Products, which requires a certification from the parent company.
“The details require a lot of experience,” Holton said. “It takes a pretty good eye to do this kind of detailed work.”
Durable Restoration had previously done stone patching on the Union Terminal at the Cincinnati History Museum and marble patching at Tomochichi Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Savannah, Georgia.
“We’re different than other companies. We want to know what’s causing the problem.” Holton said. “If you just patch it and don’t know what caused it, you’re going to have to come back. If we repair it, it’s going to last a lifetime.”
Don Holton has been with Durable Restoration for three years and spent an additional 23 years working as a residential/commercial contractor. He has significant expertise in general construction, roofing, historic masonry and plaster repair and restoration.