Conservation Work on the Grand Parade continues in Poole

Conservation Work on the Grand Parade continues in Poole

Sensitive work to remove damaging paint from a listed building in Dorset has completed the regeneration project on one of the county’s most historic high streets.

Bournemouth-based building conservation expert Gary Elford was contracted to undertake the restoration work at the Grand Parade on Poole High Street.

The building in question was suffering from internal damp issues due to an incorrect, non-breathable paint finish being applied over the original limewash coat.

Gary used the Doff III superheated steam cleaning system – the latest and recently-launched iteration of the iconic machine from Gloucestershire pioneers Stonehealth – to carefully remove the paint layer and expose the original lime finish beneath.

The machine uses steam at 150 degrees C to create an extremely gentle cleaning operation which preserves the integrity of historic stonework.

The project in Poole was one of the first in the UK to see the new machine in action – launched last month after four years in development.

“It’s great to be able to put the Doff III to good use,” said Gary. “Unfortunately the existing paintwork is totally the wrong type of finish to be used on a Grade II listed building like this, so it’s was causing damp issues inside.

“These buildings were originally designed to allow water vapour to escape through the mortar joints and brickwork, so layering non-breathable paint over the top is a really bad idea.

“I’m happy to have worked with the Council to rectify the problem and play my part in improving this part of Poole. The Doff III is perfect for this type of work and it’s great to see it in use.”

Gary’s work, coordinated with the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and the building owner, was part of the Heritage Action Zone project which has focussed on the area from the High Street to the historic Quayside. The regeneration work to the town centre location has seen repairs to historic buildings and brought vacant premises and upper floors back into use, especially for creative start-ups.

The work also funded improvements to the public realm and pedestrian routes to make the town centre more attractive and accessible, in a bid to improve footfall and vibrancy.

The Doff III is a new and improved, even safer and more sustainable version model of the machine favoured by architects, specifiers and cleaning industry professionals in the UK and worldwide.

Four years and a six figure sum have been invested in the development of the new machine, which features an improved, lighter, fully integrated pump requiring 50 per cent less power usage, a remote power control, an electronic temperature control system to reduce water consumption, and increased maximum hose length of 45 metres, while still achieving a steam heat of 150 degrees C at the end of the nozzle.

Angela Southern, Business Development Director at Stonehealth, said: “We care about the preservation of historic buildings and so it is important that contractors using our systems are properly trained in the right techniques and maintenance. Gary has been working with our machines for many years so we know he’s done the machine and the centre of Poole proud.

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