Specialist Skills and Craftsmanship

Messenger is fortunate to have a workforce that includes, conservators, masons, carpenters and joiners, Collyweston stone slaters, lime plasterers, bricklayers, specialist decorators and gilders. In addition to their trade qualifications, the team hold an impressive number of Heritage Skills CSCS cards.

Stone conservation

At Messenger we are able to provide a number of stone conservation services, including: Removal of ferrous fixings, crack treatment, scaling surfaces and treatment using various forms of consolidation, mortar analysis, grouting, conservation mortar repairs, capping and shelter coating, excision of inappropriate former pointing and cements, pointing into various void space and various bedding joints, pinning and securing, appropriate cleaning (carbon cased pollutants and biological growth) and archeologically recording and evaluation.

Stone masonry

Highly skilled Messenger stone masons can both create and repair and restore. A full templating service is available in order to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved.

Façade cleaning

Our Messenger conservators have extensive experience and are identify the material and establish the most appropriate methods of cleaning. Care is taken to ensure cleaning methods are tested and do not have a deleterious effect on the substrate. Methods available include: Jos/ Torc mild abrasive system, micro abrasion, Doff steam pressure systems, laser cleaning, chemical poultice, latex cleaning and appropriate chemical and reagent cleaning.

Lime plastering and decorative plaster finishes

The Messenger team includes historic plaster conservators with a wealth of experience. We are able to offer Roman cement, pure lime plastering and rendering, repair and consolidation, solid run work, fibrous work, free hand modelling, pattern and mould making, conservation and surface consolidation and pargetting.

Traditional paint finishes e.g. as lime wash and distempers

We undertake in-house historic paint research which gives a greater understanding of the paint stratigraphy. Messenger have skilled and experienced staff who can apply traditional paint finishes using heritage skills, having understood the original material.

Gilding and specialist decorations

At Messenger we are able to provide specialist decoration services including gilding, marbling and rag rolling.

Wattle and daub

Where possible we can produce daub from mixing on site, having excavated local soil (30% clay required). We are lucky to have skilled craftsmen on the Messenger team who fully understand the dynamics of the earth material and possible shrinkage.

Specialist joinery and cabinetry

The Messenger team have extensive knowledge of working with and creating fine joinery. This includes window joinery, Church features and staircases, also decorative carving and ornamental pieces. New joinery can be produced to match existing.

Terracotta and faience

Messenger’s specialist skills extend to fired materials where they have been used in facades and in decoration such as gate piers and faience in decorative floors.

Restoration and repair to monuments and statuary

The Messenger in-house conservators are able to provide a full restoration service to monuments and statuary including; stone indents, pointing, cleaning and lettering. The team are also proficient in working on bronze works, granite, marble and even modern sculpture.

Mortar analysis

Messenger are able to undertake mortar analysis as required. The team can then replicate mortars with authenticity.

Paint research

Messenger are most fortunate to have Karen Morrissey on the team. Karen is an architectural conservator and consultant, with 19 years’ experience in preventive and practical building conservation and applied decoration, working at many high profile sites such as Palace of Westminster, Tower Bridge (London) and Cardiff Castle.

Brickwork

The highly experienced bricklaying team at Messenger have been involved in a variety of new and historic building projects. Sourcing the most suitable brick for a particular project is only a part of the process. Achieving a perfect mortar mix and face finish is paramount to obtaining the best overall result for the client and the building.

Chimney breasts

The conservation team at Messenger have been fortunate enough to have worked on many decorative chimney pieces. The extent of our experience ranges from the supply of new marble and natural stone chimney pieces, to carrying out careful cleaning and fine mortar and indent repairs.

Collyweston stone slating

We are most fortunate to have highly experienced Collyweston slaters on the Messenger Team. We are also pleased to announce that we are able produce “new” handmade slates at our Messenger workshop.

Decorations to historic fabric

The Messenger team has a wide range of experience in conservation techniques for architectural decorative surfaces. We also undertake new decoration to recreate historic finishes using soft distempers, limewash, lead based paints, gilding and graining.

Services offered include archive and documentary research; technical assessment of historic paint films; on site condition survey and recording of decorative finishes; digital photographic and diagrammatic recording; Osiris infrared reflectography and detailed written documentation.

We are fortunate to have an ICON Accredited Conservator on the Messenger Team.

Internal joinery repairs

The main considerations with internal joinery are to retain as much joinery detail as possible and to restore as accurately as possible. It is imperative that appropriate levels of research and planning are undertaken prior to commencement of any conservation project and where possible an approach of minimum intervention should be taken. Every effort is made to repair rather than replace joinery elements.

Plaster conservation and repairs

Our expert tradesmen have the experience to undertake the conservation, repair and replacement of all manner of plasterwork in any condition on historic and heritage buildings.

Their specialist skills/finishes include: pure lime plasters and renders, repair and consolidation, solid run work, fibrous work, free hand modelling, pattern and mould making, conservation and surface consolidation, wattle and daub and pargetting.

Repairs to historic structures

The Messenger team of experienced tradesmen have carried out a number of structural repairs, masonry repairs and timber repairs to various buildings. Whilst we recognise the importance of completing these works in a timely manner, the need to protect the historic fabric and the possibility of working in close proximity to the general public attracts overriding priority.

We prepare method statements and risk assessments to help the tradesman carry out these works; they also assist with the planning of the project.

Sheet Roofing and Lead Plumbing

Here at Messenger we have skilled craftsmen who are able to work with a differing number of sheet materials including:

Lead
Copper
Terne Stainless Steel
Zinc

Ceiling Stabilisation

At Messenger we encounter situations where a historic ceiling exhibits defects such as cracking and distortion. This may have occurred over time, however following a thorough survey, we can recommend a selection of reversible ceiling securing methods than can be undertaken at to the ceiling face or the reverse side (ceiling void) to arrest any further movement. We have a selection of repair philosophies to suit the established defect. This approach has a wider benefit to retain as much as possible of the original material, decorations and also give savings on cost and programme where new areas are subject to drying times.

Specialist Structural Repairs

The Messenger team is experienced in all types of structural repairs and their causes. For example, flitch plate repairs; Helifix installations; underpinning; cavity wall tie corrosion; cracking as a result of movement in the ground; subsidence caused by trees removing water from the soil or poor drainage arrangements; heave or up-lift, caused by root growth; shifting water tables; drought; corrosion; decay; poor workmanship or lack of maintenance; erosion; vibration and salt attack.