CAP Masonry of Balgonie began setting up scaffolding along the south side of the building last week and used a boom lift to chip away old mortar on the north side last week. The crew will be completing repairs on two to four areas of the 104-year-old brick building that have been identified as needing the most attention. This includes work on both the south and north walls as well as the two back corners. Restoration will be done as the budget allows.
Water has been infiltrating through the cornice on the south side, where a section of the parging is missing.
“It’s really bad up there,” said Charlie Pirie, owner and operator of CAP Masonry. “It’s by far the worst area of the building, and that’s why I identified it as number one.”
On the north side, work will be done from the first fire escape to the third set of windows.
One issue on the north and south sides is where the west addition was put on, which makes up about two-thirds of the building. A large gap between both sections of the Jasper Centre can be seen, and bricks were broken off to join the addition to the original structure.
“They just hammered off the end of the original brick instead of taking it back far enough,” Pirie explained. “Then the new brick that they put in, they chipped half the end of it off. So when it settled, there was only half a brick really of any strength and it was easy to break.”
CAP will be putting pins in to adhere the mortar where the two sections of the building have spread apart.
Mortar was also vacating where moisture was getting into the three layers of brick. The crew will be sealing this from the top down. They are fixing the wash beneath the windows as well, which occurred because there was no drip edge cut in the window sills.
When it comes to restoration, there is typically 30 per cent more work to be done than what is estimated from outside at ground level, Pirie stated. He said the Jasper Centre will have over 30 per cent more work needing to be done.
“When you get the scaffolding up against it and you see where it’s open, you can’t just walk away from them. That’s got to be filled because the moisture will go in there and start popping (bricks) out.”
Temperatures in the 20 C range are the best for curing the mortar, which must be kept out of the sun and wind.
The building itself is structurally sound, with no work needing to be done on the foundation. There are some bricks in the basement that have deteriorated from water backing up, but CAP will not be doing work on this as it is not a major concern.
The crew expects to be on site for three to four weeks.
The Jasper Centre Board appreciates the continued support of the community through donations towards covering the cost of preserving the building.