Dunlavin Church Case Study

St Nicholas of Myra Church at Dunlavin restored to perfection with Köster Restoration Plaster.

When we were asked to offer a solution for the restoration of the Church "St Nicholas of Myra" situated in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow, KÖSTER Restoration Plaster was the natural choice. This Church is 200 years old and constructed with thick stone walls which worked fine without any insulation before the advent of modern heating systems. Given the large volume of the nave area, the fact that the church will often be filled with a large number of people and a lack of ventilation the risk of condensation would have to be classified as very high. By specifying KÖSTER Restoration Plaster the condensation issue can be controlled.

The Restoration Plasters used on this project were "KÖSTER Restoration Plaster 2 Fast" a relatively quick drying version that cures to a bright white finish. Other products used were KÖSTER Polysil® TG 500 a special salt blocking silicate polymer primer and KÖSTER Repair Mortar Plus combined with SB Bonding Emulsion to offer a polymer modified cement concrete that is fast setting and slightly expanding.

KÖSTER Restoration Plasters are particularly suited for the renovation of walls that have been subjected to damp. Typical uses are re-plastering after a new horizontal barrier (DPC) has been installed, re-plastering basement areas after tanking and re-plastering areas with slightly damp walls or condensation problems.

KÖSTER Restoration Plasters are cement based with additives to promote pore formation and create hydrophobicity, they are free of lightweight fillers, which tend to absorb moisture. The main advantages of KÖSTER Restoration Plaster are:

  1. Salt Blocking – Damp and drying walls can be subject to a heavy salt loading. In such situations salt crystals will tend to form at the intersection between the main wall structure and the plaster. The salt crystals expand massively in volume pushing off the plaster or paint. Sometimes the effects of salts show as an efflorescence on the decorated surface. KÖSTER Restoration Plasters have a larger pore structure than other plasters allowing salt crystals to form within the plaster without harm.
  2. Breathable – In areas subject to high humidity, water vapour will condense on a plastered wall causing either dampness on the surface or water to be absorbed into the plaster itself, causing gradual degradation and damage to the thermal performance. Dampness on the wall surface leads to a variety of problems, including mould formation and decorative disorder. KÖSTER Restoration Plasters are breathable, they allow water vapour to pass in and out of the plaster structure without condensing on the surface, or being absorbed as a liquid by any elements within the plaster.
  3. Damp proof - KÖSTER Restoration Plasters are hydrophobic and therefore do not allow liquid water to pass through there structure by capillary action. This prevents any slight dampness in the substrate from being transmitted through to the decorative surface.

When taken together the three above properties combine to make a dramatic difference to rooms in which KÖSTER Restoration Plaster has been used. No musty smells, no mould growth, longer lasting decorative finish and ultimately a warmer room because the walls aren’t saturated with damp.