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Thomas St Methodist

Tate Stevenson Architects Ltd were first commissioned in 2015 by Thomas Street Methodists Church in to carry out a condition survey on their Grade B+ listed building in Portadown.

As no regular maintenance had been carried out in recent years the church was keen to establish its current state of repair and further investigate why substantial water damage was occurring on the internal fabric of the building.

The condition report highlighted significant defects in the external guttering and downpipes in particular along the southern and western elevations which were exposed to the prevailing winds and summer sun. The report found that the majority of the gutter joints were leaking and were badly rusted. It also established that a section of the guttering had a back fall away from the closest downpipe meaning that it filled with water and soaked the stone walls with wind driven rain. This gutter section also aligned with the main internal plaster damage suggesting the water was soaking through the existing walls.

Another significant discovery was that the church had extensive repointing carried out with a high gypsum content mortar following a part collapse in the 1980’s of a stone lintel on the side portico. This rigid pointing was inhibiting the natural drying of the stonework meaning moisture was being trapped within the walls and showing up as moisture stains on the internal paintwork.

A further recommendation was to add storm glazing to the southern elevation to prevent wind driven rain further damaging the existing stained glass windows which was in turn approved NIEA as the ventilated/demountable system selected was in line with their current guidelines.

In 2018 the Church had secured sufficient funding to allow them to tackle the defective work and repoint all the church elevations with a lime based mortar. Tate Stevenson set about gathering the specialist reports for the stone repairs, plasterwork, stain-glass windows and roof surveys as well as preparing detailed technical drawing and specifications for ‘like for like’ repairs in line with NIEA technical guidance. The church was re-plastered internally with a lime based plaster and decorated with highly breathable paint, existing window vents were re-opened and a maintenance plan produced for the church’s committee to further action.

The project was started in late spring 2018 and completed by October within the churches funds secured for the project.

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