Before and After Photo Page
(After viewing this page of photos, I would welcome your opinion. If you wish to contact me, call me at (520) 331-4004. Previously, people would try and email me at my address listed below, but because of the overwhelming problems with spam and junk mail, my ISP automatically deletes most email that comes into my box. Some emails do get through, but unfortunately, the only way I know to get any guaranteed feedback is to simply call me on my cell phone.)
These six photos (three above and three below) are of an old, damaged mud adobe with a plaster/cement covering the adobe in the interior of one of the rooms in an apartment in downtown Tucson, AZ. The top right photo shows several steps in the long process of restoring these walls. By clicking on this photo, one can see the hex netting I attached to the adobe with four inch galvanized nails, driven in with a slide hammer. Then, I covered this hex netting with multiple coats of stucco to bring the wall up to the thickness of the original. The original plaster/cement coating protecting the adobe was over one inch thick in places. Notice the right hand corner and its advanced state of deterioration. Much of this corner had to be painstakingly rebuilt, but the end result came out quite nice.
The above left photo shows the nice straight cut line I made into the original cement/plaster coating approx. 28" inches above the floor level. I went 28" inches up because this was how much of that original cement/plaster coating was "bulging out" due to the water deterioration of the original adobes.
In the above first two photos, notice the electrical box. This was almost completely rusted out and had to be gently ripped out. Virtually all of the metal conduit which was used to house the electrical wiring in these old walls that I repaired had to be torn out because they were so severely damaged by rust...a very dangerous situation.
The above three photos continues the progression of the repairs on this wall. The above left photo shows the corner which has been rebuilt with a concrete mixture, utilizing a forming system to shape the corner. The above middle photo shows the final stucco coat over the entire section of the wall. The above right photo shows the wall after I trowelled and sanded smooth the final coat of drywall mud over the entire repaired area. Again, the end result came out quite nice, but required an incredible amount of labor.
The above two photos above are showing how we repaired an area at the corner of a window. Someone had tried to repair parts of this area before, as you can see in the "before" photo.
Sometimes a wall is so deteriorated, as the photo in the upper left shows, that it makes more sense to repair it and then stucco over the area. This is also less expensive than to go in and artistically and individually repair each and every adobe.
The above right photo shows a severely deteriorated chimney (the scanned photo does not show very clearly the extent of the deterioration). To "face" each of these adobes back to it's original condition is a very costly enterprise. In such cases, my customer's have the option of having us stucco their chimney. The photo to the left shows this finished option. This particular chimney could not be easily seen from the roads below so it made sense to stucco it. It is less expensive for the customer to have us do this and, in my opinion, gives a more permanent solution than individually "facing" each adobe. We applied an adobe colored premium concrete stain over the gray stucco to give it this finished look.
The above four photos show a very interesting project I did in stripping paint off of the interior of a burnt adobe living room. During the seventies and eighties, the decorating mindset was to paint everything white, giving homes that sterile, hospital look. Many adobe homeowners did, what I think, was a tragic error: painting their interior adobe walls and covering the beauty of the adobe.
The first photo, upper left, shows this project in various stages of the stripping process. Please be aware that this project is not for the weak; it is extremely labor intensive and very frustrating! The end result, though, as seen in the upper right hand photo, is quite remarkable. The specialized chemicals that we use to strip the multi layers of paint off of adobe cannot remove the paint out of every nook and hole in the adobe, so the end result is a soft, antique look which is quite dramatic and pleasing to the eye.
Obviously, a project like this which is extremely labor intensive, is expensive and time consuming, yet I think that all the effort and expense is well worth it. Each wall comes out slightly different and has its own unique look, adding a custom feature to the room that cannot be duplicated.
The above four photos are before and after shots of two different crack repairs in burnt adobe.
Before and after shots of a portion of a burnt adobe wall that had a bad case of moss/algae growing on it.
The above three photos show a very badly deteriorated burnt adobe wall and BBQ in the various stages of restoration (click on each photo to enlarge). Please note some interesting points:
1. In the top left photo, notice the cap adobes and their severe deterioration. "Cap" adobes are the ones that sit on the top of the wall, or the adobes that the masons lay last. My company rarely knocks these out and replaces them with new burnt adobes. Why? I have learned that when you use brute force and a hammer to knock one out to replace it, you inevitably loosen the ones next to it and then have to replace them, starting a chain reaction that can become a nightmare to correct. Thus, a more gentler approach is needed.
The middle photo shows what the wall looks like after we have prepped the damaged adobes to receive our repair material. The above right photo shows what the project looked like near the final phase of the restoration. Note the cap adobes in the final photo and how nicely they turned out. Remember, these were not knocked out and replaced, but artistically "rebuilt".
The customer did not want to spend the money to repair each individual adobe on the BBQ portion of the job, which is why we stuccoed that portion. This is an option that we occasionally employ for burnt adobe chimney on the roofs of customer's homes; since it is cheaper to stucco a deteriorated chimney than to "face" each damaged adobe, this becomes an excellent option and long-term solution.
The following two photos are a continuation of the above photos on the BBQ. Here you see a crack that we repaired. I can never claim to be a professional photographer, and you will notice that the first "before" photo was taken in the shade, while the "after" photo was taken in the full sun. This mistake results in differences in colors of the walls, but I still think the photos get the message across.
These two photos above show the effects of pressure washing decorative concrete that has algae and/or dirt on them. Customers are often amazed at how clean their concrete becomes. We then apply a special formulation of the Silox Water Repellent to keep the dirt and algae at bay.