History is an integral part of life. It helps us understand the changes around us and learn from our mistakes as a community. As such, we must protect and preserve everything related to our history, including historical buildings. These buildings are symbols of a city’s culture. Also called heritage buildings must be preserved so that future generations can enjoy their beauty.
However, restoring a historical building is not an easy task. Old buildings need special care, and you must be prepared to deal with many surprises. This undertaking requires attention to detail, careful planning, and commitment. And if you’re asking yourself, “How can I restore and rejuvenate a historical building safely?” this article is for you!
If you are looking for a safe way to rejuvenate and restore your historical building, soft wash is a great option.
Soft washing is a technique that has emerged as a savior for restoring historical buildings to their former glory. Unlike traditional high-pressure washing methods that can cause irreparable damage to delicate surfaces and intricate architectural details, soft washing employs a gentle approach that combines low-pressure water streams with specialized biodegradable cleaning solutions. This method proves particularly beneficial for historical buildings, which often feature ornate facades, delicate stonework, and aged surfaces that require a gentle touch. By avoiding the abrasive force of high-pressure jets, soft washing effectively removes layers of dirt, grime, algae, and pollutants that accumulate over the years without compromising the structural integrity or aesthetic appeal of these priceless architectural gems.
One of the most remarkable aspects of soft washing’s suitability for historical building restoration is its ability to penetrate into the nooks and crannies that are characteristic of intricate designs. The biodegradable cleaning solutions used in soft washing effectively break down and dissolve contaminants, without causing harm to the original building materials. This approach not only revitalizes the appearance of the historical structure but also extends its lifespan by eliminating factors that contribute to deterioration.
Furthermore, soft washing is environmentally friendly, as the cleaning solutions used are designed to be eco-safe and do not harm surrounding vegetation or ecosystems. This ensures that while historical buildings regain their former grandeur, the surrounding environment remains unharmed, creating a harmonious blend of preservation and sustainability that honors the past while safeguarding the future.
Safely Restoring and Rejuvenating a Historical Building
If you want to do a full restore of a historic building, you’ll need a lot of passion and dedication. But passion alone is not enough. You’ll need precise planning, a big budget, and the help of professionals.
Understand the Type of Renovations Necessary
One of the first steps to take in historical building renovations is to have an assessment report and understand it. This will help you decide whether a part of the structure can remain. It will also dictate whether you’re undertaking a primary, intermediate, or advanced type of renovation.
If it’s a basic renovation, you will only need to restore the historical element of the building—a facelift. In an intermediate renovation, there is a need to remove some non-heritage features. Lastly, in case of advanced renovations, remove everything else except the historical elements.
Create a Financial Plan and Secure Funding
Another challenge in successfully renovating a historical building is the budget. In most cases, securing funds for this kind of project is a significant obstacle. Restoration is expensive. As such, you need a financial plan that outlines how and where you will secure funding for the project.
It is advisable to start securing the funds as early as possible and work with various non-profit organizations or private donors. Potential sources of funds for historic building restoration include state grants, tax credits, donations, and private funding. You can contact private foundations or individual donors for the latter. For state grants, you can get your local preservation office to inquire about historic preservation grants.
Secure Necessary Approvals and Building Permits
Depending on where the historical building is located, you must secure various approvals and building permits before starting construction. Along with a building permit, you also need planning and zoning permits. You also need support from the historic district commissions and local architectural boards.
All these necessary documents are essential to ensure that the works included in the planned renovation meet the building code and that the historic building will be safe for use after completion. If you anticipate the project completion to last for a few years, make sure to state that when you secure your permits.
Ensure the Building Is Architecturally and Structurally Sound
It is essential to check if the building is solid and can withstand its intended use. You also need to check if the historical elements you want to retain align with the current state of the building. For example, if you need to save old walls, windows, or chimneys, make sure that they are not just retained for their history but also if they will fit the future use of the building.
Along with retaining the historical elements, checking if the building can handle modern amenities is critical – in case you plan to add some. When restoring a historic building, retaining and repairing as much of the original structure is the primary goal. However, if your assessment dictates that more amenities are needed, check if the building can support them.
Remove Hazardous Materials
Due diligence is critical when restoring or rejuvenating a historical building. As such, you might need the help of an expert to assess and catalog hazardous parts or materials. Harmful materials such as asbestos and contaminated parts of the building must be treated and disposed of properly. Doing so will save you time and money and a lot of headaches later.
Sequence Your Construction
Another way to ensure a successful and safe renovation is to do the construction in sequence. Planning the sequencing will depend on the scope of the work, who is working on the project, and the time of the year.
You also need to sequence the construction depending on the areas within the building that need to be considered, such as elevators and other existing services. For elevators, old buildings may have them but with limited size and load capacity. So, if you use these elevators, you must consider what materials or workers can use them. Also, make sure to protect these structures against construction wear and tear.
Get the Experts to Help with Your Renovation
Remember that each historic building is unique, and the restoration process may vary. It is critical to tailor such a process according to the needs of the structure. And to ensure everything goes smoothly, consult with experienced professionals. The team at Blue Collar is ready to provide a soft wash that will protect and restore the historical building. Click here to receive a free estimate for your historical building rejuvenation.