The focus of work these last two weeks has been on stabilizing and analyzing the portico. The support beam is in place and steel beams have been inserted along the main slab. Jacks at each corner under these beams have raised the slab very slightly so the rest of the steps could be removed. We now have a clear view under the structure. The foundations are stone and the piers, or supports under the pillars, are brick. The condition varies across the space. What has also become clear is why the portico shifted. During the 1970s restoration, air intake ducts on either side of the portico were inserted through the porch foundation, thus weakening the support structure. Think of putting a large hole in a wall for a duct; the wall is no longer as strong as it was. In order to work under the portico, the duct will have to be removed temporarily.
Cleaning the Bricks
The team has also been washing The Grange! During Transformation AGO, slurry, caused by the drilling for the support piles, splashed on the east and west sides of the house. This clay has to be gently removed as the nineteenth-century bricks are very soft and will not tolerate power washing. Unlike other brick cleaning techniques, using an environmentally and brick friendly solution will not change the old look of the house. The patina of age will still be there.
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