Processes of decay
Published:January 01, 2007
This paper reviews the long-term effects of past, present and future air pollution and climate on the decay of stones from historic buildings. It summarizes the historical effects as well as causes and consequences of damage. The most significant change in terms of pollution has been a shift from high levels of sulphate deposition from coal burning to a blackening process dominated by diesel soot and nitrogen deposition from vehicular sources in cities. Blackening of light-coloured fabric eventually reaches a point where it becomes publicly unacceptable. Public opinion can assist the development of aesthetic thresholds and derive limit values for elemental carbon in urban air. Public perception is also affected by the pattern of blackening. This century new climate regimes will cause dramatic changes in blackening patterns by winddriven rain. Climate changes, most particularly changes in temperature, humidity stress and time of wetness, can also affect the weathering of stone in terms of responses to frost and soluble salts. Future pollution and climate are relevant considerations in the management of historic buildings.
Figures & Tables
Building Stone Decay: From Diagnosis to Conservation
Stone buildings and monuments from the cultural centres of many of the world's urban areas. Frequently these areas are prone to high levels of atmospheric pollution that promote a variety of aggressive stone decay processes. Because of this, stone decay is now widely recognized as a severe threat to much of our cultural heritage. If this threat is to be successfully addressed it is essential that the symptoms of decay are clearly identified, that appropriate stone properties are accurately characterized and that decay processes are precisely identified. It is undoubtedly the case that successful conservation has to be underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of the causes of decay and the factors that control them. The accomplishment of these demanding goals requires an interdisciplinary approach based on co-operation between geologists, environmental scientists, chemists, material scientists, civil engineers, restorers and architects. In pursuit of this collaboration, this volume aims to strengthen the knowledge base dealing with the causes, consequences, prevention and solution of stone decay problems.