Buildings experience a lot of wear and tear as time goes by, but sometimes it goes beyond normal weathering and into damages— that’s when the restoration professionals at Summit Reconstruction & Restoration come in. While we may not be able to turn back the hands of time, damaged and weathered buildings can be restored to their former glory, and even made more structurally sound than before to prevent further damage. In this post, we’ll cover what restoration means as well as some common restoration techniques. 

What is building restoration?

Building restoration, for all intents and purposes, is the process of making repairs to return a building to its original state. The goal of restoration is the restitution of the original appearance, strength, value, and quality the building had before the damage occurred. It may involve cutting away portions of the building and rebuilding or replacing them; or adding more structural material so that the original strength and appearance is restored. 

Why restore a building? 

There are a number of reasons to restore a building, whether it’s to repair structural damage for safety, or repairing cosmetic damage to restore value to the building. Damage can occur as a result of a construction defect or the occurrence of a single or recurring event:

  • Water corrosion or rot from flooding or poorly sealed materials
  • Fire and smoke damage 
  • Collision or impact 
  • Years of wear and tear
  • Poorly installed or defective materials from the last project.

Common Building Restoration Techniques & Repairs

Some of the most common repairs completed in a building restoration job include:

  • Maintenance and improvements to building envelopes
  • Replacing aging building components such as the roof, siding, windows, and doors 
  • Repairing or replacing electrical, mechanical, or plumbing systems
  • Patching of cosmetic defects such as cracks and fallen plaster
  • Repairing or replacing structural components such as decks, landings, and balconies
  • Repairs to basements and crawl spaces to keep water and moisture outside where they belong
  • Relaying cracked flooring at the ground level
  • Redecoration such as painting, or refinishing a floor to match its original material and color
  • Replacing or repairing cabinets, flooring, countertops and other interior carpentry
  • Code upgrades for items such as insulation, stairways, and railings / guardrails

Water Damage Restoration Techniques

Water restoration and waterproofing are common restoration services in climates with a lot of rainfall, like the Portland metro area for example. Water restoration attempts to repair water damage, whether that damage is rotting wood, mold growth, bacteria growth, rust, swelling, or delamination. Water restoration techniques include:

  1. Removing water with truck-mounted or portable extractors,  wet/dry vacuums, or  submersible pumps, depending on the severity.
  2. Drying and dehumidifying with industrial quality air movers and dehumidifiers to dry out any materials that still contain excess moisture or were too challenging to access during extraction.
  3. Cleaning and sanitizing with:
    • Dry cleaning – the process of cleaning textiles with a solvent, without using water.
    • Wet cleaning – the process of cleaning with the use of water and detergents.

Restoration professionals may also use foam, abrasive, or immersion cleaning techniques to ensure every item is cleaned as thoroughly as possible. If the damage can’t be repaired, the damaged materials are replaced. 

Smoke Damage Restoration Techniques

Smoke restoration is the process of repairing the damage done from fire and smoke. This usually involves cleaning all surfaces with the goal of not being able to detect odor and discoloration. If it’s unable to be restored, it is replaced. Techniques include:

  • Ventilation
  • HEPA Vacuuming
  • Dry-cleaning with chemical sponges
  • Ozone treatment
  • Thermal fogging
  • Application of sealers

Mold Damage Restoration Techniques

Similarly to water damage restoration, mold restoration is common in wet climates like that of the Portland metro area. Mold restoration is the process of removing and repairing the damage caused  by microbial growth. This commonly includes setting a containment barrier with HEPA filtration and negative air pressure in the affected areas to ensure that clean areas are not contaminated, removal of all  contaminated materials, and cleaning and sanitizing surrounding areas and personal belongings like carpets and clothing. 

What are examples of building restoration?

An example of one of our projects was the restoration of a 30-year-old structure with vinyl siding. Significant hidden damage from outdated leaking windows and sliders with no waterproofing, and concreted decks over plywood with no waterproofing resulted in near structural collapse

Our work included:

  • Full removal of exterior siding, decks, windows and doors. 
  • Installation of new Milgard windows and sliding glass doors. 
  • Decks rebuilt with proper slope, waterproofed with a Soprema Alsan PMMA system with drain mat and concrete top. 
  • All base of wall and ground level doors waterproofed with Kemperol V210.
  • Installation of James Hardi siding and trim on a 1/2” rain screen.

Another of our water restoration projects included elevated breezeways and landings that were originally constructed with concrete poured over OSB with no waterproofing or drainage mat. Within seven years of being built, water intrusion in the concrete and the below OSB and framing caused significant structural rot. 

Our work included:

  • Deconstructing each 3 story breezeway stair system, and demolish and dispose of the concrete, OSB, and rotten framing. 
  • Installation of new structural framing members, along with new plywood, saddles, and diverter flashings. 
  • New concrete was poured, and a 3 coat NeoGard traffic coating system was applied to the breezeway and stair landing assembly. 
  • Stair stringers, treads, and rails re-installed. 

Need building restoration work?

If you have a home or commercial building in need of restoration, Summit Reconstruction & Restoration is here to help. We take pride in maintaining a reputation for being friendly, accommodating, and transparent with our clients. We remain engaged throughout the entire process with incredible attention to detail. Our goal is to complete your project ahead of schedule and under budget. Get in touch with us today to learn more.