The cats had accessed all areas and this front room is one of the worst. We have tried to tamper with the original part of the house as little as possible and hoped that removing the built in cabinetry (a modern addition) would allow us to break the protein molecules of the urine with enzyme washes. Unfortunately the urine had seeped behind all the cabinetry and penetrated into any raw render and especially into the cement bogging that previous owners have done. The blue light also revealed that we were not neutralising the protein in this area. The smell remained and there was nothing for it but to remove the render also.
So this is where we are currently at. We have removed the top layers back to the original construction and professional historic home repairers are due any day to start the process of traditional lime rendering. One of the walls is on the external part of the house and it is particularly important to lime render to allow the house to breathe. It is just one of the ways of keeping a house solid, dry and sturdy. You will also note the cedar mantelpiece has been stripped also. (The planking you see stacked over to the left is Tasmanian Oak flooring for the kitchen-another job)
The original wooden corner bead is intact and in good condition. Note the header of sandstone running through giving strength and stability in the construction.
The construction of this house is outstanding and stood the test of time. No cracks or subsidence.
I have put a high definition filter on this photo so you can see the outer wall construction of blue metal rock and convict bricks and chiselled stone. All the internal walls are brick. The house has good insulating properties and the temperature remains pretty stable. In the middle of winter these unheated front rooms remain at 15-16C.
You can also see in this photo the typical wide Georgian floorboards, pit sawn and fixed with hand made nails. We are keen to keep these as natural as possible and breathing so we are hoping we have neutralised the urine in them so we can finish them with wax and oil rather than a polyurethane finish.
Here is a close up of the anatomy of the wall. Thankfully we don't have to remove all of it. We are trying to carry out the repairs with as little impact to the integrity of the house as possible.
Will keep you updated.