Deteriorating Fire Hall Gets a Face Lift

Building: Fire Hall
Owner: Town of Carstairs, Alberta
Contact: Carl McDonnell, Operations Service Manager
Engineer: UMA Engineering Ltd.

The Problem:

Masonry block structures are prone to moisture problems. An engineering review of the Fire Hall outlined serious deterioration concerns and recommended metal cladding and weatherproofing of the main building and hose tower, at an estimated cost of over $80,000. Despite maintenance and painting, over the years the following problems persisted: Failure of coatings Moisture related damage and organic growth Efflorescence damage to block and pointing Loss of weatherproofing and insulation value.


Structural deterioration, escalating maintenance costs and service life were now a concern.


This structure was considered non-repairable. Enhance International recommended a topical application re-hydration process - this is the cornerstone of the entire restoration process. First coatings are sandblast removed. Then mortar pointing is repaired. After 48 hours the entire block structure is wetted down and a penetrating liquid re-hydration system (P-300/EPC-300) is applied. The liquid system quickly migrates deep into the block where it comes in contact with cement and cement hydrates. A rapid crystal growth reaction occurs which restores the water-tightness and pH of the block. Now the entire treated block structure will perform better than when new. Due to existing surface deterioration, the next step was to apply a new textured stucco layer to the block wall face. A 10-year elastomeric coating is applied to the new stucco and now the buildings look entirely new. Coatings and stucco will not delaminate. Moisture and efflorescence concerns are now controlled such that the building will remain maintenance free until the elastomeric coating needs to be serviced.

Why this Solution?

Enhance EPC treatments maintain moisture at suitable levels for the long term performance of the block and exterior coatings. The process described allowed the town to restore the building, keep it in service at all times, and even update the exterior appearance. A final consideration - cost. The completed project came in $30,000 under the review budget.


“… we got everything we wanted and more. We did not want to just cover over an aging and deteriorating structure. If a solution had not been found to restore this building, it was a very real possibility we would have to replaced the building in the near future.” -- Carl McDonnell, Town of Carstairs (Letter on File)


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