While many popular cities choose to modernize the aesthetics of their architecture, London has stayed true to its traditions. Stone and asphalt are still widely used for various construction purposes – and not only on historical monuments. Private owners of traditional properties also use these materials when making improvements to their homes, even though they do it in an improved form. Here are the secrets behind the use of asphalt steps in these properties.
What is Mastic Asphalt?
One of the secrets of how they make even the oldest historical steps look traditional yet secure is the use of mastic asphalt. This is an excellent waterproofing material with an extremely high endurance level and can withstand sudden shocks and constant gazing. With proper application methods and solar protective finishing, it can last for more than 30 years. It’s the perfect material to use when trying to preserve historical heritage.
Mastic asphalt is even beneficial for the environment because it’s produced with little to low carbon emission. If it’s mixed with a conventional asphalt mixer, it even uses less energy and water. In addition, it is also recyclable and can even be reused for precise detailing.
Why are Asphalt Steps Popular?
Applying asphalt on historical steps is quite a popular choice for many reasons. As mentioned earlier, this material makes them durable and structurally sound, as well as helps preserve part of traditions the same way they stood for hundreds of years. Many of these buildings held special meaning in British history, and their aesthetics are engraved in everyone’s mind.
This history attracts thousands of tourists to the city, all of whom are subjecting the asphalt steps to extremely high levels of foot traffic on a daily basis. By providing them a traditional-looking and safe passage when visiting each monument, the city can make their experience far more enjoyable. They will be happy to come back anytime, which is great for the tourism sector.
How is Mastic Asphalt Applied?
This material can be used in various ways, and the application method depends on several factors, like whether the old coating should be removed and the pattern of application for the new finish. Namely, this can be applied in treads, stringers, and risers, all usually done in two coats.
The first and last method was used in the restoration of battlements at the Tower of London. Here, the existing coats of mastic asphalt were removed from the surface and replaced with new ones. For better adherence, a primer was used under the first coat, a step recommended for first-time applications as well. In this case, the surface should be cleaned from all debris before applying the primer.
It’s evident that Londoners place huge importance on preserving their heritage. Using modernized methods on asphalt steps in traditional London properties is a great way to maintain the integrity of these structures.
By making them water-resistant and durable, the owners can make sure these buildings continue to stay and elevate the historical values of the city for many more generations. Considering the number of tourists visiting a city each year, this endeavor is more than worth the effort.