Original mortar, once protected by upper story roofs or wall plasters, is now exposed and suffers erosion by snow melt and precipitation. To repair deteriorating mortar, the first step is to analyze the original mortar to identify its particular texture, color, and composition. Next, the preservation staff documents the existing architectural elements and develops mortar with similar characteristics. Eroded mortar is replaced with new mud, an important and tedious task, but one that is effective in keeping the masonry walls sound and structurally solid to resist the weather and visitor use.
Did You Know?
In 1937, a Civilian Conservation Corps group began work at Chaco. An all-Navajo crew of stonemasons repaired many of the excavated Chacoan buildings. Preservation measures continue to this day, and several members of the NPS preservation crew are second and third generation stonemasons. More...