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?
Richard Wetherill came to Chaco Canyon in 1896 and worked with the American Museum of Natural History. He operated a ranch and trading post there until his death in 1910. To keep warm during the frigid Chaco winters, Richard burned low-grade coal from a mine he constructed.