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?
Many of the animal mounds you see at Chaco were made by Ord's kangaroo rats. They often dig in the soft midden (trash) areas in sites because they are elevated, easy to dig in, and don’t flood. In their colonies there are often more burrow openings than there are rats! (Drawing courtesy: ICWDM.org)