English Information 
My English Entrance Site
Marvin Hull wrote:
I visited your site, but I only can read English. If you could help out in that area, and let me know the content of the site, it would be appreciated. Best regards, Marvin Hull > Castles Unlimited > www.castles-of-britain.com
KF: You can find english text looking for the english flag in my menue. It leads you to my lecture at RILEM Workshop Historic Mortars in Paisley and to some important and certainly surprising Guides - Mould attack and ref. Rising Damp. The other contents of my site (Title: Altbau und Denkmalpflege Informationen - Informations to historic buildings and conservation) show a lot of my lectures and publications (I give lectures for architects and building owners since 1988) about how to do best with restoration/conservation, especially in regard of historic monuments like castles (I´m the speaker of the Consulting Comitee of Restoration of the Deutsche Burgenvereinigung - Association of friends of castles), churches, monasteries and so on. There is also a critical point of view to modern building material as you can see in my RILEM lecture. Otherwise I list a lot of useful or interesting links to these topics, f.e. my castle-page ) or lists of recommended literature and internet URLs. Beneath there is a online-translator in my menue or Google's translation tool. Try!
KF: please use Google's online-translator to understand my sites. I think, you will find all the informations you need there. My english pages you will find here.
KF: I think, from the beginning of using stone walls. We found celtic walls with lime mortar.
KF: I would normally try to reconstruct the existing mortar, so there will be no problems with bad interaction between new and old components (what is very common, you can remember my lecture or look to my sites. Please use the translation software of my site, so you can understand better also my german texts.) And here you'll find my english mortar lecture from RILEM-seminar in Paisley.
Because you have gypsom, any hydraulic components like hydraulic lime, trass or cement are absolutely forbidden - they would damage by ettringite/thaumasite and so on.
What is important to know:
The historical used gypsum is often 'high burned' in contrast to modern gypsum. This will give big differences in material and shape - and durability. Therefore we have in my county new installed traditional methods to burn gypsum-stone with high temperature again - in the traditional technique by experienced craftsman.
Otherwise it is important, which technics of improvement had been used at the old mortar you found. It will change the quality and property of mortar very much, if you´ll have or have not the knowledge and use of receiping the new mortar in the sense of the old.
So, it´s not enough only to get rid with the main mineralic ingredients of an old mortar.
Do you have information about the non toxic Wood protector XY?
KF: I will give you some information about XY, the patented toxic-free fire retardent and termite repellant Wood protector:
1. Kind of product
Solvent free, water soluble protection fluid for all kind of wood. To be sprayed, painted, rolled-on, dipped or high-pressure inmpregnated (for industrial use).
To protect wood against fire, fungi and insects (f.e. termites) and to make weak wood structures harder.
3. Areas of application
a) Roofed Wood,
b) Wood in general,
c) The food sector,
d) The vicinity of allergic and sick people as well as children.
4. Technical characteristics
a) In case of fire prevents the spreading of fire, smoke development thus decreasing the possibility of smoke-suffocation and smoke-intoxication.
b) Prevents attacks of all wood-damaging insects and fungi.
c) Repells insects and fungi from attacked wood.
d) Improves the structure of old wood by building up crystalline structures (carbonates, silicates) in the cells (following the given free space in cellular structure without damage), so it will get more hardness.
5. Biological characteristics
a) No development of vapours except watervapour.
b) Does not contaminate food and is harmless to bees.
c) In diluted (with water) form: to balance the bad influence of acid rain (just pour or spray on the ground).
6. Special characteristics
a) Binds solvents and other chemicals of former coatings of the wood during the pretreatment phase and leaves you with a white film on the surface of the wood.
b) By removing this white film with help of a brush or spatula, you remove remainders of solvents, oil- and resin-pollutions etc. At the same time the wood becomes sterilised.
7. New procedure
a) As deep as "XY" is assimilated by the wood it withdraws the food for the insects living in it. At the same time the wood is not longer recognized as wood by the insects so that they will not be able to see a source of food in it and simmply will depart. As "XY" covers the smell of wood, the searching insects will be disorientated and cannot discover it.
b) By assimilation in the wood also the maybe existing fungi will suck up XY. First they will be harmed by the basic shock (as fungi are living in acid milieu). During the drying process the development of the crystals of carbonate and silicate will explode the fungi cellular structure - by physical and not toxic effects. If fungi will attack the wood, these effects will repeat also by the fixed XY and refuse their settling.
All containers have to be tightly closed to prevent drying up. Storage dependant on temperature.
XY can be stored indefinitly as long as drying up is prevented.
10. Removal of remainders
a) Mix remainders (there is mostly potassium silicate/water-glass in it) with water (ratio 1:20, i.e. 1 part XY and 20 parts of water) and use them to balance the bad influences of acid rain instead of using lime (respect the problems of historic underneath, which will mostly not be coated with potassium silicate!), or
b) Let the remainders dry up and put them into the biological waste.
11. Ingredients Potassium carbonate, silicates, cellulose, lignin, starch.
12. Quality tests Tested in USA (there are also technical tests from European Institutes) by
a) ... Laboratories USA - fire retardant - best test results
b) ... University USA - termite repellant - best test results (See separate report a)b))
13. Quality control
A continuous quality control and survey is being done by delegates of the '... Laboratories' in Germany.
14. Usage When the treatment is done twice: 1 liter on 10 square meter
15. Special hints and tips:
a) XY has the unique characteristic of absorbing solvents and other remainders of old coatings in the form of a white film. In this way some dangerous remainders which sometimes even after years still may have a negative influence on man´s health will be removed.
b) In case the white film appears after the final treatment, the deep rooted ingredients of old coatings or wood protectors were absorbed into the top-layer of XY. This can be removed altogether still by scratching or brushing off. Afterwards no new XY- treatment is necessary because the effective ingredients will not be removed by scratching off the surface layer only.
c) If the white film appears after the final treatment of new and untreated wood, then only the food substances for the insects were absorbed into the surface layer of XY which again can be removed very easily by brushing it off. After that no further treatment with XY is required.
a) XY does not contain toxic ingredients.
b) As the ph-value is around 10.5 it is recommended to wear gloves and safety-glasses during work!
c) If accidently some XY comes into contact with eyes, rinse with water immediately.
d) After being dried up, the ph-value is neutral (7).
16. Further information see the latest version of the german technical guide.
I was wondering if you might be able to help me locate a castle to serve as a lifelong preservation project. I would expect that it would be in quite a disarray. I have many plans for the castle and the castle grounds but would also like to be absolutely accurate and precise in the restoration of such a building. The older the better, the condition does not matter, and the least expensive the better as I plan on making this a life long investment. Any information you could offer would be appreciated. Oh, and location of course would be anywhere in Germany. Thank you again for your time. You have a fantastic web site.