Omaha old market is a great place to visit. If you live in Omaha you already know that. If you are considering visiting Omaha it is definitely a place you want to see. We have had the opportunity to do a bit of work in the old market and it is always a great experience.
This time we got to revamp the exterior of a restaurant there and we started with rebuilding some of the decayed limestone on the exterior. Limestone becomes very fragile when it begins to deteriorate. There was a fair amount that needed to be fixed.
We came up with our own concoction and it works great. The first step is to remove all the crumbling limestone. You need to be somewhat careful when doing this as it’s hard to find a stopping point. The more you scrape the more that comes off. I found that one of the best tools for this is a small wire brush. You can kinda shape the stone as you are removing the damaged material.
The next step is applying a pre-conditioner product. It’s basically a glue which we also add to the vinyl cement that we use to rebuild the limestone. We saturate the stone with this product and immediately apply a firm mixture of vinyl cement. When we are rebuilding the limestone we have to do it in several layers. An eighth of an inch is about as thick as we go per layer.
What works best for applying the cement mixture is your hands. It’s like forming something with clay. We of course wore latex gloves. The mixture is pretty rough on your hands.
After we built up the limestone we primed it with a high PH masonry primer. This property was on a busy corner and difficult to get to so we had to use a lift and coordinate shutting down city meters and blocking parking stalls. That was a job in its self. I lost count of how many times we needed the Omaha Police help.
We applied several coats of high performance coatings so this will continue to look great many years from now. Fun project.