Building conservation masterclass

Masonry Cleaning with David Odgers

Ref: B2D10060

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About this course

Gain guidance and practical exper ience on cleaning techniques for masonry and brick. Through a mix of theory and practice, you will learn about the complex aesthetic, technical and practical issues involved in cleaning masonry and how they should be applied for decision making.

Course Description

The cleaning of masonry (including brick and terracotta) is a common occurrence but it is too often done without due consideration for its short and long-term effect. You will be introduced to the nature of soiling, you will learn how dirt can be identified and you will understand if and why it can be removed. You will learn about, see demonstrated and be able to use a wide variety of cleaning techniques from water to lasers. Through this you will obtain a deeper understanding of the effects and how best to approach cleaning.  You will also cover the removal of paint and biological growth from masonry and options for surface treatment following cleaning.

By the end of the course, you will:
• Understand the nature of soiling and its effect on masonry
• Be able to assess whether and how any soiling should be removed
• Have technical and practical knowledge of a wide variety of cleaning systems 
• Fully understand the short and long-term benefits and drawbacks of cleaning masonry


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

Please remember to bring work clothes/overalls and shoes/boots for practical sessions.  A torch and umbrella may be useful on the short walk to the Auditorium and Ruinette.


David Odgers

BCM Course Leader

David is Director of Odgers Conservation Consultants who provide support, advice and training for clients, architects, surveyors, local authorities and others involved in the conservation of historic structures.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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