Physical and aesthetical decay of built heritage from biological films developed on joint mortars

E. M. Perez-Monserrat, R. Fort, M. J. Varas-Muriel, M. Alvarez de Buergo, A. De los Ríos, C. Ascaso

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Porous stone materials can be affected by lithobiontic communities’ colonization responsible for physical-chemical processes that lead to their biodeterioration. In urban areas with high levels of atmospheric pollution, in the aesthetical decay of facades due to soiling by particulate matter deposition, the development of biological films must be considered. The biodeterioration processes affecting the joint mortar used on the limestone facades of the Formerly Workers Hospital of Maudes (Madrid, Spain) and its contribution to facades soiling are studied. Lichen thalli are directly involved in the material disruption and foster significantly the degree of darkening. While limestone darkening is very heterogeneous and mainly responds to its interaction with air pollutants, for the joint mortar it is much more homogeneous and, in areas of higher humidity and with no direct pollution exposure, is due to a biofilm development. In all other areas where joint mortar shows darkening, this is mainly because of its interaction with air pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780203508015
ISBN (Print)9781138000094
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, London.


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