Safely removing paint from the sensitive cedar shingles of Mount Vernon
Open 365 days of the year, Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America. Over 85 million people have visited Mount Vernon since 1860, when the estate officially opened to the public. Today, Mount Vernon welcomes an average of one million guests each year. The estate, gardens, and farm of Mount Vernon totaled some 8,000 acres in the 18th century. Presently, an estimated 500 acres of this historic property have been painstakingly preserved along the banks of the Potomac River.
In 2010, the slaves quarters at Mount Vernon, in Alexandria, VA began to be restored. Included in the restoration was the stripping of the cedar shingle roof.
When the project was first scheduled, it had to be determined what product would meet the criteria of safety and effectiveness.
The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association had several strippers tested. Only one, InStrip, was able to effectively remove all of the red paint without damaging the sensitive shingles. InStrip is also extremely safe for the end user, which is a bonus.
Workers brought five gallon buckets of InStrip to the roof one pail at a time. The material was applied using a metal spatula, allowing a thick layer of stripper to sit on the surface. InStrip is safe enough that only gloves were used by the workers who were applying it (some strippers require full safety gear, including respirator and protective clothing).
InStrip was allowed to dwell on the surface for several hours before being carefully scrapped off. This process enabled the stripping material and the paint itself to be collected and disposed of safely without any potential for harm to visitors of Mount Vernon.
At the end of the day, everyone was happy with the results, most importantly the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association!