This paper investigates the deterioration of cementitious renders, with reference to the buildings on a World War II Airfield, now the Museum of Flight, in East Lothian, Scotland. Most of the buildings are brick masonry with a thin cementitious render, and on several of them the surface of the render is blistering, flaking and eventually being lost altogether. The blistering was investigated using non-destructive techniques such as infrared thermography, electrical resistivity measurements and rebound hardness testing; and with analytical methods such as X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and ions analysis of aqueous extracts. The results show that the deterioration is active and ongoing, and suggest that it may involve the movement of moisture, may be linked to the presence of certain aggregates within the render and may be salt-related.
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