Keene United Church

Keene, Ontario (1833)

The Building: 
A small brick church in a small country town.

Project Synopsis:
The ceiling was being damaged by seepage and bat guano that had accumulated and was still accumulating in the attic.

A very significant cleaning program was initiated by HPCS with a large vacuum truck making relatively short work of the bulk of the guano. Contact with bat guano can cause histoplasmosis (see Health Warning below), so full respirator protection as well as body suits were worn by all persons entering the attic. Following the removal and a sanitizing project, the ceiling plaster was fully consolidated and redecoration was completed by artist Andrew Kwiecinski.

During the project, HPCS team members volunteered to work with community members to install some 25 bat houses that were needed to provide habitat for the bats once the attic of Keene United was no longer available.

Applying HPCS consolident to the lath and plaster at Keene United Church in Keene, Ontario
Consolidation treatment of plaster on wood lath ceiling in attic after the removal of bat guano.

Histoplasmosis is a dangerous and sometimes deadly medical condition resulting from the inhalation of fungus carried in bat and other avian feces. Do not enter spaces in which there is or may be bat or pigeon guano without a proper fitting respirator and exposed skin protection. Paper masks do nothing to protect.  There are many web sites that explain the risks.  

Historic Plaster Conservation Services