Project Details

Project Name

Fort Sumter & Fort Moultrie

Project Location

Charleston, SC

Completion Date

2003 (original), Periodic Recoats

Acrymax Systems


Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie’s Restoration Journey with Acrymax Coating Systems

Situated at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie are symbols of America’s past. While Fort Sumter is an individual sea fort built on an artificial island, Fort Moultrie is a collection of fortifications built to protect Charleston, SC. Fort Sumter, specifically, was left in ruins after the American Civil War and was partially rebuilt, though the plans were never completed. 

This collection of buildings is located on the coast as part of the Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park. They are subject to the harsh elements of the ocean, temperature fluctuations of a temperate environment, and salt-rich air, making the preservation of these historic sites a unique challenge. Acrymax coating systems rose to the challenge with a solution for the long-term protection of these iconic sites. 

Challenges Faced

Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie’s architecture presented distinct challenges for restoration and preservation. The gun encasements on the outside battery of Fort Sumter were severely damaged, showing significant cracks and spalling. The preservation effort required a delicate balance—retaining the original look of the concrete while reinforcing vulnerable areas. This meant Acrymax had to create a customized system to retain as much of the original material as possible. Fort Moultrie, with its turn-of-the-century gun batteries, was similar. However, its gun batteries required protection from the harsh maritime weather conditions and less repair.

The irregular surface of Fort Moultrie’s concrete structure added a layer of complexity. Acrymax’s standard Poly-1 fabric was deemed unsuitable due to surface irregularities and required us to re-engineer the system. The updated system included a lighter-weight fabric that could conform to the existing surface without compromising performance.

The Solutions Implemented

Two distinct projects were undertaken at Fort Sumter, each with its own approach. The first project was focused on the gun encasements, where cracks and transition areas received reinforcement. The remaining structure was coated with a solid system that is typically part of Acrymax’s commercial roof coatings but was repurposed for this project. The coating was then enriched with sand broadcast into the final coat to emulate the authentic texture of the surface.

Pleased with the results of the first project, Fort Sumter expanded the scope to include walking surfaces exposed to heavy foot traffic. Acrymax introduced a fully reinforced system incorporating AF-130XT, which is typically used in our roof coating systems. Instead, it was incorporated as a high-strength elastomeric finish coating for the walking paths, ensuring durability and longevity even in areas with significant public interaction.

Fort Moultrie’s unique challenges were also met with a customized solution. The concrete structure required a reinforced system for preservation, but the irregular surface made our standard Poly-1 fabric unsuitable. As a result, Acrymax re-engineered the system to include a lighter-weight fabric, allowing it to conform to the irregular surface while upholding the performance standards expected from Acrymax coatings.

Results and Enduring Partnerships

Since the initial collaboration in 2000, Fort Sumter National Monument remains a valued customer of Preservation Products, a testament to the enduring success of Acrymax coating systems. The restored gun encasements at Fort Sumter are a seamless blend of history and preservation. Fort Moultrie, too, enjoys the benefits of a reinforced system, safeguarding its turn-of-the-century gun batteries from the unforgiving maritime elements.

The success of these projects demonstrates the adaptability and efficacy of Acrymax coating systems for preserving historical structures. Small and medium-sized business owners seeking reliable and tailored solutions for their architectural preservation needs can take inspiration from the Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie restoration journey. When it comes to commercial roof coating, Acrymax is a trusted partner for safeguarding the past for the benefit of future generations.

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