Limework

Traditional mass-masonry wall construction (which includes most walls built before 1919) works on the basis that moisture entering a wall is able to escape in the form of water and water vapour as easily as possible. Lime mortars can readily handle the transmission between the inside and outside of a masonry wall, owing to the complex interconnected pore structure of masonry.

 

Limework in progress

Why use lime?

The use of cement mortars is widely recognised as being detrimental to such buildings and structures as they can drastically alter the way in which a wall handles water and water vapour. Cement mortars tend to have a consistent and ‘closed' pore structure that traps water. Trapped moisture will expand when frozen, and mortars may ultimately fail, often causing damage to the surrounding masonry in the process.
Lime is important to these solid walls,it let's walls breathe and allows moisture to dissipate, the building can move freely in response to environmental conditions.

 

before restore

One the first times you might come across lime work is when you strip off layers of modern paints and old wallpaper. Old crumbly lime may come off by accident or design, revealing stonework, brickwork, wooden laths or other surprises!

after restore

These patches are relatively easy to repair with lime if the right methods and materials are used. The golden rule here is patience; ripping off large areas of lime or pulling down lath ceilings is rarely necessary.

 

Lime Hemp

One of our favoured restoration materials is hemp lime, a low impact building material. Used in appropriate locations, hemp lime is a low carbon material offering good insulation properties and robustness.

It's not for every situation - for example it shouldn't be used in an area that is likely to suffer damp even after restoration. But for upstairs rooms and other dry locations it can be an excellent choice.

 

 

We have many years experience in the renovation and reconstruction of barns, old houses, whether it be a Victorian townhouse or a 17th century country cottage or farmhouse.
Please feel free to call us for a free, no obligations quotation.