Frequently asked questons

Lime plasters and renders are more flexible than cement-based ones meaning much reduced cracking especially in old buildings and timber framed structures. They are also vapour permeable (often referred to as “breathable”) meaning that they eliminate issues with damp.
Lime plasters and renders are more flexible than cement-based ones meaning much reduced cracking especially in old buildings and timber framed structures. They are also vapour permeable (often referred to as “breathable”) meaning that they eliminate issues with damp.
Lime mortars are more flexible than cement mixes thereby reducing the need for movement joints. Being a softer mortar, they are essential for repairs to old buildings and offer better performance with softer bricks. Lime mortar is far more aesthetically pleasing due to the aggregates used.
When lime is manufactured it uses far less energy that cement, being burnt at a lower temperature. Lime will also reabsorb carbon dioxide during the setting (or curing) process. In most cases lime is carbon neutral. Lime mortars make recycling bricks far more efficient.
Neither are better than the other, they simply offer different performance characteristics. The key to selecting which mortar to use is understanding the building, the bricks and what is trying to be achieved. Sometimes that will mean cement, sometimes lime mortar.

Hydraulic lime offers more strength but less flexibility. The set is initiated by the addition of water (hence the name) and the cure times are shorter.

Non-hydraulic lime is made by adding water to quick lime (known as slaking) which produces an aggressive chemical reaction that produces lime putty. Lime putty is used to make lime wash, mortar, plaster and render depending upon the amount and grade of sand it is mixed with. Non-hydraulic lime sets by reacting with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produce less strength with more flexibility.

When painting lime plasters or renders one must use a breathable paint. This allows the moisture to pass through the paint as it evaporates from the plaster \ render. A non-breathable paint will blister and peel.

Lime requires far less energy to produce than cement and will reabsorb carbon dioxide when setting. Lime mortars make recycling bricks far easier, an important consideration when taking into account the amount of building waste and material that ends up in landfill.

Lime has been used for thousands of years and many buildings constructed using lime are still in fine fettle today.

Still not sure if Lime is for you?

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