Why we use lime
Lime keeps all buildings dry therefore warmer, meaning much less energy is needed to heat them. In a period property with thick walls this is particularly good news.
Because lime manages moisture levels very effectively it is also highly compatible with ecological building products and structures like straw bales, timber frames and clay lump and cork.
Lime has many benefits and has been used for thousands of years for mortars and washes. Here are a few reasons why lime is so beneficial.
- Open textured and vapour permeable (breathable) allowing moisture and humidity to be evaporated from the inside to the outside. No more black mould caused by condensation.
- Soft and flexible enough to cope with natural building movement without deeply cracking or shearing.
- Self-healing, if small cracks appear the free lime in the mortar migrates with moisture to fill voids and re-carbonate.
- Protects soft building fabric i.e. bricks, stone.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Environmentally friendly
Nearly all our work except for some plastering applications is carried out using hot mixed lime mortar with the appropriate local sand.
Hot mixed mortars are the most durable, breathable, sticky and historically accurate of the air-drying lime mixes. We mix hot lime ourselves on site (or pre-mix in our barn) just like the tradesmen did hundreds of years ago. The process involves slaking down and mixing quick lime, sand and water at the same time rather than mixing sand with an already slaked and cooled lime putty. The result is a very sticky putty like mortar which is perfect for re-pointing or repair work to flint/stone and soft brick. During mixing the quick lime heats up as it reacts and slakes down with the water hence the name hot lime. Nice to handle in cold weather although we still use it when its cooled.
We would also recommend this mortar for use in limecrete floors because of its ability to wick moisture so effectively.
The materials we use
Plasters and renders
Lime, hemp or clay based and pre-mixed by us with local sand where possible.
100% natural insulation from sheep’s wool, cork, wood or another recycled source.
These are mostly reclaimed or salvaged from previous projects.
Stone: from local quarries
Reclaimed or salvaged from previous projects
From local quarries colour matched where necessary