Lime is one of the oldest binding materials used in construction. Prior to the development of concrete, lime mortar was used to build some of the London’s most renowned buildings and landmarks. Its origin can be traced back as far as the Egyptians who used an ancient form of it extensively in construction in the pyramids. Today, lime mortar is mainly used for their repairs on listed buildings and historic landmarks. Lime is having resurgence in the world of construction, due to its unique properties.
Why is this key for old buildings?
Over time, the ground underneath it will start to move under its own accord. By using lime it will work with the movement of the building and compensate for the shift, due to its unique flexibility. If the building does start to move and used cement as a binder, it will result in substantial amount of damage to the structural integrity of the building.
How do I know if I have lime mortar?
Lime mortar is extremely porous, so the easiest way to tell is by placing a small piece of mortar in water for a few hours. Then remove from the water and break it in half. If you can see the mortar is damp on the inside, it’s lime.
I need to do some pointing, should I use cement or lime?
The key to any renovation and repair work is to make sure to use like for like materials; this is the key to maintaining the property for years to come and retaining its value. Over the years we have seen countless issues, from people using the wrong materials on previous renovation and repair projects; from private homes with damp issues, to historic listed building using cement as a pointing mortar. All of these small changes have resulted into larger issues, costing the client considerably more to repair.
Is it difficult to lay lime mortar?
Lime can be tricky to work with, so it really depends on what type of lime you use; for example, lime putty or hydraulic lime. Both can be difficult to use, if you are making it from scratch. So for consistency, we recommend you use a ready mixed putty or a pre-mixed hydraulic lime to maintain its strength. To colour matching existing mortar is even a lot more difficult; especially on a large scale projects, yet in small patches it is a cheaper alternative. If you are not sure what to use, always consult a conservation expert or local supplier.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to lay ready mixed lime mortar.
All you have to do is add water.
If required dampen the bricks to control suction and lay the mortar bed as evenly as possible.
Compress with an appropriate tool.
A stiff bristled brush can stipple the surface of the mortar.
Finish with a soft brush.
If required ensure mortar is protected to prevent quick drying.
Traditional London Lime Mortar
Our ready mixed natural hydraulic lime mortar is the perfect choice for renovation, conservation projects and even new builds. Lime can be tricky product to work with and extremely time consuming when match existing mortar colour. Our ready mixed bag can be supplied in 25kg bags for small projects for pointing or a 1 tonne bulk bags to rebuild a flint wall; all of which can be delivered next day to site. If you are working on a new build we can also provide a dry silo.
With its origins in building conservation and employees with more than 50 years combined experience in Lime Mortars, Limetec Traditional London Lime Mortar has been successfully supplied to high profile historic, domestic, public and commercial building projects.