Traditional lime putty has been involved in several building techniques for decades. Up until the 20th century, most building techniques were significantly different to those of today. Most buildings were constructed from brick, cob or masonry – which were all designed to absorb moisture and then release it all again. This, of course caused a lot of damp within structures.
The first recorded use of lime putty in construction was by the Greeks and Romans in the Early ages. They perfected the use of Pozzolanic lime mortars, which were used in very demanding parts of the economy, for example, sewer repairs. Spas and ports. In structural parts, it was used for harbour repairs, foundations, basements, and in general any structure of that time which needed waterproofing. The romans then carried this knowledge into the preparation of a new cement, which was entirely lime based. This then was used in even the remote parts of the roman empire.
In the middle ages (5th-15th century) however, there was a huge widespread decline in the quality of lime putty in rendering services, and in construction in general. Therefore, leading to a gradual abandonment of traditional roman lime putty rendering. This gradual abandonment was because of the increased use of impure sands, poor mixing and low kiln temperatures – resulting in incomplete burning of the materials needed.
Becoming more popular:
During the 1700s, there was a renewed interest in the use of Roman lime cement in the use of construction. This is because, most buildings which were built with this Roman pozzolanic lime mortars were still remarkably preserved throughout Europe, despite ever changing climate conditions.
Therefore, during the industrial revolution, lime use in construction became increasingly more important, especially in rural economies. Over time, there was a significant decline in demand in the steel industry – causing the last commercial lime kiln in Wales to be extinguished in the late 1990’s. The decline in demand for steel in the UK is due to other international countries, such as China and Japan, dominating the industry of steel internationally. This, in turn effected the building industry considerably, especially the use of lime in construction. Lime has many applications and is used by many sectors of the construction industry, including the manufacturing of building materials, glassmaking, fertiliser manufactures, and of course steel producers.
Today however, lime putty is produced on a different, larger scale. The modernised construction industry has had extreme effects on the environment, not to mention the economy. This has been documented and understood over the past 20 years or so. Because of this documentation, there is now a widespread realisation that it is vital to use lime putty rendering in the repairing of old buildings, as it is said to be more ecological than modern methods of construction. Also, many sources have stated that lime putty rendering can easily outperform that of modern materials. Therefore, making the lime putty rendering service becoming increasingly more popular over the course of 20 years.