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Here at JC Plastering and Lime, we have built our business based upon using lime-based products in our comprehensive plastering services. Traditional lime mortars have many benefits  to a structure, as it can stop moisture build up and be extremely durable in the years to come. Lime mixes can create beautiful architecture, as it can benefit traditional buildings more, rather than using hard cement mixes, like most modern methods. Throughout history, lime has been used for building work, and can be known as the ‘original type of plaster’ used in historic buildings.

Lime-based finishes have been used for thousands of years, first being introduced during the Roman era. The earliest known lime plasters were from 7,500 B.C. in Jordan and Turkey, to which they used lime mixed with cool limestone to make a plaster and paint to use on large scale walls, floors, and hearths in their homes.  Traditionally, plaster contained mud, clay and even dust. The romans then used mixtures of lime and sand (lime mortar) to build up structures – this is when lime plastering became more popular. 

Throughout the years, lime plastering methods became more popular, and was considered the main method of plastering a structure. Combined of sand, water and lime, traditional non-hydraulic lime mixes were used as a multi-purpose material used for internal walls and floors. Some examples are listed below of the different historic structures which were built with lime mixes:

  1. Wroxeter Roman city.
  2. The Great Wall of China.
  3. The chambers of the Pyramids in Egypt.
  4. Chapels – e.g., Langley and Heath Chapel.
  5. Conwy Castle.
  6. Yarpole bell tower at St Leonards Church.
  7. St. Pancras and Kings Cross train stations.

As you can see, most of the structures listed above are still structurally sound, which can add to the benefits of using lime mortar in plastering and rendering jobs.

Lime had an extremely important role in the industrial revolution, as it was a significant way of work for the rural economies. For example, many rural economies had limekilns, which were at the backbone of the supply of lime and ensuring that supply always met the demand. After the industrial revolution, more modern methods of plastering came into effect, which started to push lime out of the picture. Types of modern plaster include the use of clay, cement, gypsum and sand. These can all have different benefits to a building and can all have different drawbacks too. Cement plaster has become the most popular, due to the efficiency, hardness, and cheapness of it as a material. However, cement plastering can cause dampness and cracking, which lime plaster tends to prevent.

Throughout the past 20 years, modern methods of plastering have been fully understood, along with the disadvantages it can bring to a building. There is now a widespread understanding of how much lime can benefit a building, along with the benefits it can have towards the repair of historic buildings. As a result, there has slowly been a rise in the use of lime. For any more information on the benefits that lime can have on your property, look around our website. Alternatively, get in touch with us today and we will be happy to help you.

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