External lime renders predominantly incorporate a hydraulic lime, with the exception to this being when a softer render consisting of a lime putty is used on a Cob/Clom building. External renders can be finished to achieve a multitude of effects, which can fulfill the requirements of both design and what is best for the building. The latter concept should take into consideration the buildings environment, such as its orientation, exposure, and altitude. Meaning a roughcast finish would be required to protect against heavy weathering, whereas a standard stucco finish will suffice on most buildings.
Internal lime plasters incorporate a lime putty with an appropriate aggregate as well as a reinforcing fibre such as horse hair. An exception to this rule is lime hemp plaster, whereby the aggregate is both the aggregate and reinforcing fibre. Lime hemp plaster is an excellent alternative to standard lime putty and aggregate. Hemp itself is essentially a straw-like material that is cut up to various sizes and therefore suitable for a range of applications, including a finishing plaster. The nature of the material makes it very strong as its fibres interlock when applied, making it a useful material for those rounded corners of window reveals, as well as for plastering onto reed or lath
Pointing simply refers to the mortar in between the masonry of the building, whether it be stone or brick. More often than not it is the case of re-pointing, whereby a traditionally built house has been pointed in cement and has since been the cause of internal damp, it then becomes necessary to remove the cementitous materials and 're-point' using a lime mortar that will allow the building to breath more effectively.
Lime pointing is a sufficient finish to a building, especially if the building is sheltered from heavy weathering.
- Stone built buildings; Stone has always been used to build as it offers huge benefits to the structural strength of a building, and were historically locally sourced. In its simplest form, a stone building will use quarried 'rubble' stone, this type of stone will be not be 'dressed' and may therefore not be overly aesthetic, it is in this case where the exterior will be given a coat of render or limewash to hide its simplistic vernacular nature. At the higher end of building with stone, top quality hard stone, often much larger than those used in vernacular design, would be 'dressed' to given a more attractive finish.
- Brick built buildings; Whilst brick is probably the most commonly visible building block in the modern world, it only became used widespread within the construction industry from the 18th century. If a building is well sheltered or even just one aspect of the building, an appropriate approach would be to allow the building to breath as much as possible by not covering the walls with any additional extras such as renders or limewashes but leaving it tightly pointed.
Our specialist plaster repair service restores and enhances the appearance of all types of lime work, damaged by structural movement, water ingress, impact damage, dry & wet rot and general dilapidation.