Traditional building construction is based on the use of relatively soft and porous
materials such as stone, brick, timber, earth and lime mortar for bedding and plastering.
These types of buildings usually have solid walls with no cavity and unsubstantial
foundations. They are therefore liable to settlement and movement associated with
seasonal changes in ground conditions. Lime mortar is softer than the stone or brick
it bonds and can accommodate these slight movements without significant cracking.
It is also permeable and allows evaporation of rising and penetrating damp from within
the wall. It is this quality that allows the building to “breathe” and keep the
building dry on the inside without the need for a damp proof course.
In more recent times many of these old buildings have been re-pointed or rendered
using modern OPC cement. Cement is very hard and brittle and almost water-proof,
because of this it cannot accommodate this type of movement. In the case of exterior
cement rendering, cracks will appear and through capillary action, rainwater will
be drawn inside the wall. Once inside the wall along with any rising damp this moisture
is trapped as it cannot evaporate through the hard render. The level of moisture
in the wall will build up and begin to diffuse towards the inner surface, resulting
in damage to plaster and decorations. Failing, eroded or poorly repaired mortar joints
are also a major cause of damage to masonry walls and when left can lead to water
ingress. Therefore it is important for lime mortar pointing to be kept in a good
state of repair, maintaining the general longevity of the building.
I re-point, repair and refurbish houses, walls, chimney stacks, fireplaces, hearths,
garages and outbuildings with sympathy to the way in which they were originally constructed.
Using both lime mortar and depending on the age of the property, cement mortar.
In addition to my masonry restoration service, I also offer a more general maintenance
and repair service catering for listed buildings, barn conversions and other traditionally