Uses of Lime Based Products in Construction: Lime Render

Lime has been used in construction for centuries. Without a doubt, lime is still a popular choice today. 

Given that this product has stood the test of time, there are many benefits to using lime mortar. This includes its ability to resist weathering and erosion, its thermal insulation properties, and its durability.

In this blog post, we will discuss what lime mortar is, the many uses of lime in construction, and how it can benefit your project!


What is Lime Mortar?

Lime mortar is a type of mortar that is made with lime, water and sand. As a result of mixing lime with sand, the mortar becomes extremely durable, strong and will prevent shrinkage during the drying phase. Ready mixed lime mortar is available, if the mortar feels a little stiff, it is recommended to mix the mortar before adding any water.

It is used in masonry construction and has been used for centuries. The man-made lime mortar is heated in a lime kiln to produce quicklime. Once the quicklime comes into contact with water, slaked lime is produced.

Lime mortar has many benefits over other types of mortar. Lime mortar is more flexible than other types of mortar. This means it can be used in a variety of applications. Lime mortar is also more breathable than other types of mortar, so it allows the masonry to “breathe.” This is important because it helps to prevent moisture from damaging the masonry. 

Lime mortar is also more durable than other types of mortar. It has been shown to last for centuries, and it is not uncommon for lime mortar to still be in good condition after hundreds of years.


None Hydraulic Lime vs Hydraulic Lime

Non-hydraulic Limes:

Non-hydraulic limes are the softest limes available and require carbon dioxide to set. Secondly, due to the necessary CO2, these limes will harden over a longer period of time. This is due to their need for specific environmental conditions. Very specific environmental CO2 conditions must be met for this absorption to take place. These limes are also known as fat-lime, calcium-lime or air-lime.

Hydraulic Limes:

Hydraulic limes will set through hydration. When water is added the lime will set; and once set, the lime will harden over time as CO2 is absorbed. Hydraulic lime is weather resilient, breathable and less dense than cement.

Benefits of Lime Mortar

Lime mortar has many benefits. Due to its flexibility, it can be used in a variety of applications. Lime mortar is also much more breathable than other types of mortar, so it allows the masonry to “breathe”; a key element in preventing moisture ingress and potential damage to the masonry. 

Lime mortar is a popular choice for construction projects due to its ability to resist weathering and erosion. The lime in the mortar helps to bind the materials together, making it more resistant to damage from wind, rain, and other elements. Lime mortar is also thermally insulating, meaning it can help keep your home or office cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. 

In addition, lime mortar can improve the quality of the air and therefore the ‘health’ of the surrounding environment by reducing mould and mildew growth.

Fresh properties:

  • Workable: Due to a slower drying time, water can be added to lime mortar to improve the overall finish. Lime mortar can be mixed by hand and should have the consistency of brown sugar and leave no residue on the hand when squeezed. 
  • Sustainable: Lime mortar is actually carbon neutral. The process of creating lime mortar will give off carbon dioxide, unlike cement however, which will reabsorb the CO2 it produces.
  • Recyclable: Unlike cement, lime is biodegradable.

Hardened properties:

  • Low water penetration and breathable: Water can escape through evaporation due to lime allowing the building to “breathe”.
  • Age resistant and durable: lime is extremely durable and continues to stand the tests of time.
  • Cracking resistant
  • Thermal expansion resistant
  • Frost resistant

About EcoRight

EcoRight supply mortars, plasters and renders throughout the UK construction industry. EcoRight products and services are equally suitable for large scale construction projects or local craftsmen working on individual or small projects. EcoRight’s expert team, who have over 100 years combined experience in lime-based building products and conservation work, can also provide technical design support, prepare NBS specifications and provide CPD presentations. Give us a call on 0845 873 3888 and work with one of the UKs leading suppliers.