The use of heritage lime is very beneficial when conserving old buildings. As buildings get older, the construction materials are prone to damage. This is often why we will use lime mortar to repair historic buildings. Heritage lime is a building material that has been used for centuries due to its durability and attractive qualities.

Heritage lime is also one of the most misunderstood materials, so it’s important to understand how it can be used for different situations. This article will go over what heritage lime is and why it’s such an integral part of any restoration project.

Heritage Lime, The History of this Ancient Building Material

Heritage lime is an ancient building material that can be used to repair, restore and protect stone, brick, concrete and masonry. The nature of heritage lime has been recognised since at least Roman times. However, there has been a decline in its use over recent years because people have become accustomed to modern products like multipurpose cement which is easier to obtain, however, does not have the longevity or flexibility offered by heritage lime.

The Importance Of Heritage Lime In Historic Preservation And Conservation

When working on older buildings, heritage lime is one of the most essential ingredients to reclaim and restore.

As a building ages, it may become more susceptible to the elements. The mortar, the substance that holds bricks together, is one of the most vulnerable parts of a building’s structure. This gap often allows water and air inside. When this happens, moisture seeps into the bricks and causes them to expand or contract unevenly. This can result in further damage over time: cracks in walls and foundations; crumbling plasterwork; dangerous sagging ceilings; and even entire structural collapse.

Lime however is used as an adhesive agent, this is because it bonds strongly with almost all other substances. Bonding properties make it ideal for structural purposes such as mortar joints between bricks or stones.

Unlike cement, lime will not deteriorate over time from exposure to conditions such as humidity level changes or rainstorms. During summer months high temperatures can cause excess moisture levels which will seep inside your walls. This is due to condensation produced by cool surfaces on cement, while heating systems are in operation.

The Key Features of Lime Conservation

Versatile – Traditional lime mortar can be used on any type of material or surface including brickwork, stone masonry and timber frame structures. Lime mortar can also be used as an interior plaster on walls and ceilings throughout your home. That’s if you don’t want the traditional look of lime plaster, but still want to keep the durability and longevity qualities.

It can be used for new construction, renovation and restoration.

Traditional – Because lime is such an old building material it has been around for centuries. There are hundreds of different recipes and methods out there! Even though it has changed over time we still use it today.

It’s Durable – Heritage lime is less brittle than modern limes and won’t break down when exposed to moisture. Heritage lime plaster is more durable than cement-based finishing compounds.

It’s Breathable – Heritage lime contains more pores than other types of stone or brick. The larger pore spaces mean that it lets water through more easily than other materials so it can dry out faster if it gets wet (this also makes heritage lime ideal for building damp-proof courses). Also, this makes it less likely to cause problems like mold or mildew, which can be problematic for health reasons.

It’s Sustainable – Because heritage limes are made from natural sources like limestone they’re considered eco-friendly materials since they don’t contain any manmade chemicals or additives like sulphur dioxide which are used in some modern versions of the substance.

How Can we Use Heritage Lime?

Heritage lime is an ideal choice for new construction, renovation and restoration projects. It can be used in conjunction with a variety of other building materials, including concrete and wood. In addition to its use as a building material, heritage lime is also a viable option for interior applications such as flooring, wall coverings and countertops.

For exterior applications such as walls or foundations it’s important to choose the right kind of mortar or plaster (the binding agent between your bricks/stones) that works best with your climate conditions.

Although Heritage lime is a crucial component of historic conservation, it’s not just for older buildings; it can be used to create new, beautiful structures as well. There are many benefits of using lime mortar, including its ability to bind sand and clay together while also infusing your building with a rich sense of character that you won’t find anywhere else.

Why use EcoRight?

EcoRight products are suitable for most applications on brick and stonework and are available in over twenty earth tone colours. This includes our London Heritage range! We will meet a wide variety of performance needs depending on what you want from your project.

We have developed our products to allow users to prepare highly durable lime mortars, plasters and renders without specialist knowledge. Simply “just add water, mix and serve”. They have been used in many high-profile projects including the refurbishments at Eton College, The Shard, the historic Bear Gardens close to London Bridge and St. Pancras railway station.

Conclusion, What Have We Learnt About Heritage Lime?

The use of heritage lime in building projects is on the rise. The material is a versatile one, with many uses and applications. It can be used for new construction, renovation and restoration. As we’ve seen with other traditional building materials like wood and stone, there are benefits to using heritage lime over modern alternatives in terms of durability, environmental impact, cost effectiveness and more.

In short: if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly alternative that will last longer than conventional materials but don’t want to sacrifice any comfort or convenience then this might be just what you’re looking for!