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Lime is more flexible than gypsum or cement, so is less likely to crack when plastered on walls or used for mortars or repointing.
Until the beginning of the last century most buildings were constructed with lime. Many of those now remaining have been repaired in recent years using portland cement based mortars and renders often with the following consequences:
To some extent modern methods of construction have reduced, but not entirely eliminated these problems. With modern and older buildings therefore there are good reasons for using lime mortars, since:
One other reason for using limes relates to their environmental benefits. Because they are easy to remove, lime mortars allow recycling of valuable masonry units such as bricks, which have high embodied energy.
Thanks for the Lime Mortar, Lime Putty and colour Pigments you supplied this summer. It was a learning curve rendering the new extension and garden retaining walls (should have gone on one of your courses first!), however the advice provided by yourself onsite and colleagues over the phone ensured we got the job done. The rendering and Terracota lime wash look really good and have provided that Mediterranean look I wanted, a really nice finishing touch to the extension. Excellent service and would fully recommend!
Mr I Bell