Information on Building Limes

Why Use Lime?

1. Lime Allows Buildings To Breathe

In the search by architects and conservators for building materials sympathetic to traditional construction, lime was found to be one of the most important. One of the reasons lime binders are promoted by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings for repairs is because they are vapour permeable and allow buildings to breathe. This reduces the risk of trapped moisture and consequent damage to the building fabric.

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What is Lime?

Lime has been used as the principal binder for mortars and plasters for the past 10,000 years. The earliest surviving example dates from around 8000 BC in a floor in Turkey. It was only the introduction of cement in the middle of the 19th century, which led to the decline in the use of lime, culminating in its virtual disappearance by the mid 20th century. Emerging evidence in the 1970s of the damage caused to historic buildings by the use of cement mortars and modern plasters has led to a revival in the use of lime over the past 20 years, not only for conservation but also for new build, see Why Use Lime.

There are two principal types of lime

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