Lime Mortar Issues
Information & Frequently Asked Questions
Lime mortar is comprised of lime (hydraulic, or non hydraulic), water and an aggregate such as sand. Nowadays, it is generally used in conservation work or the construction of new buildings using traditional methods – generally for aesthetic reasons or as a planning requirement.
There are 2 stages used to create lime mortar:
Lime mortar is created by burning limestone or chalk with coal in process called carbonation. This forms calcium oxide – more commonly known as quicklime. During this process calcium dioxide is 'burnt-off', releasing itself as a gas whilst the end product (quicklime) clumps together to form lump lime.
The quicklime is added to water, forming slaked lime (calcium hydroxide). It is then mixed with fine aggregates, such as sand or local aggregate to form mortars, render or plasters.
When lime mortar sets it slowly combines with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to transform back into its original state – calcium carbonate. Traditionally, this could take months to set and meant a long delay before decorations could be applied.
Hydraulic limes became more common by the end of the Victorian era. The introduction of hydraulic lime mortars considerably reduced the time needed to set, and also formed a much stronger bond. Hydraulic lime is created by the addition of silica – whether by addition of pozzolans (a range of siliceous or siliceous and aluminous materials) or by the use of clay that has a high silica content. A typical mix is 1 part hydraulic lime to 3 parts fine aggregate.
Problems with Lime Mortar?
The team at ESQ Associates are here to assist you with any queries you may have regarding lime mortar.
Call us on our office number or drop us an email and one of our friendly staff will get back to you as soon as possible.
Need help? Call on:
07593 216 092
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