The single biggest issue that affects our old buildings has to be that of DAMP! A key component in understanding why we may suffer from damp is related to the suitability of modern materials and techniques that have, and continue to be, used on our built heritage.
The image to the left depicts perfectly how a traditional (solid wall) building functions, and how a range of relatively minor modern interventions can cause significant problems. There is NO place for DPC, damp proofing injections, waterproof cement or concrete floors in traditional buildings.
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There are a huge variety of modern boards and materials available to us, all of which have their uses and limitations . Not only can these items be compatible, but most of them are also sustainable and/or environmentally friendly, making them an ideal choice in the current climate.
So whether its Hemp, woodfibre insulation, woodwool board, or cork board insulation, be sure to get appropriate advice in order to maximise the longevity of your building.
There are a wide range of lime products on the market, all of which have a range of uses and appropriate application.
At a basic level, lime varies in strength from lime putty, through to Hydraulic limes. As with most things, there is always a trade off between the key traits. For instance, the weaker the lime the more flexible and breathable it is, whilst the stronger the lime, the less flexible it is and less breathable it is. The decision making criteria relies some basic factors: internal or external work, exposure of each elevation, type of desired finish, background to be plastered, etc etc. Personally, whenever possible, we steer away from ALL premixed plasters and mortars, i.e. the 'just add water' types, as these almost always have additional chemicals in them and simply marketed at the heritage sector and their compatibility is purely subjective. In short, keep it simple, sand and lime has worked for thousands of years!
For more advice please do get in touch