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Lime mortars: properties and advantages over other materials

In recent years, lime mortars and stuccos have become popular thanks to the boost of bioconstruction. However, this type of material has a long tradition in the sector, backed by its good results, its versatility and its excellent balance between quality and price.

If you are still questioning the feasibility of using this material in your next project, in this post we offer you an interesting list of reasons why it is worth considering it.

What is lime mortar and what is it used for?

Air or hydraulic lime, aggregates and natural additives are the basis for the composition of lime mortar, the perfect substitute for the popular cement mortar. This is a material that has been traditionally used in construction and was later relegated to the background after the proliferation of cement. Now that bio-construction and ecological awareness have become not so much a fashion but a necessity, lime mortar is making a comeback and its use is becoming more and more widespread. Although it was initially used mainly in restoration work, as it is much more natural and less aggressive with the base materials, lime is now used in many other areas of construction:

  • Old masonry and recovery of walls and grouting.
  • Traditional plastering with rough, troweled, glossy finish…
  • Protection of walls in environments with high humidity and salinity.
  • Wall or joint restoration
  • Vaults and pavements

Advantages of lime mortars

Despite their widespread use, it is important to clarify that cement mortars are not always the ideal solution. When implementing a construction project and selecting the materials for the work, its particular characteristics must be taken into account. Cement can be useful in a variety of circumstances, but it should not be forgotten that this material experiences high shrinkage due to water loss both during setting and after hardening. This is why cracks and fissures often appear in surfaces treated with cement. This will not happen with lime, which also has many other interesting advantages:

  • Lime is a biodegradable material. Lime mortar is fired at very low temperatures and does not include any elements that are not already present in nature, making it an environmentally friendly product.
  • The coefficient of expansion of this material is amazing. Lime is capable of stretching or shrinking to conform to different substrates thanks also to its high level of plasticity. Precisely for this reason it is often used in the ornamentation of walls, both indoors and outdoors.
  • It is a breathable material. The walls on which you apply it will not be ‘asphyxiated’, something very important to guarantee its resistance and durability. The lime absorbs or throws the water, facilitating the hygrometric exchange and preventing the humidity from rising.
  • Due to its high level of alkalinity, lime acts as a natural fungicide and disinfectant preventing the formation of mold stains, the proliferation of fungi or the appearance of spores potentially harmful to health.
  • Did you know that you can remove this material without affecting the rest of the construction? Lime mortars are considered reversible materials: you can remove them whenever you want and replace them with another material or with a new plaster, render or lime stucco. This property is especially interesting in the restoration of old buildings where you do not want the base materials to be damaged.
  • Its resistance to adverse atmospheric phenomena is more than proven. With lime you will not have problems with humidity, rain, condensation or torrential waters. Its silica content gives it the character of a perennial work.
  • It is the safest option. Both for its natural composition and its response in adverse situations such as the presence of fire, against which it offers excellent protection with little change in its morphology.
  • It provides very aesthetic and attractive finishes. Lime mortars are an easily manipulated material with which you can obtain much more striking design effects without reducing the strength of the construction.
  • Are you working on the construction of a house or a new room? Go for lime mortar. It offers exceptional insulation against noise and temperature changes, so it will favor the creation of more comfortable and energy-efficient spaces.

Expand the uses of the materials you use in your construction work and take advantage of the versatility of lime mortars. You can use them in countless projects and obtain excellent results while making your small contribution to a sustainable planet and a much more environmentally friendly way of construction.

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