Byron Jenkins

Lime Pointing

In traditional construction, lime is as fundamental a material as timber, stone or brick. Lime-based buildings expand, contract and flex with changes in temperature and moisture. Lime allows damp to be absorbed to a limited degree and then to evaporate harmlessly away. Our ancestors accepted that rain and rising damp were bound to find a way into the walls of their houses, so they built them thick, and the soft, permeable mortars and renders acted as wick to draw moisture out again.

Cement's consistent use in the repair of old buildings has led to increasing problems such as damp. Cement mortar is less permeable than lime and so moisture becomes trapped in the building rather than the building being allowed to breathe. Any trapped moisture will expand if subjected to freezing conditions, and mortars may ultimately fail, often causing damage to the surrounding masonry in the process.

On a purely visual note, we would all prefer to see stones rather than joints. A well chosen lime mortar, properly used, will enhance the natural beauty of the stones in the wall, whereas grey cement pointing will contrast with the colour of some stone, dominating the appearance of the wall.

Prior to starting any pointing work, we will undertake a close inspection of the existing masonry walls and their condition to identify and differentiate between any original mortars and later repairs. Any inappropriate mortars (such as cement on a lime based building) will be removed and replaced with more appropriate materials. A sample will be taken of the original mortar to ensure that the lime mortar and aggregate mix used for the new pointing closely matches the colouring and texture of the original mortar.

'Lime pointing'

** Lime pointing Cardiff **

** Lime pointing South Wales **

** Stonemason South Wales **

Copyright © Byron Jenkins Stonemasonary 2015