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Our aim is to make sure building, restoration and conservation is done correctly, whilst sharing useful ideas and help with others.

How to build with Lime Mortar

Why Build With Lime Mortar?

Lime was traditionally used for mortar up until cement came about, when its use started to decrease. What we now know is that cement is not ‘breathable’, and consequently traps in moisture. Trapped moisture can seriously damage walls, and leads to damp patches on interior walls. Yet cement is still used today – unknowingly creating an environment prone to trapped moisture.

Lime mortar should be used along with sand to create a wall with high vapour permeability (breathable). This means that moisture can escape the walls, and prevents damp damage. Under no circumstances would we recommend mixing Portland cement with lime, as it does not have any beneficial factors – it just defeats the object of using lime.

How do I mix lime mortar?

Lime mortar can be mixed in a mixer, or in a container with a paddle mixer. We usually use around 3:1 with sand and lime, though the ratio varies from person to person.

Heres a handy video we created to show you how to mix lime mortar:

The image below shows how lime mortar should look. The colour can often vary as some mortars have pigments in them, and the colour varies from different brands of lime. We used Singleton Birch NHL 3.5.

How lime mortar should look

Applying the mortar to the bricks

Below are a few images to show you how we apply the mortar.

How we apply lime mortar

Applying mortar to wall

Mortar onto brick

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