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Eco Rendering

The contemporary emphasis, in building as in many other areas, is on the use of ecologically friendly materials. House renderings have typically been of stone, cement, and more recently acrylic. The latest form of eco rendering materials is derived from a product that was actually used by the Ancient Greeks, natural hydraulic lime. The fashion for using cement in building and rendering in the nineteenth century led to a huge fall in the use of natural hydraulic lime. What has now been discovered is that hydraulic lime can be just as effective in rendering as ordinary cement, but without the disadvantages of that material. Many people believe that hydraulic lime will eventually play a major role in the future of the construction industry as a way of eco rendering.

Benefits of Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL)

One of the principal benefits of using NHL rather than traditional stone or cement for rendering is that its production and use is far less harmful to the environment, making it an eco rendering material. Traditional rendering materials take some time to dry out once they have been applied NHL on the other hand, besides providing an eco rendering material is fast setting and dries more quickly. NHL sets by hydraulics, which means that it will also set in wet weather and under water, which makes it an ideal eco rendering for buildings that suffer severe weathering. A major problem with some traditional rendering material is that cracks can appear in the mortar, spoiling the appearance of the render. NHL sets underwater and this drastically reduces the propensity to crack or shrink.

Flexible and Adaptable Eco Rendering

Eco rendering with NHL is easier because of a certain elasticity in the material making it more flexible than other rendering mixes and this allows for any heat expansion in the render. Traditional renders, especially when finished off with a couple of coats of masonry paint restricts the breathability of the materials underneath. NHL eco rendering is vapour permeable and absorbs the moisture from the masonry, which also helps to protect the building from frost and salt damage. There are different grades of natural hydraulic lime, which makes it a more adaptable form of eco rendering for walls of varying thicknesses and degrees of weather damage.

Traditional Cement and NHL

One of the problems with traditional cement renderings is that they can be too hard and therefore can wear away the masonry underneath over time. NHL is a good deal softer than cement, which means it is kinder to the masonry, which helps to increase its profile as an eco rendering because less wear on the masonry means that there is a greater chance of reusing the bricks if the building is knocked down. If you are worried about the look of NHL eco renders then donít be, NHL is virtually the same in appearance as non-hydraulic lime, so you get the same soft and traditional appearance. Eco rendering with NHL is mixed and put on in the same way as a render using modern cement.

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