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Lime Renders

There are many reasons why people choose to have a coating on the exterior walls of their home. For some people a render is a necessary part of refurbishing a shabby building that is prone to damp and for others, having the exterior of their house coated is purely a design choice. Lime renders have been in use for hundreds of years, particularly in areas where weather conditions were harsh and buildings needed an extra protective layer to preserve the substrata. Lime has been used over many different substrata because it is a covering that helps bricks to breathe, thus getting rid of the excess moisture that is sometimes hidden under a cement render.

Types of Lime Render

Lime is a soft render which makes it suitable for older buildings because the render will expand and contract in line with the building it Is covering – whereas other, less pliable renders are likely to shrink and crack. Lime renders come with different hydraulic properties, from slightly hydraulic, to moderately and finally to extremely hydraulic. Each type of lime render is suited to particular types of substrata and has particular benefits. Sometimes fibre and other substances may be added to base coats to reinforce their strength and capabilities. Some substrata require a kind of plaster casting and an extract of cow’s milk can be added to the lime mix to provide this. Some of the latest lime renders are available as one coat systems and suited to concrete breeze blocks and stainless steel mesh. Ecologically minded builders may use a mix of lime with insulation boards as this helps to conserve energy.

Natural Hydraulic Lime Renders

The natural hydraulic lime renders require careful mixing and are best applied by a qualified professional. The quality of the render is most important relies heavily on adding washed and graded sharp or river sand to the mix as this produces a high quality render that can only be purchased from specialist suppliers. Using the wrong grade or unwashed sand can produce shrinking and cracks in the render which means that the render fails. In older buildings lime renders may be applied in a rough style, in keeping with the substrata and following the contours of the building. Lime renders provide extra protection for buildings in locations where the weather is heavy and there is a risk of erosion.

Coloured Lime Renders

Nowadays it is possible to get coloured lime renders in a variety of shades, which means you don’t need the suffocating layers of masonry paint on top of the render – something which can cause a build up of moisture in the substrata as it prevents the materials underneath from breathing and shedding condensation. Modern lime renders can be applied by hand and in some cases the final coating may be sprayed on but this is best done by a suitably qualified professional. A lime render is an ecologically friendly way of coating your exterior walls because lime absorbs harmful Co2 gases out of the atmosphere.

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