Lime…it’s not just for mojitos

How to repair rendering - a chimney stack
How to repair rendering - a chimney stack

Who doesn’t love a mojito. Those wonderfully refreshing, traditional Cuban cocktails served in long glass with lots of ice, white rum and of course … plenty of fresh lime.

However, that’s not the sort of lime that we’re talking about here today. When we talk about lime at Leyden, we talk about plasters, renders and decorative features with the sort of finish that only genuine craftsman can ever deliver. Craftsman like us at Leyden.

The thing about lime in the building industry is that it’s possibly the best ‘old idea’ for the ‘new modern’ world. Research suggests that lime plaster was first used as a material as early as 5000 BC, yet somehow today it’s not been bettered, in fact more and more people are turning to lime finishes for all sorts of positive reasons.

As a key building material lime was used very successfully in the UK for years. It was the mass building projects that followed World War II that meant builders had to stop using lime in favour of cheaper, inferior products. Unfortunately, at that stage, we needed houses, lots of them and we needed them cheap.

Prefab houses, cement-based plasters, gypsum and blocks all signaled a move away from lime. However, these days, people not only want to restore those pre-war period properties but they want to do them is the right way and that means lime is back in favour.

It’s breathable, it’s flexible and of course it’s beautiful. It just works so well with (not against) the stonework that it protects and the finish is a wonderfully tactile, matte finish that will undoubtedly stand the test of time.

We never shy away from the fact that lime it is more expensive than cement-based finishes but it will last a lot longer meaning ultimately, it’s probably more cost effective. Let’s say that a lime-based finish lasts twice as long as a cement-based one. You don’t have to be a genius to work out that you’re going to have to do the job twice with cement and that’s where the costs effective nature of lime kicks in, albeit over a long period of time.

When we put together budgets at Leyden, we never consider that the figures we present are straight costs, they’re investments. Investments for the future, investments for your family and above all else, investments for the building itself.

If you are serious about the restoration of period property, then it’s worth a conversation with us at Leyden, because we’re just as serious about the craftsmanship involved in projects like yours.

And lastly, now that we’ve extolled the virtues of lime and we’ve shared with you just how good it is as a building material, let’s all take a deep breath. We can relax and maybe reach for one of those long, cold mojitos … with plenty of fresh lime of course.

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