Lime Plaster Specialists • Suspended Ceilings • Partitioning • Commercial Interiors • Internal Plastering • Render • Screeding • Dry Lining • Retail interiors • Shop Refits
StanLil Contractors are Lime Plaster Specialists
The StanLil specialist plastering team are getting more and more calls about lime plaster, which just goes to show that ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’! The Romans introduced it to Britain over 2,000 years ago and we liked it so much we continued to build our homes with lime for centuries. Until a cheaper, quicker invention called cement came along in the nineteenth century and cornered the market. So why the renewed interest in it now?
The Advantages of Lime Plaster
There’s a good reason for the popularity of lime through the centuries. It is known as a ‘breathable’ plaster. What this means is that the porous quality of lime absorbs and then releases moisture rather like a sponge. On internal walls this reduces condensation and enhances air quality. When used externally, the breathable lime plaster protects the building fabric because it allows moisture to evaporate, leaving walls damp free.
What is Lime Plaster?
The plaster is made using limestone that has been heated to above 900 C. This extreme heat drives off the carbon dioxide, leaving calcium oxide, or quicklime. The heating is followed by ‘slaking’ in which water is added to create ‘lime’. Non-hydraulic lime is pure slaked lime. Hydraulic lime contains additives which strengthen the mortar, and for this reason it’s being used extensively on the repair of historic buildings.
Lime Plaster or Cement?
Cement took over from lime as the primary building material in the 19th century because it was quicker and cheaper to work with. The drawback was that cement traps moisture, causing damp, and making buildings less durable. Lime takes longer to dry than cement. The lengthy curing process allows the material to suck carbon dioxide out of the air in order to create a strong but porous shell for the structure.
Lime Plaster is an Eco Friendly Material
21st century century builds need to demonstrate their sustainability. Lime scores highly as it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and the production of lime plaster requires less energy than cement. It’s protective qualities enhance the durability of building structures, and it also has anti-bacterial qualities which combat the growth of mildew and mould.
Lime Plaster for Contemporary Builds
StanLil clients tell us that they’re interested in using lime plaster because of its breathable qualities, but also because of its unique aesthetic qualities. Lime plaster creates a ‘natural’ looking finish because of the double refraction of light through calcite crystal present in the material. This allows lime plastered properties to blend easily with the local environment. Over time the finish develops a patina which gives off a beautiful translucent glow.
StanLil – A Lime Plaster Contractor
Our time tends to be split between lime plaster restoration on older properties, and contemporary applications. Much of our repair work takes place in London, where the high levels of air pollution are causing problems in the rendering of older buildings. As lime plaster specialists our team are able to diagnose the problem, and create a match for the original material to make the repair.
For contemporary applications, our specialist plastering team work with high quality lime plasters to create a range of textured finishes, using an extended palette of colours and tones. We love working with this historic material, and our clients are always delighted with the results it gives them. Whilst we’re a time-starved world – some plaster finishes really are worth waiting for!