For ages, walls and ceilings have been finished with lime plaster, a classic building material. It is produced of heated limestone called quicklime, which is combined with water and a binding agent like sand to form a plaster that may be used on walls and ceilings. Lime plaster is a viable alternative for some projects because of its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Lime Plaster:
Lime plaster has a very long lifespan of hundreds of years. Lime plaster can survive the elements and doesn’t decay over time like conventional gypsum plasters.
Since lime plaster is so highly permeable, moisture cannot be trapped inside the walls since it may pass through the material. This can assist in controlling the temperature indoors and in preventing the growth of mould and mildew.
Due to the flexibility of lime plaster, it can be used to cover a variety of surfaces, including wood, stone, and brick. It is therefore a great alternative for old houses and other structures with uneven surfaces.
Since lime plaster is comprised of natural ingredients, no hazardous chemicals are released into the air during construction. Because it is produced using a readily accessible resource and doesn’t need any energy-intensive manufacturing procedures, it is also a sustainable building material.
Lime plaster can be treated in a variety of textures and hues, giving a structure a distinctive and opulent appearance. Lime plaster can also be painted or covered with wallpaper, making it simple to update and change the look of the room.
Disadvantages of Lime Plaster:
Since lime plaster typically costs more than conventional gypsum plaster, it may not always be the most economical choice for some applications.
To properly apply lime plaster, a professional applicator is needed. Additionally, it takes longer to dry than conventional plaster, which can cause a project’s completion to be delayed.
To keep lime plaster in good condition, it needs to be maintained frequently. To prevent the plaster from deteriorating, this may need repainting or applying a protective coating once every several years.
Lime plaster requires more time to apply than regular plaster. This is because each layer must dry completely before being put in thin layers.
Lime plaster is weather-sensitive and is vulnerable to damage from severe rain or frost. This indicates that it should not be used in regions that frequently encounter severe weather.
Summary of pros and cons of lime plaster:
|Breathability, enables buildings to regulate moisture levels and can help prevent mould growth.||Relatively expensive cost compared to cement-based plaster|
|More flexible, making it better suited to withstand movement in the underlying structure.||Longer curing time and requires skilful application|
|Less prone to cracking than cement-based plaster.||May require more maintenance over time|
|It can be made from locally sourced resources and is made of natural, environmentally safe components.||Properties can vary depending on the source of the lime used.|
What is Lime Plaster?
Lime plaster is created by combining hydrated lime, sand, and water. The lime used in plaster is not the same as quicklime used in cement. Lime plaster is manufactured from hydrated lime, which is created when quicklime and water are combined. This procedure is called slaking.
The lime plaster is often placed in two layers, known as the “scratch” and “brown” coats. The initial layer, referred to as the “scratch” coat, is applied to the surface to form a key for the succeeding layers to adhere to. After the first coat has cured, the second layer, known as the “brown” coat, is applied. This is a heavier coat that is used to smooth out the surface.
Since lime plaster is recognised for being breathable, it allows moisture to evaporate and inhibits mould growth. This is due to its porous nature, which allows it to both absorb and release moisture, preventing the development of moisture in the walls. Because lime plaster is created from natural ingredients and emits less carbon dioxide than cement, it is also thought to be more environmentally friendly than typical plaster made with cement.
Lime plaster is also useful for ornamental purposes. It can be used to make elaborate mouldings and decorations. To achieve various hues and effects, lime dressing can also be painted.
As a traditional building material, lime plaster has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. It is a great choice for some projects because of its strength, breathability, flexibility, environmental friendliness, and beauty, such as those involving old buildings or structures with uneven or irregular surfaces.
However, it can be less ideal for some projects because of its expense, application, maintenance, time-consuming nature, and weather sensitivity. Before deciding to use lime plaster, it is crucial to carefully analyse the project’s unique requirements and limitations.