NATURAL HIDRAULIC LIME MORTARS
Plasters, natural hydraulic lime mortars and finishes for renovation and restoration
In addition to the products for the resolution of the main pathologies of degradation and alteration, the cycles of cleaning, the consolidation and protection, Phase has developed a series of “recipes” for the composition of mortars which mainly look back to traditional technologies. Mortars that base their usage on the principle of “uniqueness” of the building and that can thus be modulated on a case-by-case basis by taking into consideration pre-existent materials and different environmental contexts.
Over the twentieth century, finishing composition and techniques for buildings experienced radical changes, following more and more often the continuous evolution of contemporary architecture needs, in constant search of materials which are easy and quick to install. The availability of new binders such as hydraulic limes, cements and synthetic resins allowed for the development of mortars and working methods suitable to meet such needs: ready-to-use plastering mortars that can be applied by non-qualified personnel, reduced working times, extensive use of the same product. However, the use of mortars that are incompatible with the characteristics of the existing materials might damage the building from a technical and an aesthetical point of view. The result being a premature degradation of hastily-applied materials originated by agents external or internal to the product itself or, more often, by labour unaware of traditional techniques.
Those who have to select the materials to be used are faced with countless options, can be puzzled and lacking valid parameters to select the appropriate product, a key element especially in the restoration sector.
Phase believes that, in this field, only traditional methods and materials can provide the best result in terms of aesthetics and technique.
From this point of view, the set of possible solutions, apparently very large, can be limited to a few traditional systems compatible with historic materials.
The knowledge of the fundamental properties of the mortars to be used, of the support materials and of the stress they can possibly endure, allows for a judicious selection that can provide adequate guarantee of durability and take into account specific needs of conservation. Mortars’ composition and finishes’ types have to be chosen on a case-by-case basis, depending on the architecture, the remaining traces of the original material and the walls’ chemical and hygrometric conditions.