A Few Advantages of Lime Mortar

The core of Brookline's masonry preservation division is our commitment to using lime mortar for all historic structures. Lime mortar has many advantages over Portland cement.

Here is a short list of just a few advantages:

Lime mortar is more flexible and less brittle.

If there is building movement, lime mortar will eventually re-seal the cracks in the mortar. Having a softer mortar means soft bricks and stones won't be forced to break. The mortar is the "sacrificial component" of any masonry wall. With Portland, the mortar is so hard that it chisels off the faces of the bricks with even the slightest building movement >i>and all buildings move.

Lime mortar is breathable, which means that moisture that gets in the wall (from damp conditions inside or outside) will escape rapidly. Portland cement seals moisture into a wall, causing mold problems inside, deterioration of wood, and deterioration of the bricks or stones themselves.

Lime mortar still sheds water from rain just as well as Portland cement.

Lime mortar will last longer than Portland cement. Lime mortar that is made from 98% pure calcium will last 100 years minimum. Portland cement mortar lasts about 50 years, and sometimes cracking and deterioration is visible within 10 years. Portland cement degrades from the inside out because of impurities like aluminum silicates. These impurities cause it to get hard fast, but also cause it to deteriorate fast.

Because lime mortar is softer, it can be removed easily, without damaging the bricks or stones. Portland mortar is so hard that it is very difficult to replace without breaking or de-facing the bricks or stones, even if it is badly deteriorated.

Contact Brookline today for your city brick restorations or city stone restorations in Lancaster Pa and surrounding areas.

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