Strutton Lime Plastering
& Damp Proofing

Lime Plastering in Suffolk

A key part of the Suffolk countryside are the many beautiful listed or period properties finished in lime plaster. Suffolk properties have been rendered in lime plaster render from the later part of the 16th Century and this tradition has continued until today with many new builds now having lime plaster added.

Despite being an old, traditional craft, lime plaster remains one of the most effective ways at protecting a property from the elements such as torrential rain and extreme cold as well as providing draught proofing for the home.

Many properties in East Anglia still retain their lime plaster, and these will need an experienced lime plaster to help keep them in tip top shape. Some properties however have unfortunately over the years had cement render added which will need special care and attention from an experienced lime plasterer to ensure no lasting damage is taken by the timber beams. Cement render removal will expose the timber frames and is a delicate time in the life of the building. If treated incorrectly areas of damp can form which will become a breeding ground for problems such as the dreaded Death Watch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) as well as other forms of nasty visitors such as Longhorn Beetle (Neandra brunnea), Powder Post Beetle (Lyctoxylon dentate) and the Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum). Special notice also needs to be made if the house has clay lump which needs to be covered as soon as possible as it will be susceptible to rain and frost damage and become brittle.

Suffolk lime plaster buildings need to 'breathe' as most are built on a framework of timber with wattle and daub in the cavities. Timber buildings will naturally flex and move a fraction depending on atmospheric conditions and wattle and daub is flexible enough to move with the building and remain structurally intact. These materials are naturally absorbent and are constructed to allow moisture to evaporate, whereas the focus on modern buildings, and cement render is to keep the moisture out.

With timber framed building however, it is impossible to keep the moisture out as that is not what they are designed to do. Problems are therefore common with using modern cement renders on old timber framed buildings with moisture retention, leading to a number of long term and often costly issues. If the building is flexing, then the the concrete render will crack allowing water in. Similar issues are also found on internal surfaces if modern gypsum plasters are added instead of using a quality lime plaster.

Many homeowners with timber properties that have had ill conceived renders added feel the only option is to try and keep on top of the issues and constantly try mend cracks and damp areas, thinking the job of stripping the old render will cause more damage to the timbers in the long term.

An experienced traditional lime plaster like Peter Strutton will be able to safely remove any unwanted renders and return the timber building back to it's original glory without any lasting damage to the building's structure.

Once the old render is removed, a new backing is added to help protect the building's timbers. The backing is made from slow grown split or riven oak laths which are added before the new lime plaster is added.

A quality, lime plaster is then added allowing the building to do what it was designed to do, breathe!

This not only helps secure the building's future, but also adds value to the property and looks amazing.


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