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Damp in Stone Wall

Lime Pointing Stone Farmhouse, Rimington, Lancashire

This project involved Lime Pointing the Gable & Rear elevations to this Period Farmhouse in Rimington Nr Clitheroe Lancashire. The stone walls had previously been pointed with a cement based mortar. This cement pointing does not allow the walls to breathe, dampness is therefore trapped within the stone walls. From this photo you can see the amount of water ingress in the stone wall that has been pointed with a cement based mortar. The dark areas of the cement pointing show the moisture in the wall. The cement pointing is very hard and does not allow for any movement in the original stone wall.

Dampness in Stone Wall

As you can see from the photo, the damp in the stone wall has turned the cement mortar a darker colour. The farmhouse is built from a local Limestone, this has less breakability that a sandstone would. The stone walls had been pointed 3 years previously so the mortar was very hard. When the moisture has entered the stone wall the cement pointing prevents it from evaporating. On softer stone like Sand Stone or Grit Stone the trapped moisture evaporates through the stone. This then causes the stone to deteriorate Signs of this are flaking or dusting of the stone surface near the cement joint. Our Builders Contractors remove the cement pointing to allow the Stone wall to breathe. Once the cement mortar pointing is removed the stone wall dries out quickly.

Removing Cement Pointing from Stone Wall

Our Restoration Team use small air tools to remove the hard cement from the gable wall. The existing lime mortar was very damp when we removed the cement mortar, large sections of the Lime Mortar had decayed with being in a damp state. Our builder remove all the cement pointing. Its is very important that all the cement pointing is removed from the joint of the stonework. If any of the cement pointing is left in the joint this will cause slow evaporation of moisture from the new Lime Mortar joint. Once all the cement mortar is removed by the builder we then wash the elevation remove any dust or debris from the joint before commencing lime pointing. After the joints have been washed this normally leaves open void in the stonework. we have sometimes had to rebuild sections of the Stone or Brick walls as they have become unstable. If needed we install temporary works to hold up areas of stone wall using acro props and struts. We rebuild the stone or brick using a Lime based mortar.


Lime Pointing Limestone

We used a Hydraulic Lime Mortar or NHL Lime to point the elevations. With the larger joists we used pinning stone to reinforce the lime mortar joint. Our Restoration team used a Lime Putty based mortar to fill any void in the wall, the mortar was raked back for over pointing at a later date. Voids in the stone wall are filled with lime mortar. We also used pinning stone to pack the joint out. This helps prevents the lime pointing mortar from shrinking. Our Specialist Restoration Contractors use a NHL lime mortar for the Lime Pointing. We sourced a local sand that would work correctly with a lime binder.

Lime Pointing Gable Wall
A full access scaffolding was erected to the gable elevation of this stone farmhouse. Before our Contractors undertook any lime pointing to the stone walls we first removed all the cement mortar pointing. After the cement mortar was removed we washed the joints and then in this photo we filled the voids in the wall. We used a Hydraulic Lime pointing mortar. Our builders in the photo are fill void with in the joints of the stone wall. If any of the stone or brick have cracks or have start to de-face we remove them and change for replacements. All replacement bricks and stone are bedded on lime mortar.
Lime Pointing
The Lime Mortar Pointing on a stone wall in Yorkshire, Lancashire. The lime pointing is covered over with hessian sheets to prevent the lime pointing from drying out to quickly. The hessian sheets are soaked in water before they are use. Our contractors pin the sheets to the wall using long steel nails into the lime mortar joint. When the nails are removed we fill the hole with a fine lime mortar mix. The joints of the stonework are filled level, this allow the rain water to run of the elevation. If any ledges are left on the stone work the water can sit on the ledges. The water can then freeze and "blow" the pointing mortar.
Hydraulic Lime Mortar Pointing
This is another photo of Lime Mortar Pointing. The limestone stonework on this restoration project has very deep joints due to the application of cement mortar in the past. The cement pointing mortar had cause penetration damp to the old farmhouse building. Most modern builders would have assumed that this old farmhouse period building has Rising Damp. The water is allowed to ingress the stone wall when it rains. The water then seeps down through the wall in the lime mortar joints. As it reaches the ground the stone wall saturates and fills up this is wrongly called Rising Damp. Rising Damp in stone walls can normally just be penetrating damp.
Lime Pointing
Our Restoration builders are skilled craftsmen in the use of lime mortar. We undertake lime pointing, lime rendering and lime plastering work in Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Cheshire. The specialist contractors we have a wealth of skill in the restoration and conservation od historic building in the UK. We predominately work Listed Buildings, Churches, Castles and monuments. General builders have started to undertake lime work but with little experience the lime pointing can be poor quality. This normally leads to failure of the lime mortar. Lime pointing can fail due to the lack of pre and post care. This will often result in the lime blistering.
Sheeting Lime Pointing
We used hessian sheets to cover the elevations, this prevents the Lime Pointing from drying to quickly. Most NHL Lime Mortar need to be sheeted to stop them drying to quickly. It is very important is cover the lime mortar pointing to prevent it from drying to quickly. If the lime pointing dries to quickly it will tend to blister. Once the blistered lime pointing has come to light the only way to fix is to remove in re-point. The hessian sheeting that will cover the lime pointing must be soaked in water prior to applying to the elevation. During the process of hanging the hessian sheets the water should not run down the lime pointing.
Lime Pointing Stonework
Also as part of the contract we cleaned the stone window sets using a diamond grinding wheel. We also cut drip lines into the window sills. The lime pointing has now been sheeted over from about 7 days to help setting. Our team of restoration and conservation experts apply lime pointing full time. We always have work on the books undertaking lime pointing, lime rendering or lime plastering. This project is on a period building in Rimington in Clitheroe nr Gisburn on the Lancashire - Yorkshire boarder. The old farmhouse in Clitheroe is built with a local limestone this is of a grey colour. The elevation also has some sandstone masonry unit in it. The historic building was constructed around 180 years ago.
Lime Pointing on Pike

This photo is showing the top of the gable elevation. The gable elevation used to allow water to drip inside and come down the wall and chimney. when water in running inside your stone walls this means there is external issues with pointing. The gable elevation on this photo has a window at the ground floor. The water use to enter the from the external and drip into the house from the top of the window. Water dripping inside the window from above is a problem in alot of house, cottages, and period historic buildings.

House pointed in Lime Mortar
Gable wall Lime Pointed by our skilled Restoration Contractors working Rimington Lancashire. The project to re-point this historic farmhouse took 5 weeks to complete. The lime mortar pointing was a Hydraulic lime binder. When clients employ us to undertake restoration work to there properties we take every care to ensure the works are done to the best of our ability. Our Builders, Craftsmen, Specialists work to the highest standards. We hopefully go above and beyond what our clients expect.
Farmhouse with Lime Mortar
Farmhouse in Rimington, Gisburn, Clitheroe, Lancashire. We used a Hydraulic Lime Mortar to re-point the front and rear Stone Walls. This Lime Pointing project took 5 weeks to complete. We can attend any site anywhere in the UK to advise and price for Restoration Work on all types of Listed Buildings and Historic Buildings.


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