[Strawbale] Re: Lime rendering and the big freeze
Michael K Lough
mkl18 at pobox...
Tue Nov 1 14:46:54 CET 2005
In my admittedly limited experience I have found a few things to be
Lime/sand only plaster is best with dry sand. I use a poly fibre
additive bought from a local Ready Mix plant in lieu of horse hair
or similar. I think it works well although I do get some cracking.
My first experience with Lime render/plaster tells me to expect
cracking to some extent..This is easily dealt with in a Limewash
Drying varies with temperature but if the render is really pushed on
it does stick well without the need for plastic mesh or clay slip or
earthen first coat. The first year I managed to get about 15 percent
done before I had to abandon the site due to cold and snow. So it was
a sort of experiment .I discovered that tarping the bales was not
necessary as snow did not penetrate them and even horizontal rain
only went in a few inches and dried fairly quickly when the rain
The bales 6 months later were still as good as I left them, maybe a
bit blonder due to UV but thats was it. I was of course worried about
this and did visit during February when the snow was up the sides in
drifts to about 4 feet, but it was all fine, the plaster was cracked
here and there but still on and holding well.
I understand a long drying time is a good thing and a moist climate
is better than a dry one for curing Lime render. I am not sure of
this but there is some theory that freezing does not affect Lime
curing (which I agree does seems counter intuitive) but what I've
heard is that it might actually make it better.
I have had some putty soaking for three years now and it has frozen
twice and is even if a bit stiffer to mix "stickier" after mixing
than 45 day old putty. So I might be able to see that adding just
sand would not change this process and that if Lime plaster is self
healing then the water component in it getting hard might not
permanently damage the plaster through expansion but really all I can
say for sure is that I have a plastered wall which has absorbed
water due to rain and then frozen and it did not fall off and the few
cracks were then "washed out" or is that "washed in"?
I hope this helps someone
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