Urgent help required re lime plaster.

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Where can I find written, “you must not remove lime plaster from solid lime mortared walls and put back Gypsum because …………….”

Why? Well I arrived at my customer’s house this morning (they have recently purchased and moved in) to renovate their period windows. I found a builders skip in the drive, and in the house, ceilings were down and other major renovation in progress. Customer tells me they didn’t expect to have to gut the whole house, but it has to be done.

The newly exposed inner brick skin tells me it’s a solid wall construction of lime mortar and the wheel barrow beside me is full of lime plaster.

Are you re-plastering with lime I ask? A blank look is my reply.
I continue explaining, your walls and brickwork are lime construction so you should not plaster with Gypsum as the house wont breathe. Another blank look! Then he calls Brian.
Brian comes down the stairs and my customer asks him, what plaster are you planning to put back. OOPS Brian is only the bloody builder.
Were waterproof rendering on the ground floor with a hardwall skim and bonding and hardwall upstairs.
Now I am already in it up to my neck so I open my mouth again and explain the property won’t breathe if you tank it, plus the cement render wont move in keeping with the lime puttied solid brickwork.
His answer, Well we do it all the time, it no problem.

Case closed. I get on with my job, customer is still worried but not got the courage to put a halt to this bad building practice and plasterer due in tomorrow.

You may ask why am I worried? I don’t know maybe I just hate people buying historic building and doing work without research and damaging it forever, bodge jobs, and ignorant builders.

I would like to go back and present them with something that justifies my concern.
 
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Dont worry we have a few" Lime Kings" on here and they will put you right ;)
 
H

huddsspread

peaps is the man on here, now im a modern plasterer ( only 17 years ) And i need to learn more about lime, but the little i do know is you should not put gypsum on old stone etc because of what you say, and there will be problems once the builder has left.

What can be done is lime render, and or batton the wall, insulate, then vapour barrier, plasterboard. Then this at least lets the original wall breathe.

What i think we need is a sticky thread about LIME as its a big can of worms.

I'd send peaps a pm, he seems to know all about lime, and will answer anything you need to know.

And if the plasterer is due in tomorrow, he will put a stop to it?
 
P

peaps

Where can I find written, “you must not remove lime plaster from solid lime mortared walls and put back Gypsum because …………….”

Why? Well I arrived at my customer’s house this morning (they have recently purchased and moved in) to renovate their period windows. I found a builders skip in the drive, and in the house, ceilings were down and other major renovation in progress. Customer tells me they didn’t expect to have to gut the whole house, but it has to be done.

The newly exposed inner brick skin tells me it’s a solid wall construction of lime mortar and the wheel barrow beside me is full of lime plaster.

Are you re-plastering with lime I ask? A blank look is my reply.
I continue explaining, your walls and brickwork are lime construction so you should not plaster with Gypsum as the house wont breathe. Another blank look! Then he calls Brian.
Brian comes down the stairs and my customer asks him, what plaster are you planning to put back. OOPS Brian is only the bloody builder.
Were waterproof rendering on the ground floor with a hardwall skim and bonding and hardwall upstairs.
Now I am already in it up to my neck so I open my mouth again and explain the property won’t breathe if you tank it, plus the cement render wont move in keeping with the lime puttied solid brickwork.
His answer, Well we do it all the time, it no problem.

Case closed. I get on with my job, customer is still worried but not got the courage to put a halt to this bad building practice and plasterer due in tomorrow.

You may ask why am I worried? I don’t know maybe I just hate people buying historic building and doing work without research and damaging it forever, bodge jobs, and ignorant builders.

I would like to go back and present them with something that justifies my concern.

You need to give a little more info, period etc, is there a damp course? As a rule you should lime render the walls but there are modern alternatives but they need planning out.

Yes the house needs to breath and the method you are on with at the moment will cause problem with damp, brick decay etc.
 
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If it's listed give the local conservation officer a call, they'll tell you what can and cannot be done.
 
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Agree'd peaps but if stevethejoiner is that unhappy with what's about to happen with the walls at least he can inform the owner then it's up to him to put the builder/plasterer right.
Can't see what the big problem is with using traditional lime plaster, it's not that hard and it's easier to control providing it's kept damp.
 
P

peaps

Agree'd peaps but if stevethejoiner is that unhappy with what's about to happen with the walls at least he can inform the owner then it's up to him to put the builder/plasterer right.
Can't see what the big problem is with using traditional lime plaster, it's not that hard and it's easier to control providing it's kept damp.

I was thinking that the law has already been broken by gutting the place so it might cause a problem.... It's a grey area but I sure it will fall at the feet of the house owner, well, I'm sure f it reguardless.

Plasterers need the sack. The walls will soon turn black, I'll give it a winter.
 
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Thanks Peaps, Property is not listed, well that's what customer say's, why this house missed out when the local authority went round doing the listings god only knows. It is part of the Dering Estate, this link has 22 photos of Dering properties and will give you an idea of the character. http://www.geograph.org.uk/snippet/360
I have been working on the arched headed iron windows.
No DPM, probably just a ragstone plynth as a foundation, and standing on Weald clay. All the properties here lift in the winter when the clay expands and moves back when it bake's hard in the summer.
They are still gutting it but not started plastering. I am not one to blow the whistle but I am tempted to make my own enquiries on Monday to find out if it's listed. Other than that there is no more I can do, I have told them so they know the consequences.
 
P

peaps

Thanks Peaps, Property is not listed, well that's what customer say's, why this house missed out when the local authority went round doing the listings god only knows. It is part of the Dering Estate, this link has 22 photos of Dering properties and will give you an idea of the character. http://www.geograph.org.uk/snippet/360
I have been working on the arched headed iron windows.
No DPM, probably just a ragstone plynth as a foundation, and standing on Weald clay. All the properties here lift in the winter when the clay expands and moves back when it bake's hard in the summer.
They are still gutting it but not started plastering. I am not one to blow the whistle but I am tempted to make my own enquiries on Monday to find out if it's listed. Other than that there is no more I can do, I have told them so they know the consequences.

You can find out if the house is listed by going onto English Heratige website.

Yes if this is the sort of construction they are going to be in big trouble with damp, efflorescence and brick decay. The wall will have a high level of rising damp anyway, it's because of the clay and I would bet there are no foundations, probably built on a layer of stone or large pebbles, or even a mix of the two. If they waterproof the walls it will cause some real damage, expensive damage!!! The water will rise up, soak in and not be able to evaporate through the lime as it was meant to do. It may not come into the inside wall but once we have a good cold spell the wall will freeze and the bricks will fail!! Any bonding in that place will go black before you can blink. I feel sorry for the owners of the house to be honest.

You might feel you are pooping on the plasterers if you push it but I would push it because it's a real shame that they are been allowed to destroy the place...

PM me and I will give you my contact details, you can pass they on if they want some sound advice on the matter, I would scare them half to death with what they may face in the future.

Shame really but it happens alot these days, people take on what they are not able to do....
 
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Thanks Peaps, Property is not listed, well that's what customer say's, why this house missed out when the local authority went round doing the listings god only knows. It is part of the Dering Estate, this link has 22 photos of Dering properties and will give you an idea of the character. http://www.geograph.org.uk/snippet/360
I have been working on the arched headed iron windows.
No DPM, probably just a ragstone plynth as a foundation, and standing on Weald clay. All the properties here lift in the winter when the clay expands and moves back when it bake's hard in the summer.
They are still gutting it but not started plastering. I am not one to blow the whistle but I am tempted to make my own enquiries on Monday to find out if it's listed. Other than that there is no more I can do, I have told them so they know the consequences.

You can find out if the house is listed by going onto English Heratige website.

Yes if this is the sort of construction they are going to be in big trouble with damp, efflorescence and brick decay. The wall will have a high level of rising damp anyway, it's because of the clay and I would bet there are no foundations, probably built on a layer of stone or large pebbles, or even a mix of the two. If they waterproof the walls it will cause some real damage, expensive damage!!! The water will rise up, soak in and not be able to evaporate through the lime as it was meant to do. It may not come into the inside wall but once we have a good cold spell the wall will freeze and the bricks will fail!! Any bonding in that place will go black before you can blink. I feel sorry for the owners of the house to be honest.

You might feel you are pooping on the plasterers if you push it but I would push it because it's a real shame that they are been allowed to destroy the place...

PM me and I will give you my contact details, you can pass they on if they want some sound advice on the matter, I would scare them half to death with what they may face in the future.

Shame really but it happens alot these days, people take on what they are not able to do....

Thanks Peaps, I will print off your replies and show them tomorrow when I go to refit some of the metal casements. I will PM you as well.

Thanks again Steve.
 
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a very informative post.

if a house (built about 1910) has cavity walls, then is gypsum plaster ok to use?
is it just the fact that the walls are solid that means it requires lime plaster or does the type of mortar used in the brick laying need to be considered too?

thanks,

jc
 

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