While lime plasters are highly sought after due to the beauty and range of finishes they create, their environmental and sustainable qualities cannot be overlooked. As more and more individuals begin to realize the interior environment’s direct impact on quality of life, they are foregoing paint, wallpaper, and acrylic, clay, and gypsum plasters – and instead turning to lime plasters for enhanced living conditions. Considering the average person spends 90 percent of their life indoors – the quality of the materials we are building with need to be held to the highest standards. The MOP lime plasters provide optimal quality interiors in which to live, to work, and to play.
Efficiency – As a pre-mixed, cure set plaster rather than a dry-bagged, quick set plaster such as Gypsums, lime plasters cut down on on-site excess. Materials waste is diminished and efficiency in costs, time, labor, and material is achieved. As a natural material lime plasters are able to decrease energy consumption and stresses by regulating temperatures and humidity levels and decreasing the stresses placed on energy powered climate control systems – offering greater comfort at a lower cost.
Permeability – One of the most important aspects of a sustainable structure is of its ability to breathe with the surrounding environment. Air tight building envelopes trap moisture, creating a “dead” environment within the building’s envelope. Lime plasters allow you to create permeable wall structures that transfer moisture, “breathing” with the surrounding environment and allowing moisture to evaporate that would otherwise sit and begin to damage the structure’s integrity. Preventing moisture damage is critical to a design’s success and lime’s ability to not only transfer this moisture but also prohibit the growth of mold and bacteria makes it one of the most beneficial building materials with which to design.
Purity – The purity of a true, authentic, lime plaster makes it one of the most sustainable building materials available to date. Void of any artificial additives such as acrylics, synthetics, or harmful compounds, lime plasters lack any chemicals that are unnatural or harmful.
Permanence – There is a sense of permanence found in lime plasters that is unparalleled. As one of the first building materials, lime has been used since man began creating permanent structures in which to reside. Lime plasters can still be found today, intact, in famous structures such as the Egyptian pyramids and that of the Pantheon. Continually sought after for its strength and its beneficial natural qualities, lime plasters are a tried and true building material whose durability continues to amaze.
Compatibility – Historically, lime interiors are found prevalently along coastal regions – this is due to their unique ability to tolerate damp and regularly fluctuating environments. Lime plasters naturally regulate humidity and temperature levels by having the ability to breathe with their surrounding environments – taking on and also releasing moisture levels as the levels in the environment change. The high pH level (12) also allows these lime plasters to thrive in more humid environments by being mold and mildew resistant – creating even healthier environments in which to dwell.
Strength – It is a common misconception in present day building trades that plasters are fragile, building materials. In fact, the opposite is true when it comes to the building science of lime plasters. As a “softer” material, Lime plasters are better able to move and fluctuate with a building as it settles over time – allowing for greater longevity. Small, hairline cracks are much easier to repair and are many times self-healing as opposed to the large, mapline cracking that occurs in harder gypsum and cement compositions. Also, due to the chemical composition of lime and the curing process of lime plasters, these materials will not disintegrate over time from exposure to moisture as drywall compounds and clay plasters tend to. Patching of lime plaster is seamless and creates a unified surface unlike patching drywall muds and clay plasters – the surface becomes rough and uneven – making any repair work highly visible. Another issue to note -gypsum plasters and cement compounds create cold joints unless the entire surface is re-plastered; yet with lime this is not an issue and marked areas can be addressed individually.
Defense – While all of our lines of plasters are crafted for the creation of interiors, many times their application use is in exteriors as protective coatings. Lime puttys are historically known for their ability to protect against water intrusion and have been used extensively as a sacrificial building coating – protecting the underlying substrate from the destruction of the elements. Maintenance is key in these exterior applications but when designed correctly, lime plasters serve as exceptional barrier coatings that protect and maintain the integrity of exterior facades and interior structures.
Preventative – As a natural fire retardant, lime is used extensively in the realm of straw bale construction and other natural earth constructions. Lime plasters serve to negate the use of highly flammable materials in new construction and create safer, more stable, and more resilient interiors.
Protective – Lime plasters carry an inherent ability to protect against the effects of UV-rays. Color and hues do not fade over time and cracking and trapping of heat from exposure is not a worry like it is with acrylic or synthetic plasters and paints. Because of lime’s ability to diffuse the effects of UV-rays it is seen as an excellent material in maintaining optimal thermal protection. Interiors are kept warmer in the winter months and cooler in the summer months, creating more energy efficient and more pleasant interior environments.
Harmony – Building with natural materials gives an exceptional grace to the overall design and a sense of harmony and balance with the surrounding environment. Surrounded by such an immense amount of advanced technologies these days [and man made materials], creating with lime allows the individual to establish a space of peace and ease that is of an essence of the earthen and the natural.