Historic Lime Based Mortar Testing

The UK has a wealth of historic buildings, structures and monuments, many still in everyday use. Conservation is the first priority but, with time, it is inevitable that these structures will need careful, sympathetic replication and matching of historic mortars, concretes, renders, plasters and finish coatings to enable suitable repair or restoration.

It is particularly important to distinguish between lime and cement bound materials; both of which are fine in their own right but simply not compatible. Over time, older constructions experience cracking, water ingress, other moisture related issues and salt crystallisation/surface disruption, often caused by well-intentioned repairs carried out using cement based material, over existing lime mortars.

Our services:

  • Match and replicate existing historic materials for restoration and repair
  • Identify the specific nature and type of existing lime binder (hydraulic, non-hydraulic, lime putty, "hot" lime etc.)
  • Calculate the binder concentration and mix proportions
  • Identify pozzolana
  • Confirm the composition and grading of the fine aggregate
  • Confirm overall characteristics and condition of the matrix
  • Quality control of modern lime based materials
  • Verify compliance with contract specifications
  • Identify cause of failure or sub-standard performance

 We offer a full range of investigative sampling, testing and analytical services. Our highly respected, and qualified team of environmentalists, chemists and geologists provide a one stop service including comment, advice, assessment and interpretative reporting on a range of issues relating to historic materials.

We are a UKAS accredited testing laboratory (No.0529) for our scope of accreditations.