External lime renders were traditionally applied to both disguise and protect walls built of poor quality material such as rubble stone or porous brick and rough timber. They were usually covered with a colour wash or limewash which also provided additional protection.
There is a wide range of finishes using lime render, but for many centuries the term ‘stucco’ was used generally to cover any form of internal or external rendering which not only protected the wall but was finished in such a way as to decorate it and to enhance the architectural qualities of a building. In the UK it was not until the end of the 18th century that ‘stucco’ specifically came to signify exterior rendering of masonry to imitate fine stonework.
Today the repair and restoration of heritage renders and stucco can pose problems, particularly where the facades of buildings are enriched with elaborate moulded details. Originally stucco was used as a cheap substitute for stone and was either left unpainted or was colour-washed to resemble Bath stone. It is now rare to find unpainted examples, but many houses still retain the incised lines intended to simulate stone blocks.
Lime is a wonderful, heritage building material and lime mortars and renders have been used in traditional construction for centuries. Lime render is a lime-based mix applied to the external surfaces of traditional buildings. It allows the building to ‘breathe’. They are usually specified on renovation and restoration of period properties and listed buildings, coupled with traditional construction methods and specialist techniques,
Lime renders are porous and this permeability allows moisture to evaporate from the masonry, and reduces problems of condensation. Lime render is also more tolerant of movement and appears less hard on the surface and does not produce the hard sharp edges of cement based renders. Today they play a very important role in the conservation, repair and maintenance of historic buildings, an essential part of safeguarding their long-term future.
CRL Restoration are fully conversant with the traditional techniques required for the application of all types of lime renders.