Two of Dabinett’s graduates spent the day brushing up on their building knowledge. Sam Watt and Josh Weston were at the Natural Building Centre in North Wales, adding to their skills in working with older and Listed buildings.
The opportunity to attend was due to Dabinett’s involvement with Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative.
The course focussed on lime plasters, mortars and renders, together with oak pegging of slates. The hands-on experience added to the theoretical knowledge and gave a good appreciation of practicalities.
Lime mortars have many advantages over modern Portland cement mortars. Modern mortars are all too often the cause of significant deterioration to buildings. The modern mortars have lower porosity, in effect trapping moisture in the bricks or stone. The trapped moisture can freeze or transport salts which can destroy the walls. The problem is common to see in buildings built before 1900 and poorly understood and badly maintained.
The priority with clients is usually the cost. The cost of traditional skills and materials can be more than modern equivalents. But usually there will be more costly deterioration of the building due to the disparity in techniques.
Dabinett has recently project managed several Listed building schemes. These have included specialist cleaning of stone masonry and repointing with lime mortars.
For advice on repairing and maintaining older properties, together with advice as to the legal requirements, Dabinett can help.