Conservation of Old Buildings
Conservation of historic building fabric and preservation of old buildings
Southern Timber and Damp believes in non-destructive treatments. Should any property have been built before the 2nd World War (typically around 1890) every attention and sensitivity will be paid to the origins of the building. If the building has the original lime plaster and which has not been affected by Ground Salts, a non-evasive Damp Course can be injected into the base of the wall with a silicone based gel or cream. This approach is especially conservation friendly in buildings which have been listed.
In principal, modern building technology is not compatible with traditional building technology. The lime based building materials of old buildings allowed the structure to ‘move and breathe’ – older buildings were not designed for modern living and life style. The lime in the mortar and building materials allowed the moisture contained in the fabric of the structure to diffuse naturally. If the living environment becomes unbalanced as a result of the introduction of modern conveniences (central heating and double glazing to name just two) and the addition of cement based building products, the structure becomes stifled. Lime allows moisture to pass through and cement is impervious to moisture.
Where the internal plaster has to be removed because of contamination from ground salts, there are modern lime based plasters available as well as customised Membranes in preference to cement based plaster systems. Cement based systems are better suited to modern build where there is a preponderance of cement based products used during construction – typically post 1890.