Specialist lime mortar repointing - Oxfordshire.

History teaches us that, traditionally, quicklime was slaked on site in the production of lime mortar. It has always been understood that good mortar was mixed to a ratio of 1:3. That's one part lime, three parts sand. We know this because in historic records,1:3 mixes were specified by architects and master builders. 

However, the aforementioned quicklime mix meant that the lime content doubled through slaking and it's taken this long for us to understand - through mortar analysis - that using a 1:3 mix nowadays falls way short of what the craftsmen of yesteryear intended. 

The ways of preparing mortar, passed down from father to son hundreds of years ago, have today been interpreted incorrectly and it now means that the current approach to combining 1:3 lime and sand on site can lead to failure. 

This realisation has only been made possible by deconstructing old mortars to reveal that most were made in a way which meant there was a far higher lime content than we ever imagined.

Through many years of practise, in combination with the study of academic research, I can at last bring true historic artisanship to period property as the lime, and the lime mortar, I use is exactly the same as it was when stone and brick built properties were originally constructed.  

I work with my hands, my mind and my heart and have learned over the years that the best quality materials are the only way forward. 

I now only use exceptional quality French lime because of its high lime content. And I won't use ordinary sand due to it's poor quality.  

What you get from me is the best.

With nearly two decades of experience of dealing with grade two listed buildings and other ancient and historic properties. My main intention is to provide unrivalled quality where the delivery of craftsmanship to discerning clients is concerned.

 
My focus is primarily on exclusively built properties in prime locations where I can provide top quality to owners who are looking for superior workmanship. My customers have usually concluded that to do a good job sympathetically takes time and are unwilling to settle for anything other than the absolute best.  



For beautifully textured natural stone  and brickwork to retain its lasting appearance it needs a quality natural mortar to keep nature at bay. 

I specialise in the restoration of high-end stone and antique brick properties

To see how I get the best results go to:




Choosing someone who fails to understand the mechanics and science of older properties can have disastrous results as specialist skills and materials such as natural hydraulic lime are required on historic buildings. Lime will resist water penetration whilst remaining porous and flexible and it will also wick away moisture from a building ensuring it remains weatherproof, watertight and dry.

In direct contrast, Ordinary Portland Cement is neither flexible nor porous and traps moisture in a wall. The result of imprisoned moisture is rising damp and rotten stone.

In the case of repointing, newly mortared joints often need to be brush finished and not trowel finished. This technique makes the grains uniform and creates a protective coat which weatherproofs the mortar until completely hard which takes about a year.

A top-end result cannot be achieved without the appropriate tools. I have many of these specially made and my array includes hand-cast axes with which to dress stone in addition to specifically adapted trowels which facilitate work on non-standard joints.



I also work with natural cement ((opus caementicium) which is the exact same crushed limestone cement which was originally a product of the Roman Empire and which is still an integral part of the current historic environment of the Eternal City. 

Roman cement has had nothing added and nothing taken away. It is simply a crushed limestone hydraulic cement. It is much softer than Ordinary Portland Cement and is also porous.



I always try and preserve the external fabric of a building and so use specialist products such as Rowland Premix




Lithomex masonry repair mortar is also a favourite as it allows for complex sensitive repairs to intricate brick and stonework.




My repertoire of sympathetic products also contains crushed chalk and hemp shiv which is used where insulating lime plaster is required.


 


I also use pozzalana when necessary i.e. if conditions dictate or if a stronger compressive strength is specified due to damage from severe weather or cracking.

For high end work I include the use of marble dust in my plasters:



If you wish to give your property the finest treatment in order to keep it optimally maintained then please call for a free no obligation written quotation.



Whilst I work for you, you will have the benefit of my knowledge of period properties which earned me a college lectureship in the further education sector.




A little about me:
I originate from the north of England and am an out-door man. I'm most happy in isolated rural environments where craggy fell-sides drop down to rivers and streams which meander along glacial valley floors. I was schooled in the county of North Riding and have a degree from the  University of Reading.  I have applied my scientific background to the study and understanding of the mechanics of traditional building and restoration techniques and now specialise in brick, stone and cob built grade 1 and grade 11 listed buildings. 

I am trained to a high standard and have been regularly asked to tender for work by the National Trust and also building companies who only employ the best tradesmen to work on their restoration projects. Nevertheless, my preference is for privately owned stone or antique brick properties to which I can employ my skills as a master craftsman working sympathetically to a high standard in the company of my faithful Jack Russell terrier, Doris.

I'm a straight talking and direct Yorkshireman from whom you can expect honesty and integrity.  
 

                       

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