If you have lime rendering in your home and are in need of some repairs it might be tempting to give it a go on your own. However it is in your best interest to hire a professional to do the work for you. Here are five reasons it is best to hire a professional to handle your lime rendering repairs:
- Stone and Brick: If you are working with stone or brick you must be very careful that areas that are decayed or hollow are removed properly by hacking them away and then raked. The wall must also be brushed so that all loose material is removed or this will cause issues when you try to apply the lime rendering. You also want to ensure you match the look so you have to avoid plastering bead to corners. You also have to leave the pointing or else you will not have a key. If you add chicken wire in an effort to replace the key than you can end up with stress due to changes in temperature which can lead to failure. As well metal of any kind will eventually rust.
- Existing Wood Laths: If you are working with wood laths you have to ensure they are well affixed and free of old lumps and plaster. You also have to understand proper distancing of new lathes for the best integrity. There are also many preservatives you should not apply as this can lead to issues with your plaster. If you decide to take the modern route and use metal lath you will be disappointed and frustrated as it is even harder to apply plaster as it is smooth which means you have to adjust your plaster with more hair in the mix.
- Masonry: Working with masonry requires water and it takes knowledge to understand how much water is required. The water has to soak in, in order for you to have the damp surface you require. This can be problematic if you don’t get it wet enough or worse make it too damp.
- Smoothing: It might look easy enough to apply the render using a trowel. However you actually should not be using a trowel or float as using a steel tool will actually bring the lime to the surface as you work. Then when it comes time to dry you will have a lime-rich layer that will be lying over lime depleted plaster. This will result in faster aging and even failure of your lime render. If the plastering is something specialist like Italian Polished Plastering, you will need to call in the specialists as doing it yourself could well end in disaster.
- Cracking: A pro knows that if they have cracks in their base coat they will be harmless and strengthen as they add more coats. If you do it yourself you might not realize that your cracks are caused because the plaster is shrinking or worse it is not adhered to the backing. If this is the case it will just be a matter of time before the coat comes completely free of the backing resulting in disaster.
As you can see there are many factors that can come into play when working with lime render. From making sure you are working with a compatible aggregate to avoid peeling and the dangers of lime depletion a professional will know how to avoid disaster for a perfect finish every time.