Part of Historic Environment Scotland

How to make lime mortar repairs



The best approach to making repairs is often to use the same materials and methods as were used for the original construction. Lime mortar will be required in most cases for the repair of traditional buildings.

Selecting an appropriate repair mortar can be a complex process. Specification of lime mortars involves considering factors such as:

  • the purpose of the mortar
  • existing materials
  • climate and exposure
  • stone type
  • available skills

Lime mortar repairs may fail where good site practice is lacking. All aspects are important, from storage of materials to application and aftercare.

Careful preparation of both masonry and mortar mix will help to prevent the failure of lime mortar repairs.

Most lime mortars used today are prepared as cold mixes due to the ready availability of bagged limes. Traditionally, however, most mortars used were hot-mixed lime mortars, and some specialists still use these now.

Different tools and techniques are used for applying lime mortar depending on its end use.

Some simple aftercare will help to ensure the success of lime mortar repairs.

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