Historic Masonry Restoration and Preservation

Historic brick chimney restored with lime mortarhistoric brick chimney before restoration - Version 3historic brick repointed with lime putty mortarstucco house before restorationLime paint on historic stuccoImproper repairs with portland cementlime paint applicationpond beforepond restoration completepond fountain detailgates before restorationgates during restorationgates restorationpebble mosaic path before restoationpebble mosaic path cleanedpebbles restoredfountain before 2fountain before 1fountain restoredDSC_0120Estate garden restored

     "We care about the past"

Traditional Lime putty Also known as slaked limehas been at the base for producing lime mortar in masonry construction for millennia. The simple facts are that the original lime mortar which structures were built with thousands of years ago is, in many instances, still in good condition and remarkably uncompromised. 

Recently introduced (1870) Portland based "cements" developed during the Industrial Revolution gained wide use as a modern "improvement" replacing almost entirely the production and use of traditional lime putty binders of the past worldwide.  

These modern "improvements" recently have been found, by a growing number of scientists and practitioners, to fall short compared to the traditional lime mortar in many masonry applications.

If your building was erected before 1870 it should strictly be restored with lime putty mortar as this was the ONLY mortar available at the time. 

Many buildings erected after 1870 were still built with lime putty mortars and mortar type should always be determined and closely matched for an adequate restoration. 

Mortars containing Portland cement generally used in historic restoration applications are a major cause of accelerated and irreversible damage to the original masonry due to their elevated brittleness, impermeability, compressive strength.  In addition Portland cement contains gypsum sulfites and harmful compounds which, carried by water are deposited within the original brick or stone. These harmful compounds recrystallize within the masonry units and can cause severe irreversible damage. 

Recently, an necessary interest in the production and use of traditional lime mortar in restoration has reemerged however "like for like" quality materials for masonry preservation and restoration are not readily available and rarely masonry restoration contractors retain the necessary knowledge and skills to properly select, acquire and utilize these materials appropriately.

In Europe and England the tradition of producing slaked lime, building and decorating using lime mortar and plaster has never been entirely lost and high quality traditional lime putty, specialty aggregates and pozzolans for restoration purposes are still produced and used for the restoration and preservation of Historic structures. 

We proudly provide masonry restoration services for all aspects of Historic masonry restoration. We strictly produce our own mortars from raw materials utilizing high quality traditionally produced lime putty, natural hydraulic lime, specialty aggregates and pozzolans specifically designed for historic preservation and restoration purposes. Our extensive knowledge of the different properties of lime putty, NHLs (Natural Hydraulic Lime), Natural Cement, OPC (ordinary Portland cement) pozzolans, and aggregates enables us to formulate lime mortars, specific to each application. We have been involved in the use of lime mortar for decades and have since built experience, knowledge and a deep understanding of the material's abilities, limitations and applications procedures. 

We are able to match mortar composition, color and style resulting in a minmal transition between the original and the restored area on brick or stone repointing and reconstruction, horse hair plaster and stucco work. 

                                               OUR PAST PROJECTS:

Hale Farm - 39 Hale Street  Beverly, MA - Beverly Historic Society

Peirce-Nichols House - 80 Federal Street  Salem, MA - Peabody Essex Museum

Cotting-Smith Assembly House - 138 Federal St. Salem, MA - PEM 

Benjamin Pickman House - 165 Essex Street, Salem, MA - Peabody Essex Museum

Gardner-Pingree House - 128 Essex Street Salem, MA - Peabody Essex Museum

Yin Yu Tang, A Chinese Home - 161 Essex Street  Salem, MA - PEM

Loring House - 141 Hale Street Beverly, MA - Helen Greiner - Private residence

Phillips House - 30 Chestnut Street Salem, MA - Jane Phillips - Private residence

And many other private home projects

                Visit our MASONRY RESTORATION photo gallery

For more information on the quality of the material we utilize in our restoration work,          follow this link: RENAISSANCE LIME PUTTY

The use of our lime-based material is applicable for LEED-USCG credits in green building projects.

© Fabio Bardini 2012| florentinemasonry@gmail.com| (978) 825-9922