Elgin and Keith CARS are running the next free traditional building skills course for contractors and building professionals in Keith. The ‘Pointing with Lime Mortar’ course will be held in the Longmore Hall on 25th September 2014 from 9.15am until 4.30pm. This is the second course to be offered from the comprehensive programme of traditional building skills training funded by the schemes.
Tutors Craig Frew of Frew Building Conservation Ltd and Hans Norling of Masonry & Lime (local award-winning masonry conservation contracting firm) will deliver the training. All aspects of working with lime mortars will be covered from choosing the right type of lime to mixing, protection and curing. Hans Norling said “this is a really practical hands-on course and a great opportunity to learn how to use this traditional material properly on a variety of masonry structures”.
Moray has a long tradition of building with sandstone and lime mortar but unfortunately cement mortars have become increasingly used to repair them. Where modern mortars have been introduced into traditional masonry structures, the rate of stone decay can be alarming. Cement allows very little moisture movement through the joints, so moisture is concentrated behind the cement barrier. Water is forced to repeatedly move into and through the stone causing the surrounding masonry to deteriorate. Any soluble salts contained in the cement mix can also contribute to this process, causing further damage through a build up of powdery deposits on the wall face.
Traditional stone buildings with lime mortar or render have a natural ability to hold and evaporate moisture from the walls without damaging the stone. This process can help to control condensation within the building and create a better thermal performance. In contrast, cement pointing, repairs and renders dramatically reduce the passage of moisture, slow drying out times considerably and increase the risk of internal condensation problems.
CARS external repair grants are currently available for property owners in both Elgin and Keith conservation areas. Eligible work includes stone repair and re-pointing in lime and with the level of damage caused by cement, there will be a substantial amount of work available over the next few years. It is hoped that local companies will be better placed to bid for the work as a result of the CARS training. Places can be booked by emailing email@example.com by 19th September 2014.
Anyone interested in applying for a CARS external repair grant for properties within the Elgin and Keith conservation areas can contact Kirsty (Elgin CARS Officer) on 01343 563656 or Ross (Keith CARS Officer) on 01343 563549.