Limestone (from which lime is made) is created by time and pressure pressing the bones and shells of ancient marine life into stone. Building lime is made by baking limestone until it becomes a powder that when water is added, forms a paste called “lime putty.”
The lime putty is combined with aggregates (and sometimes fibers) to make a lime finish. Once the finish is applied to a surface and exposed to open air, it begins drawing carbon from the air. By incorporating carbon from the air, the lime putty transforms back into limestone... this is a very simplified explanation of the lime cycle, which is an unbelievably magical process.
Essentially when we apply lime finishes, we are creating a stone. The quality of lime finishes depends on selecting high-quality aggregates and lime and having the knowledge of the lime process required to ensure the proper return from putty to limestone.
Lime finishes are currently having a renaissance as people look for beautiful, healthy, and ecological finishes that are comparable to conventional cement finishes in terms of durability. What sets lime apart from cement (aside from being way more beautiful) is that it re-absorbs carbon from the air as it cures. It stores carbon. Cement does not.
As we look for ways to limit carbon pollution that contributes to climate change, selecting lime materials over cement materials is a great option. The global production of cement is currently the third highest contributor to carbon pollution. Cement must be baked at a much higher temperature and for far longer than lime. This contributes far more carbon because of the fuels necessary to burn cement at that high temperature for that longer duration.
Additionally, lime finishes are vapor permeable over their lifetime, absorbing excess humidity from the air and releasing that humidity back into the space when indoor air has become too dry. While this action may not change the temperature of the space, it greatly influences the felt temperature of the space - cold, wet air feels colder. Hot, wet air feels stifling. Regulating humidity in the air with lime makes your space more comfortable for your body.
Lime is also highly mold and bacteria resistant due to its highly basic pH. Mano de Barro offers high quality lime stuccos and paints in a variety of colors and finish styles.
Mano de Barro offers high quality lime stuccos and paints in a variety of colors and finish styles. Based in Javea, Spain, Mano de Barro serves the entire Marina Alta, Costa Blanca region of Spain (and beyond!)