Lime Mortar

Knowing about different kinds of mortar, when to use them, and how to correctly install them is the essence of historic masonry restoration.

It’s so important, we named our business after two of the most common construction materials in early America: brick and lime.

Yet most masons know little about lime and lime mortar.  They know how to open a bag, mix it with sand, and lay bricks.  But they don’t know what’s in the bag, and how it will damage the old structures they’re repairing or repointing.  Unfortunately, using what is today called “mason’s lime” (Type S hydrated) will not yield anything even similar to the lime mortar that was used to build our historic homes.

And using any portland cement based mortar to restore a structure built before 1900 is a big mistake.  Big mistake.

Portland cement is cheap.  It gets very hard very fast.  And it’s “waterproof”.

It’s also brittle, not flexible, and traps moisture in walls.

At Brick and Lime, we know the difference between natural lime and hydraulic lime, natural cement and portland cement.  Our masons are trained on correct mixing, correct installation, and how to achieve a close color match every time.

We are very careful in the removal of mortar not to damage the brick, and to reconstruct and repoint in such a way that the building will last another 100 years.

We source our lime mortar domestically, and it is the highest quality high-calcium lime available today.

Check out our other learning pages about lime mortar:  Why Lime?Lime Mortar Basics, and Lime vs. Portland Cement.

Also, visit Lancaster Lime Works to see more about the lime mortar we use, made right in Lancaster.