Masonry Restoration Using Natural Hydraulic Lime

masonry restoration natural hydraulic lime wall Masonry Restoration Using Natural Hydraulic Lime
Do you have a masonry restoration project and are looking for a unique exterior or interior finish for your home that’s naturally beautiful? Put aside that wood siding or hand-cut stone and opt for the smooth finish of Natural Hydraulic Lime. This wonder product achieves a look similar to stucco, but with more of an earthy appeal.
Spanish villa, contemporary beach house or modern family room – using natural hydraulic lime (or NHL for short) is an incredibly unique way to create a durable wall.
What Is It?
Without all of the usual technical mumbo jumbo, natural hydraulic lime is sort of like cement but is made with lime. It is truly all natural, containing basically water and lime mixed to a spreadable consistency that dries into a solid state.
Some products come with additives, but pure hydraulic lime has everything going for it. The material has a built-in resistance to bacteria and plant growth. That means mold, mildew and moss won’t be a problem. NHL won’t break down from exposure to salt either, making it ideal for coastal and marine applications.


How Does It Go Up?
Here’s the bad news. Natural hydraulic lime is not the best DIY project around. Unless you have the skills to plaster your home well, this project calls for a professional.
A durable surface will require at least two–and more likely three–coats of NHL plaster. To properly cure the product, you’ll need to leave 7 to 14 days between each coat; not the fastest method of finishing your home.
But remember that hydraulic lime mortar is completely recyclable, considering it is made of a naturally occurring material and can be used as fertilizer, aggregate and even in wastewater treatment.
Other Green Benefits
There are no contaminants in NHL and there is zero risk of pollution from the material. Saint Astier’s Natural Hydraulic Lime was actually awarded the LABELVERT EXCELL in France for excellence in the field of green building materials. Vive le NHL!
The manufacturing process is also green, using only one quarter of the energy it takes to produce the same amount of cement. Need an added bonus to convince you? Hydraulic lime also reabsorbs carbon dioxide while curing, which cuts back on its footprint even more.
This isn’t new technology. NHL has been in use for over 150 years and has been green for that whole time. Not a bad history and a great choice for the exterior and interior finishes on your home.
Photo courtesy of TransMineral USA

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timothy dahl profile Masonry Restoration Using Natural Hydraulic Lime

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.