The Preservative Properties of Lime
Godinton House has seen half a century of alterations, including many repairs carried out after the war when knowledge of lime mortar had died out. Pointing must be sacrificial to the bricks, so soft red bricks need a very soft mortar.
Regrettably past bricklayers have used cement based mortars for repairs in the lofts and parapets, then to add insult to injury, plastered the inside with a nice strong cement render in the misguided intention of ‘strengthening’ the wall.
The combined effect creates a waterlogged sponge out of the brickwork, causing built in timber to absorb moisture and slowly rot.
Some timber wall plates had reverted to dust, but amazingly the tenons of the ceiling joists they supported were largely intact. Once the new dried oak has been installed it will be encapsulated in non-hydraulic lime mortar to preserve it and wick away any moisture.