Types of Masonry Binders
About Lime
The Historic and Sustainable Mortar and Plaster Binder

For millennia, lime has been utilized as a binder in historic mortars and plasters, owing to its primary component, calcium carbonate (limestone). Lime’s exceptional properties, such as high vapor permeability, make it a preferred material for repairing traditional vintage structures and constructing new sustainable buildings. Its capacity to allow masonry systems to breathe by channeling moisture back to the atmosphere instead of trapping it within the core of walling prevents mold, rot, and poor indoor air quality.

Lime’s high modulus of elasticity helps structures withstand slight movements without stressing or cracking a whole wall system or individual masonry units. Additionally, lime is resistant to sulfate attack, making it a superior building material when paired with the right application. Incorporating the proper lime into a building campaign has a minimal cost impact, providing long service life and a positive environmental impact. Lime is also considered to be nearly carbon-neutral, requiring low embodied energy to produce, and absorbing CO2 from the air as it cures.

To create an external shelter for a sustainable building or as a crucial component of a building’s internal plaster and paint, consider lime as the ideal material.

LimeWorks.us Lime Guides

For more detailed information about Lime, its use in historic preservation, and sustainable building use the links below.

Types of Masonry Binders


What is Natural Hydraulic Lime?

NHL VS Cement

Comparison Chart Lime vs Cement

The Elasticity Moduli and Flexural Strength in mortar are crucial. Higher Elasticity Moduli indicate increased brittleness, while higher elasticity allows mortar to deflect and recover from expansion and contraction. Ordinary Portland Cement has similar expansion and contraction coefficients as steel.

The relationship between final Flexural strength and Compressive strength in mortar is significant. NHL mortars have a smaller performance gap between these numbers compared to Ordinary Portland Cement, which promotes durability. Additionally, Ecologic Mortar has a remarkable vapor exchange rate compared to cement-based mortars.

3 Tips

Three tips for improving masonry repairs


Advice about locally available (Non-Hydraulic) Hydrated Lime

Masonry Pores

Masonry Pore Structure

Past and Future

St. Astier Natural Hydraulic Lime for Historic Restoration, Conservation, and New Build Projects

NHL Green

Saint-Astier is a Green Building Material

Saint Astier 300x225 (1)

A thorough technical explanation on why to consider using only St. Astier NHL

Saint Astier 300x225 (1)

A summary of why to use Saint-Astier Pure and Natural Hydraulic Lime


Chicago Tribune Washington Post Interview of Andy deGruchy, LimeWorks.us Founder