Rammed Earth continued.....

 

So as our latest project moves forward and we complete the removal of the original Lime stucco I thought I would share some thoughts. As you can see in these pictures, what you see on the surface is not necessarily what you will see underneath. One of the major benefits of having these traditional Lime Stucco systems, is they will tell you visually if there are any potential problems within the structure of the building they are covering. If you take a close look for example at the pictures above and at the bottom of this page which shows an area around a Window casing, you can see that the cracks now visible underneath the Lime stucco are really quite intrusive compared to the more subtle signs shown in the stucco before removal. Its this indication that can prevent major issues evolving and potentially compromising your buildings structural integrity.

 

This is not the same for Acrylic or Cement based Stucco, this is due to the strength of these materials and there over engineering there would be no indication or sign of a problem until it is potentially to late and your building has developed some major structural issues.  Another point to mention on this project is, unfortunately 95% of the underlying failures we found were caused by poor repairs done in the past using inappropriate hard materials like the Cement or Acrylic based products i mentioned.

 

One of the things to remember in all of this is that Exterior Plasterwork began long long ago as a sacrificial coating. Its main use was as a protective layer that would ware as time went by, protecting the substrate materials it covered and giving indication of areas of the wall system that may need attention before it became to late. All traditional materials used in a buildings construction worked harmoniously with each other and each had its job and its place in the structural envelope. Now in todays construction industry this knowledge and understanding has been lost and gives way to the faster, harder more impermeable materials. New more involved systems are created, they then fail, then they are improved, then they fail, then they are improved and on and on and on. Does it not make more sense to use materials that will allow a structure to last 3000 years, than those that will only last 30?