All pre-1900 buildings were built with lime and should therefore ideally be pointed with lime too. Cement pointing is very hard and because of its lack of flexibility it will crack over time when used in old properties, as the walls move and try to breathe. Once cement pointing cracks it allows water to get into the structure of the building, without letting it escape again or evaporate. This leads to damp problems and can result in severe structural issues if not recognised or addressed.
At Lime Repair we have plenty of experience in removing cement pointing and replacing it with lime. It is a job that must be done with great care, so the other building materials such as brick or flint are not damaged.
Normally we do a dissolution test first to analyse what aggregates were used in the original pointing by taking a chunk of the original or existing lime mortar. We can then match these using aggregates, ashes and chalk to achieve the right colour and texture, recapturing the original look of the property.
Lime pointing benefits from a colourful, soft-looking, textured finish as opposed to cement which tends to be grey and hard. Lime pointing can handle movement through the seasons and as the building absorbs and releases moisture, so if it is done properly it should be more-or-less maintenance free.