Property Restoration

When undertaking a restoration, it is important to use - as far as possible - the same materials used in the original build. This will ensure that post-restoration problems are minimised. RJM always endeavour to replace like for like. Whatever the period of the house, RJM will match the original lime plaster or Lime Pointing. 

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External Problems

With many old properties, there has most often been some sort of attempt to try to stop the damp coming in from the external walls, either by using a cement render or by painting with a waterproof paint or a waterproof coating. All these things are a complete waste of time and money, as water will always find a way into the wall where it will become trapped by the non-breathable paint or render. The removal of these coatings will be the first step towards returning the building to a dry, comfortable state. If the covering is paint we can remove it, restore the brick and re-point using lime as the bricks will breathe on their own providing the pointing is done with lime mortar. The lime will draw moisture from the bricks. When the pointing is done using cement the reverse happens, and the bricks rather than the render take in the moisture, damaging the bricks over time. If walls are cement rendered this must be removed and replaced with a lime render, as the bricks will be damaged during the removal process.

Boxhill Beam replacementBox hill timber

Use The Right Materials

Most often the plaster that is used is modern gypsum and sand and cement. The use of these materials on an older property can trigger
problems and should not be used. We understand that restoring a property can be expensive, so material specification should be well thought out before the work starts. We have found that the walls in the property are the most important thing to keep original, as the lime plaster has acted to keep the walls breathing and dry. The use of modern plasters or paints give rise to problems, usually starting at ground level, and around chimney stacks if the fire is not in use. As the walls have no damp course, the moisture builds up from the ground and leaches through into the internal walls.

In many cases where we are called in to address problems, we see evidence that some sort of damp proofing has been applied. This will only hide the problem, hold the damp in the walls and make it climb higher, increasing the moisture content in the walls dramatically. This will make the walls feel cold in winter due to heat loss. In extreme cases the water trapped in the wall will freeze causing bricks to shatter and crumble. Letting the walls breathe will dry them out, making the room feel warm and fresh.


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