BioLime Mortar Science Explained

Elastic by Nature

Made from ocean minerals, BioLime lime plasters and lime mortars have a unique ability to expand and contract, then self-heal. This occurs by its natural state of being made from oxygen-rich crystals (limestone) that have the ability to recrystallize, adjust and reform again. This is important during wall system expansion and contraction caused by seasonal freeze-thaw cycles and even new construction framing and foundation settlement.

Cement-based stucco cannot perform this way due to its chemical makeup of being highly rigid (or chemically bonded) and does not obtain the free-moving, air-entrained, crystalline mineral properties that pure limestone-based plasters and mortars offer. This is why cement stucco cracks and shears as a result.

BioLime shows a highly porous, crystal calcium matrix, a characteristic that facilitates the ability of a free-moving, highly breathable material.Cement displays a chemically-locked, non-porous, non-moisture-wicking matrix that is exposed to high levels of structural stress that leads to ultimate failure.
Electron microscope images of the structural composition of BioLime vs. cement

Breathable

The free moving, micro-open-pore structure of BioLime materials allow calcium carbonate (limestone) minerals to react with natural volcanic pozzolans to ensure an ever-adjusting (metamorphic), strong, breathable, hygrometric environment.

Perm ratings measure up to 122 Perms (ASTM D 1653).

Lower Energy Demands

These authentic finishes and mortars also offer excellent latent heat vaporization properties when compared to cement-based mortars and synthetic finishes such as elastomeric coatings and acrylic-based plasters. BioLime lime plasters and lime mortars are designed to permeate internal wall moisture caused by excessive heat and cold storage throughout yearly seasonal cycles and allow wall systems to constantly return to a dry state.

In contrast, conventional coating systems such as painted cement stucco, elastomeric and synthetic-based finishes trap moisture beneath the coating and transport it inside the wall cavity, leading to the potential growth of spore borne bacteria in interior wall board and HVAC systems.  The signs of non-permeable (non-breathable) exterior coatings are spalling, peeling, bubbling, delamination, and ultimately, overall failure.  This is caused by water/moisture vapor attempting to move outward faster than it can inward. While many are unaware, these issues commonly occur in all types of modern architecture, including high-end construction.


Proven Historically

Since thousands of years, structures like the Pantheon in Rome have harnessed the magic of limestone and are constantly wicking and permeating moisture through its exterior.

If you have ever walked into a structure like the Pantheon in Rome during peak summer you will notice that it feels naturally cool. Incredibly, this has been achieved without climate control systems and proves the ancient Romans have been “Smart Building” for the past 2000+ years.

The Pantheon, Rome

In Chapter V of the 10 books of Architecture, Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio documents the importance of limestone and the burning of limestone (lime), sand and volcanic additives (pozzolans) that result in “active” mortars that obtain metamorphic properties with the ability to self-heal and naturally dissipate heat and cold energy.

With this profound knowledge of minerals chemistry, the Romans constructed everything from roadways, foundations, aqueducts, buildings, fountains, pools and even gorgeously decorative finish plasters and paints.

Fontana di Trevi, Rome

Next Generation Stucco

BioLime is based on this ancient concept and offer the same advantages for New Construction and Historical architecture. Achieve truly sustainable architecture today by protecting your building with proven historical knowledge.

BioLime Finish ExtraFine
BioLime Finish ExtraFine – Naples, FL

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