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FEASIBILITY REPORT: USE OF LIME MORTAR IN THE WALL

DETERIORATIONS OF DON BOSCO TECHNICAL COLLEGE-OLD BUILDING

I. INTRODUCTION

1.1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this report is to evaluate the feasibility of using Lime Mortar in the wall
deteriorations of Don Bosco Technical College-Old Building.

1.2. PROBLEM

The adobe stone walls of the Don Bosco Technical College-old Building have been deteriorated
for its long span of existence which is almost to 300 years. There are deteriorations like cracks,
rising damp, surface erosion and etc. in the surface of a single stone and the crack or hang space
in between the stones. The hang space between stones is the most seen deterioration in the wall.
It has been like a trash bin where the debris is being inserted that causes the destruction of the
aesthetic appeal of the wall. This deterioration obviously exists for long due to many trashes
found. It seems like it doesn’t undergo maintenance yet. Before the destruction of aesthetic and
structural components of the walls, the deteriorated parts must be solved immediately.

As time passes by, there are many possible factors that can cause the destruction of the subject.
The longer the time it will stay in the same condition, the greater the possibility for the building
to have more and huge deterioration. At this point, the proposed solution of using lime mortar
needs to evaluate for its viability to solve the problem.

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1.3. SCOPE

This report provides an assessment or evaluation to the proposed solution of using lime mortar.
Lime mortar as the exact solution to the problem of deteriorations in the wall of Don Bosco
Technical College-Old Building. Lime mortar will be evaluated according to its flexibility,
permeability, durability, workability and compressive strength. Other considerations like cost,
health and safety issues are excluded in this report.

II. DISCUSSION

2.1. FLEXIBILITY

Explanation

Flexibility, defined as the elastic modulus, is the ability of mortars to accommodate stresses
caused by building movements without excessive cracking. It refers to the measurement of a
material's ability to flex or bend. Flexible materials are better able to absorb impact without
breaking. Stone or brick laid with lime can move as the earth moves through changing seasons,
without cracking the structure or causing instability. There is no need for expansion joints.

Data

Lime mortars have an inherent flexibility which hard-setting cement mortars do not. Small scale

movements caused by subsidence or settling and thermal movement can generally be

accommodated. Hairline cracks in lime mortars chemically seal themselves, and are often

described as being ‘self- healing’. Cement mortars do not have any of these characteristics and

will fracture, fail and encourage more moisture to enter the walls. Over time this can further

accelerate the decay of adjacent stonework. Lime, therefore, enhances the ability of the

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brickwork to accommodate stresses caused by building movement and cyclical changes without

excessive cracking. Lime mortar, unlike in cement mortars is able to absorb a high degree of

deformation (high flexibility). The flexibility of masonry is an aspect with no great focus.

Movements in masonry are often handled by conservative rules‐of‐thumb valid for all types of

masonry not taking the flexibility into account.

Interpretation

Lime mortar’s flexibility prevents cracks in the masonry as it allows for movement in the
building from the impact from natural occurrence that will lead it to be deteriorated again.

2.2. DURABILITY

Explanation

Durability refers to the ability of a structure to maintain substantially its original appearance,

strength, and soundness for many years. Lime mortars are very durable, lasting for centuries, yet

their behaviour and properties evolve and change over these long periods. In carefully looking at

this, there is--contrary to the "standard' expectation that "stronger and stiffer" materials are the

most durable--that "weaker and softer" lime mortars often prove the most durable because they

permit flexibility. This offers promise not only for the preservation of historic buildings, but also

for the development of more enduring construction techniques.

Data

The reduced water penetration achieved with lime-based mortars can minimize the risk of freeze
thaw damage. The inclusion of lime will also help to resist some forms of sulfate attack.

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Together, combined sulfate/freeze thaw attack can be very damaging to masonry structures. Until
the late 20th Century, almost all masonry buildings used lime-based mortar. Its durability and
long term performance are demonstrated by the myriad of historic buildings that are found in our
towns and cities. Lime-based mortars perform well on the different durability aspects of
masonry: freeze-thaw resistance (due to their permeability), water leakage, and resistance to
SO2(sulphate attack).

Interpretation

Lime mortar is a proven product to be used for saving the historic buildings from wall
deterioration not just in the appearance but can be into the components of the based adobe stone.
This is not just an ordinary and on the spot material for treatment but a tested and used for many
years. It can hold on to the base unit for 10 years or more.

2.3. PERMEABILITY

Explanation

Permeability means that vapour can pass through mortar at an almost imperceptible level, which
is a healthier option for inhabited buildings as it regulates humidity. Permeability is the overall
movement of fluids throughout a material. The movement of fluids through mortar has an impact
on its durability.It is this permeability, or ‘breathing’, which helps to keep the building dry inside
without a damp proof course or chemical treatments.

Data

Two tests were conducted to determine permeability: the porosity and the absorption tests. These
enabled to quantify the volume of pore space effective in transporting fluids and the total amount
of water the mortar is capable of holding. Lime mortar is permeable and allows evaporation of
rising and penetrating damp from within the wall. Lime mortared and rendered stone buildings

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have a natural ability to both hold and evaporate moisture from the walls, thus maintaining a
state of balance with the surrounding atmosphere. Lime mortars and harled (rendered) surfaces
can therefore absorb and evaporate moisture freely. In less permeable masonry, such as walls
built of granite, the function of the lime mortar joint becomes more critical to allow for the free
passage of moisture. Permeable lime mortar allows the moisture that has penetrated the
brickwork to escape through the joint and not through the brick unit. Although older brick is
quite weatherproof, this sacrificial type of mortar allows the brick to suffer the abuse caused by
the elements and stand a better chance of being preserved.

Interpretation

Lime mortar is permeable enough that keep the structure dry inside without any chemical
treatments.

2.4. WORKABILITY

Explanation

Workability is the sum of the application properties of a mortar which give its suitability. Lime is
well known for its ability to improve the plasticity and workability of mortar. While providing a
high degree of cohesiveness it spreads easily under the trowel. The more workable ability of a
solution is, the more viable the product is to use.

Data

Cohesiveness reduces the wastage produced by material sliding off the trowel. The improved
setting properties of mortar containing lime allow adequate time for tooling up the joints as work
proceeds. Lime mortars are cleaner to work with, as a result of being plastic and more workable,

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and their appearance and colour blend harmoniously with a mortar of the same composition. In
contrast, common cement-based mortars produce a grisly result on older structures.

Certainly, the work could be made easier, and consequently cheaper, by using a Type K mortar
comprised of sand, lime and white Portland cement; however, the better option is to use only a
lime and sand mortar on buildings that have been constructed using such materials.

The same isthe case if the mixing time is extended (15‐20minutes) when using dry hydrated lime
in the mortar. The improved workability of lime‐based mortars ensures a higher quality ofthe
finished masonry, resulting in better bonding between mortar and bricks and thus better
resistance against water penetration.The sand grading and the amount of filler also play a role as
well as the use of binders witha high specific surface. With well graduated sand, the amount of
voids among the sand grains is smaller compared to sand where a great part of the grains have
equal size.

Interpretation

Lime mortar has a strong workability which ensures a higher quality with its capability of being
a binder that makes it to be commonly used in every structure whether heritage or non-heritage.
The general conclusion is that lime‐based mortars have superior workability compared with
cement mortars where no admixtures are used.

2.5. COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH

Explanation

The compressive strength is the maximum value of mortar failure determined by exerting a force
in compression. The flexural strength is the failure stress of a mortar determined by exerting a
force in flexure on three points. Inappropriate mortar strength relative to the units being mortared
together is a common cause of cracking. Softer lime-based mortars offer greater elasticity and

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help to accommodate minor movements and volume changes which reduce the need for
movement joints. Lime based mortars are more flexible and can absorb a high degree of
deformation before breakage. Deformable masonry structures are proven to be more durable than
brittle ones when subjected to normal stresses such as thermal movements and also unforeseen
imposed deformation from other sources, ranging from differential settlement over time, to earth
tremors.

Data

The specification in the standard fortesting compressive strength of mortars after 28 days are not
suitable for evaluating the mechanical properties of lime mortars e.g. the water content in the
mortar need to be below 7 % before the lime start to carbonate. Lime mortars obtain their
compressive strength slowly compared to cement based mortars but in the test method the same
curing time has to be used for all mortars (28 days).

The compressive strength of a mortar is tested by a standardized method developed for testing
the quality of cement, which means that only the effect of hydraulic propertiesis tested. In the
test method no account is taken of any influence of the suction behaviour of the masonry units.
The W/C ratio used in the test is determined by the mortar preparation. The mortar compressive
strength has a low effect of on masonry compressive strength. In EC 6 the following equation
fk=Kfb0,7fm0,3 is given for calculating the masonry compressive strength fk from the brick
compressive strength fb and the mortar compressive strength fm. A factor 10 in the mortar
compressive strength leads to a factor 2 in the masonry compressive strength.

Interpretation

The inferior compressive strength of lime‐based mortars compared with cement mortars is often
more than compensated by the positive properties of lime‐based mortars. These include better
bonding between mortar and bricks and a more permeable pore structure. The strength
development of lime‐based mortars is dependent on curing time, binder‐aggregate ratio and

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porosity. As lime mortar has a compressive strength, it will hold on to the base strongly for sure
and for long.

III. CONCLUSION

3.1. SUMMARY

The feasibility for the use of lime mortar in the wall deterioration of Don Bosco Technical
College-Old Building was assessed based on flexibility, durability, permeability, workability and
compressive strength. In terms of flexibility, lime mortar accommodates stresses in building
movements and prevents cracks in the masonry. The lime mortar’s durability assures the long
span of effectiveness or hold on to the historic wall for long years. It is also permeable to let
moisture pass through it to avoid moisture’s stock that may cause to leakage. Lime mortar’s
effectiveness was being evaluated in its workability and compressive strength that speaks about
the composition which defines and uplifts lime mortar more than other solution or product.

3.2. CONCLUSIONS

Lime mortar is a feasible constructional product for the treatment of wall deteriorations in the
Don Boco Technical College-Old Building based on its feasibility, durability, permeability,
workability and compressive strength.

3.3. RECOMMENDATION

The proposed solution of using lime mortar for the treatment of wall deteriorations in Don Bosco
Technical College-Old Building should be considered a viable solution with respect to its
feasibility, durability, permeability, workability and compressive strength. Nevertheless,
supplementary studies should be performed and supplementary researches should be conducted

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to evaluate the feasibility of lime mortar in terms of cost, health and safety considerations and
benefits.

IV. CONTACT

In case there will be concerns or queries on this report, contact either or both: Danielle Anne E.
Reodica, Don Bosco Technical College Architecture Student at 09057313563 or email:
danielleannereodica@yahoo.com and Mary Gabrielle M. Reyes, Don Bosco Technical College
Architecture Student at 09152332681 or email: goofy_mags@yahoo.com.

V. DOCUMENTATION/SOURCES

European Lime Association (EuLA) and Danish Technological Institute


(DTI), “Bibliography lime in mortars”, 2010.
European Lime Association (EuLA) (2010). Hydrated lime- a fundamental partner for high
performance, durable and sustainable mortar.