Breathability and breathable materials are mentioned on numerous occasions in many of our previous Blogs, and throughout our Website.

Breathability in Old Buildings in Cornwall

So, why do we talk about breathability so much? The answer is that it is an extremely important function of the building fabric and it is fundamental to the conservation of Historic Buildings in Cornwall.

Historically, buildings were constructed using traditional materials such as Cob, Stone and Brick. All of these materials have characteristics that enable moisture to enter the structure but also allow it to escape again, hence the term breathability. If the breathing process is hindered, then the building’s health and thermal performance is affected.

Breathability in Old Buildings in Cornwall

On many occasions, we are contacted by Clients whose property is suffering from Damp problems. There are many reasons why damp problems occur, but in our experience, it is usually down to the building not being able to breathe sufficiently. One of the most common causes of this failure is the cladding material used to cover the Cob, Stone or Brick substrate, usually non-breathable cement-based mortar applications and/or non-breathable paint applications.

Using non-breathable materials on a traditionally built property can lead to the build up of moisture within the structure. This moisture build-up can then lead to Damp and cause failings within the plaster/render/paint work and ultimately deterioration of the building fabric.

Breathability in Old Buildings in Cornwall

Lime applications are a breathable material, and rendering, plastering or pointing with a Lime mortar will assist with the breathability function of your Historic Building in Cornwall and help to limit the damp within the walls.

Lime Render

Breathability in Old Buildings in Cornwall

Lime Plaster

Breathability in Old Buildings in Cornwall

Lime Pointing

Breathability in Old Buildings in Cornwall

When a wall has been newly Lime plastered or Lime rendered and painting is required, then the paint system needs to be breathable, e.g. Mineral Paint or Lime Paint, or the breathability of the walls will be compromised.

Breathability in Old Buildings in Cornwall

For more information on damp and breathability problems please have a look at our Damp Limitations website page.

If you are concerned about the breathability of your old building in Cornwall or are having issues with Damp, please Contact Us to discuss your concerns.

Breathability Specialists Cornwall – Damp in Old Buildings Cornwall – Breathable Material Specialists Cornwall – Historic Building Specialists Cornwall

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Leslie Cornell
Unit 13/14 St Austell Bay Business Park
Par Moor Road
St Austell
PL25 3RF

Tel: 01726 337577
Mob: 07851 153 683