Home comes as one of the necessities of humans for their survival. A home offers shelter to the person from all the external agencies like climate conditions, thieves, and wild animals.
A person’s duty does not finish after just constructing a house. There are many other factors that need attention for its efficient functioning. A house is not defined only by its beautiful interior. Its structural strength is the most important parameter that defines its overall life.
For the house to serve you for a longer time without getting damaged or affected by the environment or other factors, it needs to be structurally safe and sound.
For the same purpose, you need to renovate your house on a regular basis. One such process involved in the renovation of houses is lime washing of the bricks.
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What Do You Mean by Limewash Brick?
Before you begin with the process of limewash, you should first know its significance and advantages. Limewash brick is an old process that includes the application of a mixture of powdered lime and water on the bricks to prevent them from attacked by pests, moisture, etc.
Not only does it provide structural strength to the bricks, but it also enhances the appeal of the bricks. It is also used on the stone and concrete walls.
Apart from that it acts as a protective layer on the brick, concrete, or stone walls. It is odorless and has antifungal properties; hence, it can even protect the bricks from the attack of pests.
You can also add colored pigments to the lime wash to give it a colorful look. Using earth pigments will give the house a unique look.
Nowadays, lime wash is also used for the restoration of historical buildings. Sometimes, it is also confused as an alternative to the painting of walls by paints.
Difference Between Lime Wash and Whitewash
Limewash is a considerably less expensive option to paint the exterior walls and to prevent the bricks from moisture and pests. It also is used to give a vintage look to the houses. It is even ideal for buildings that have many exterior walls. However, it is not a permanent option.
If you are looking for a permanent option, you can opt for whitewashing. Whitewashing has a smoother finish and a better appearance than the lime wash.
To paint the existing painted brick walls, you cannot opt for a brick wash; the only option available is whitewashing. Whitewashing has a better appearance than limewash.
Steps Involved in the Limewash
The lime wash process is an easy process and can be done without including experts. However, if you are new to this, then to avoid any issues, you should call the painter. To carry the lime wash brick process accurately, you need to follow the following steps carefully.
1. Clean the Bricks Properly
The very first step involved in the lime washing of brick is cleaning the brick properly with water.
It helps to remove any dust or dirt particles from the brick wall so that the line washing can be done efficiently. In addition to water, other ingredients like an all-purpose cleaner can also be used.
2. Ensure that the Bricks Are Dried
Before you start the lime washing process, ensure that the bricks of the walls are dry. If the bricks aren’t dry, wait until all the moisture evaporates.
However, if you live in a very hot area, then you can spray some water on the bricks to avoid early settling of the lime wash.
3. Mix the Ingredients in The Required Composition
For making the lime wash mixture, the two ingredients required are water and hydrated lime in the proportion of 80 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Slight variations can be done as per the regional variations.
4. Application of The Mixture on the Brick Walls
Once you are done with the preparation of the mixture, you can thoroughly apply it on the wall with the help of a paintbrush or a roller. Apply thin coats. The lime mixture should be applied in a vertical direction.
5. Allow the Bricks to Dry
After you have applied the mixture, leave it for some time so that it can dry. This period can vary from 3 to 5 days, depending upon the temperature and the humidity levels of the surroundings.
6. Re-Apply for the Final Finish
You can apply more than one coat to get a smooth finish. This reapplication of the lime would also ensure that all the shortcomings in the first coat have been covered up, and the bricks would be safe from any environmental attack for a longer time. Moreover, re-application also gives a final look.
One more thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the walls need to be limewashed again after a certain interval of time, generally after 5 years, to protect brick walls from any damage.
Hence do not live in the dilemma that once you have done the lime washing, it will remain forever. This process needs to be repeated after a certain period.
Advantages of Lime Wash Brick
The lime wash brick has the following advantages as compared to the other methods.
1. It is Affordable
Since it does not involve the use of any heavy tools or ingredients, it is quite an inexpensive yet effective way of preventing buildings from getting damaged.
2. It Can Be Used as an Alternative for Paint on the Exterior Walls
If you are not planning to whitewash the exterior walls, then you can simply consider limewashing them. It is a good alternative to paint.
3. Easy and Requires Low Maintenance
Lime washing bricks is an easy process as it does not require any supervision. Also, you do need to spend much on it every year. This process can be carried out once every 5 years.
4. Non-Toxic Method
It is non-toxic in nature as they are made from natural ingredients and, hence won’t cause any harm in the long run.
5. Protects from Bacteria and Fungal Infections
Since it is antibacterial and antifungal in nature, it also provides a shield against a wide variety of bacteria, fungi, etc.
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6. It Is a Reversible Process
If you are not happy with the final touches of the brick lime wash, then you can undo it. You can remove the lime wash from the bricks within 5 days of its application with the help of water.
While lime washing the bricks, there are certain precautions that should be followed for safety as well as for the successful completion of the process.
- Always wear some protective equipment while carrying out the procedure. Since lime is alkaline in nature, when it comes in contact with skin, it can cause harm to the eyes, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. It can also cause irritation in the eyes and skin rashes. So always wear gloves, masks, and eyes protective equipment while carrying out the process.
- For a uniform consistency, you should prepare the mixture of lime in large batches. When you frequently mix the ingredients, there would be a difference in their ratio and proportion each time, so a uniform consistency won’t be maintained.
- While applying more than one coat for final touches, make sure that there is at least a difference of one day between the application of both coatings. The second coat should be applied after the previous coat has dried.
- Do not use a sprayer to carry out the limewashing brick process. Though it might sound like a time-saving option, it won’t be an effective way to achieve a uniform look.
- You need to select the day for carrying out the lime washing very carefully. Select a day on which there is neither too much hot temperature nor chances of rain. You can go for a day when not much sunlight is there.
- Another thing that requires consideration is the consistency of the lime and the water solution. The ingredients should be mixed in such a proportion that the solution should neither be too thin nor too thick. It should be in a proportion that it can be easily applied on the wall.
- Before you start applying the lime mixture on the wall, moisten it a little so that the layer easily sets up on the wall. But do not soak the bricks completely in water.
Limewash brick is an easy and environment-friendly process that does not require any specific equipment to be carried out. It is one of the ancient techniques that emerged even before the paints.
It protects the brick walls from any external damage and also increases their aesthetic appearance at the same time.
You should be a little particular and careful with the essential requirements while carrying out the process to ensure the durability and longevity of the limewashed brick.
Also, carry out this process after a certain period, as it is not a forever-lasting process. To avoid any troubles during the whole process and to save yourself from any harm, do not forget to wear protective equipment and follow the required precautions.