Lime Plaster in Philippines

I learned about the use of Hydrated Lime while researching building methods for Earthbag Building. You can learn more about hydrated lime here

Hydrated Lime powder has a number of uses, including food - which surprised me! However, I wanted to create Lime Plaster for the walls of the earthbag house I was working on. This is made by mixing one part lime putty (lime hydrate and water) and 3 parts sand and then applied like concrete to walls etc. The advantages are its breathability - if it takes in moisture, it releases it, unlike concrete. It is more eco-friendly, it absorbs carbon dioxide as it is curing, and it has other benefits e.g. it is a natural bug deterrent and it has anti fungal properties.

The building industry uses lime hydrate to add to concrete mortar to make it more workable, to stop cracking and to delay the curing somewhat. So I thought it would be easy to obtain. If you are in Manila, there is a large factory, HT Mining, up in Valenzuela selling it for 480 pesos per 40kg bag, but in Puerto Galera? not a chance, no one has ever heard of it and the builders merchants don't supply it.

Now if you try to find HT Mining using Waze you will end up in a sari-sari store miles away.
Co-ordinates are
14°44'15.46"N , 121° 0'9.35"E
It can also be found here on Google Earth
and the contact number is (02) 355 6133

So I bought a few bags and took them down by car over the ferry. I thought maybe 10 bags would be enough to do the lime plaster for the walls and to do limewashing instead of painting. Cheaper, looks better and again more eco friendly. Turns out it would have needed a lot more so I had to use concrete mortar to do the walls inside and out...not exactly what I wanted, but if doing another building in Luzon, I would use lime mortar as it would be easy to transport.

If building bottle walls, it would be better to use a mix of 1 lime putty, 1 portland cement and 6 parts sand, so the walls do not crack.

Here are a couple of pictures of lime putty we made up and kept in big bins for 6 weeks before we started using it. We then mixed it with 3 parts sand and then started throwing at the walls using home made harling trowels. (We showed a picture to our friendly welder and he threw a couple together for free)

Lime Putty

Lime Plaster on wall

Harling Tools

mark vernon

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