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When lime mortar is used, the lime is the weaker element, and the mortar cracks in preference to the masonry.This results in much less damage, and is relatively simple to repair.Usually any dampness in the wall will cause the lime mortar to change colour, indicating the presence of moisture.The effect will create an often mottled appearance of a limewashed wall.With the introduction of ordinary portland cement (OPC) during the 19th century the use of lime mortar in new constructions gradually declined, largely due to portland's ease of use, quick setting, and high compressive strength.However the soft, porous properties of lime mortar provide certain advantages when working with softer building materials such as natural stone and terracotta.Bo Ossian Lindberg’s map of the medieval churches of Åland, 1997.
Thus any salt content in the water crystallises on the lime, damaging the lime and thus saving the masonry.
soft brick and many types of stone), and minor movement in such buildings is quite common due to the nature of the foundations.
This movement breaks the weakest part of the wall, and with OPC mortar this is usually the masonry.
It is less expensive to replace cracked mortar than cracked bricks.
Under cracking conditions, OPC breaks, whereas lime often produces numerous microcracks if the amount of movement is small.