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do lime and clay really get along?

 
author
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Location: British Columbia Canada
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i would love to use your collective expertise here.

my experience has some answers but i wanna know what you all think.

lime plaster over clay plaster yay or nay?
lime mixed into light clay straw to help prevent bugs. thoughts?
what proportion of lime to clay?
like can i add my typical type s builders lime to my clay slip? or should i keep them separate until the straw mixing stage?

thanks hive mind.
 
pollinator
Posts: 240
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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In my experience lime plaster over earthenplaster works fine if there is good tooth to the earthen plaster (can't be crumbly or too smooth).

Mixing lime into earthen plaster is trickier. Too much lime makes the clay a less effective binder. I have found up to 10% lime (percentage of binder by volume) is generally o.k.

You could probably mix lime into the slip for light clay straw.  I have never done this.  I haven't had any issues with insects or other critters in the clay straw. You may be trying to solve a non-existent problem with this. Personally, I wouldn't do it, but It would probably work.

Type S lime is fine. For plaster I like to have it soaking for weeks before use, but that isn't necessary. Protect yourself when mixing lime.
 
molly murphy
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i also have never had a problem with critters unless the structure was unsound to begin with....
just trying to appease worried clients and want to make sure im not missing something. people are always so worried that their natural home will melt and / or become a giant ant hill.
thank you
 
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Investigate earth mortars or earth plasters
Its ok to use, that study will give you the mixes

earth plasters

earth and lime plasters
 
Posts: 76
Location: Arcata, CA zone 9b
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we are building with lsc and I used "lime water" in the straw slip mix (along with borax solution).
i've had six bags of type s lime slaking in a 55 gal poly drum, just lightly stirred the top and scooped out water, added to mix by smaller container (with borax.) I like the idea of an exothermic reaction happening in the packed straw to help dry things out but to be honest, our walls have been smelling musty...might be because of our humid and cool coastal climate. Time will tell...currently have the heat cranked up inside to try to drive the last bits of moisture out. have yet to put a moisture probe on it.

our designer went to the California straw builders meeting (a couple years ago) and recommended lime wash on clay plaster. he said lime plaster on clay plaster was not really advised

 
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