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Limestrong: A Beautiful and Impressive Hydraulic Lime Option for the Straw Bale Movement

We want to share with you all how impressed we are by a lime plaster that is really ideal for straw bale wall systems: Limestrong Build™

Written by Gabriella

We want to share with you all how impressed we are by a lime plaster that is really ideal for straw bale wall systems: Limestrong Build™. One of the great benefits of this lime plaster is that it is sourced entirely in the US, greatly minimizing the carbon footprint of shipping lime plaster from Europe, and lowering the financial costs for the customer. It also creates a stunningly beautiful and long-lasting  plaster finish. The folks at Limestrong describe their products as a “fusion of those old-world materials and methods and an enlightened interest in sustainable practices and responsible living.”

Ryan Chivers, owner and master formulator at Limestrong came on the plastering scene focused on straw bale construction, so he truly has created a customized product that’s ideal for the unique nature of our wall systems. He’s passionate about what he’s doing and it shows! We appreciate his commitment to creating a lime plaster option for the straw bale community that’s 100% sourced in the US.

Limestrong Build™ is a “pozzolanic hydraulic lime (PHL) plaster made from high-purity lime, highly-reactive white pumice pozzolan, and aggregate.” It can be applied with a hawk & trowel, or with a sprayer (such as those used in conventional stucco applications).

 

One of the aspects we really appreciate on their website is their calculation tool to help you estimate how much plaster and pigment you’ll need on your project. They even have PDFs that help you fill out the calculation tool accurately. Limestrong prides itself on having excellent customer service too so if you have any questions along the way (from product questions, to materials calculations, to application, etc), they encourage you to reach out to them via phone, text, email, or through their online form.  You’ll also find quite a few easy-to-read and watch how-to resources to help ensure your plaster job comes to a professional looking finish. Even down to the recommended list of tools for various application processes.

And oh my the color options are stunning! Limestrong draws its color palette from eight mineral pigments and combines them in various combinations, creating many unique color options.  All their colors are UV resistant and color fast and range from off-white to options in the dark color spectrum. You can even create your own custom color which could certainly help if you’re trying to color match an existing finished wall.

Below is a list of some of the benefits of Limestrong Build™

BREATHABILITY. Limestrong Build™ doesn’t trap water in the wall because it releases moisture by allowing it to pass through the plaster. This is a vital requirement for longevity of a straw bale wall system. It’s also appropriate for earthen cob/adobe, HempCrete, and some Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) systems.

FLEXIBILITY. Cement based stuccos are notorious for being rigid and eventually cracking. Lime plasters however, is supple, moving with the subtle shrinking and expansions of a structure.

AUTOGENOUS HEALING. Limestrong is “self-healing” and amazingly can repair itself at a microscopic level as it cures, allowing small cracks and voids to close up. Pretty amazing, right?!

STRENGTH. Though Limestrong Build™ is remarkably supple, it is also incredibly strong, gaining more strength as it goes through a double curation process.

DURABILITY. At the top of anyone’s list of plaster quality must-haves is durability because few things are more depressing than investing money and time into a plaster that fails in time. Limestrong Build™, when applied correctly will last for the life of the building. One important note, and this goes for any exterior finish really, is that the plaster should be protected from direct (and frequent) contact with water. This is approached in the design stage by creating a structure with deep gable ends and generous eaves.

EASE OF APPLICATION. Limestrong Build™ lends itself really well to the DIY builder and can be applied with just a hawk & trowel.

 

A LIMESTRONG BUILD RENDER not only performs beautifully, it stands as an environmentally sound alternative to synthetic stucco and other Portland cement-based products. Unlike the energy-intensive process to produce Portland cement clinker, hydrated lime is obtained by lower-temperature firing. As for the pozzolan component, our pozzolan is made by mining and crushing an abundant, clean, white pumice (a safe amorphous silica) created by volcanic events and purified by centuries of relentless wave action in an ancient inland sea that once covered parts of Utah, Nevada and Idaho.

 

Two primary LSB products are available. Limestrong Build Binder is bagged and sold as a binder-only product, greatly reducing shipping and packaging costs for job-sized quantities, as the heavy sand component is sourced locally. Limestrong Build Finish plasters are an all-in-one, ready-to-mix, thin-coat finish product that can combined with color pigments (like those of our Limestrong Color System) or soft-colored with a limewash.

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