Earthborn combats damp in listed building

After more than 60 years as a school Grade II Listed Moreton House in Bideford, north Devon, has been returned to family ownership.

The Phillips family is approximately half way into a ten year restoration project that is intended to provide a living as well as a gracious home. The 100 room property will offer both holiday apartments and function rooms.

Owner Helen Phillips said: “The modifications and maintenance carried out by the school over the years have been very practical rather than focusing on the historical features or restoration.”

“Cement repairs, vinyl paints and a sprayed-on acrylic render coating had caused a lot of damp to build up inside the walls, damaging the plaster and wood. In many places we found moisture trapped behind the paint.”

Helen added: “We replaced some of the external render with lime and to cover it we needed a highly breathable paint. We didn’t want to use limewash as it needs a lot of coats and regular reapplication. Fortunately, we discovered Earthborn’s Silicate Masonry Paint system which gives the breathability the walls need and it has a much longer life.”

The Ecopro Silicate Masonry System offers a durable, easy to use alternative to limewash and conventional masonry paints. It comprises a primer and paint, which form a chemical bond with the underlying mineral substrate. The result is a very hard wearing, weather resistant barrier. It offers the same high levels of breathability as limewash but is easier to use and lasts much longer. Its stated life span is up to 15 years.

Useful for any porous mineral surface such as stone, brick, concrete, render or cob, Ecopro Silicate Masonry Paint gives a classic matt finish that will not yellow with time. It even helps prevent algae growth and mould. The Phillips family used the paint on the stone window sills as well as the walls.

Internally, the walls are either lath and plaster or lime plastered stone, both of which are being repaired or renewed as necessary with lime plaster. Earthborn’s Claypaint has been specified to prevent future damp problems by ensuring the internal walls can breathe.

Claypaint is a unique, clay based emulsion. Its advanced technology maximises the natural properties of clay to create a high performance, highly breathable paint that covers exceptionally well and gives a distinctive, ultra matt finish.

Being free of oils and acrylics, Claypaint is virtually VOC free and does not give off any toxic emissions. That means it is safer for the health of building occupants as well as the environment. Its eco credentials include the stringent EU Ecolabel.

Claypaint is available in Earthborn’s signature palette of 72 shades, while the silicate masonry paint range has 24 colours. Bespoke colours can be developed through the nationwide network of Earthborn stockists such as Heritage Cob and Lime which supplied this project.

Photos: Mason Summers

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