Solving the Mortar Problem
In 1982, after graduating with distinction from the Masonry Program of Williamson Trade School, our founder, Andy deGruchy, began practicing his trade. It did not take him long to notice that the Portland Cement-based mortars and other inferior lime products sold in the US and being used to repair historic masonry structures were consistently failing.
Repairs using inferior materials often failed prematurely resulting in work needing to be redone in as little as 10 years. Even if a repair lasted longer, it fell far short of the 100+ -year service life attained from properly installed lime mortars which were historically used worldwide.
A return to traditional materials with a proven track record of service was needed.
After research and networking with other conservators and conservation institutes, Andy was introduced to the Saint-Astier® Company of Perigueux, France. For 170 years, Saint-Astier® has not deviated from their time-honored methods of preparing lime. To this day, their commitment to traditional methodology continues to produce dependable building limes for various types of construction and historic masonry repairs. The iconic nature of Europe’s lasting historic architecture inspired Andy to bring the same great performing materials to the US.
Wanting to use the best and most appropriate materials available, Andy’s company, deGruchy Masonry Restoration, began using Saint-Astier® Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) for their restoration projects. This lime, with its unique chemistry, was procured in three strength grades known as NHL 2, NHL 3.5, and NHL 5. Soon after, to meet the need and demand to further serve and supply the entire masonry industry with these world-class materials, LimeWorks.us was born.
LimeWorks.us launched in 1999 and joined with deGruchy Masonry Restoration to bring their exceptional know-how and understanding of lime-based materials and their effective applications to the restoration and sustainable building community.
Today, Andy deGruchy’s work of almost 40 years, including that of LimeWorks.us, is respected in the Americas as the authority on lime mortars, plasters, mineral paints, historic masonry restoration, and construction using “green” earth-conscious materials.