Lime Torching in Yorkshire

One of the most distinctive features of the Yorkshire landscape is its abundance of historic Churches and other heritage buildings. Many of these buildings are hundreds of years old, and their roofs are often covered with lime mortar. A process known as lime torching is carried out to help prevent condensation and regulate the moisture levels within a roof. Lime torching is applied to the roof tiles while hot; using it hot gives it a better grip and reduces shrinkage within the mortar.

While lime torching may not be a familiar term, it is a vital part of the heritage preservation process. By regulating the moisture levels within roof space, lime torching helps prevent mould growth and mildew. In addition, it helps to protect the roof timbers from rot and infestations, ensuring that these historic buildings can be enjoyed for generations to come.

When it comes to listed buildings, historic roofing methods should be used to maintain their listed status. One such method is lime torching, which uses lime mortar on the underside of tiles or slates. The lime mortar helps to keep them in place and prevents strong winds from getting under the tiles and causing damage.

Over time, lime torching can crumble and break, which can be alarming if it falls during the middle of the night. Although it may not cause leaks, missing torching can contribute to other problems with the roof. Damp, rot and infestations are just some issues water vapour can cause. As such, it’s vital to ensure that listed buildings are correctly cared for to preserve their heritage.

Lime Torching Repairs on Listed Buildings in Yorkshire

Listed buildings are protected by law, meaning that the appropriate authorities must approve any changes to the roof. In many cases, listed buildings are required to maintain their original features, including their roof. Replacing a listed roof is, therefore, a delicate process and one that must be carried out with care and precision. One of the most critical aspects of listed roof renewal is the choice of material. In many cases, lime torching is replaced with a breathable membrane. This is because most roofers do not have the skills to carry out the torching process correctly.

It is important to note that breathable membranes do not regulate moisture levels effectively. They can cause water vapour to form on the tiles. Lime torching absorbs the water vapour around it. This water vapour is drawn back out as air passes over the mortar. As such, it is often seen as a more effective way of preserving a listed building’s roof. In addition to choosing a suitable material, it is also essential to ensure that the roof is adequately ventilated. This ensures that water vapour cannot build up over time.

Lime torching is seen as a more effective way of preserving a listed structure. This is because it helps to regulate moisture levels and prevents water vapour from forming on tiles. When picking a lime mortar for torching repairs, it is crucial to choose one made from traditional materials. These materials are designed specifically for use on listed buildings. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your roof remains in good condition for many years.

Lime Torching for Traditional Buildings in Yorkshire

Before the introduction of roofing felt, lime torching was the most popular method of weatherproofing while also regulating the humidity within a traditional roof. Lime torching involves coating the roof tiles and timbers with a mixture of lime, crushed chalk and coal grit. Pozzolans could be added, such as fuel ash or wood ash mixed with goat’s hair.

The torching mortar then dries to form a porous surface. However, lime torching is a time-consuming and labour-intensive process which takes time to achieve a good level of coverage. As a result, roofing felt quickly became the preferred option for many builders and homeowners. Despite its widespread use, lime torching is still considered by many to be the best way to weatherproof a roof while also regulating the humidity levels within the home. For this reason, lime torching is still used by some builders committed to heritage preservation.

When it comes to historic preservation, one of the most important considerations is the roof. The roof protects the rest of the building from the elements, and as such, it is subject to a lot of wear and tear. One of the most common problems with roof felts is that they can trap water vapour behind them, causing the joists and timbers to sweat. Trapped moisture can lead to the appearance of mould, which can cause severe damage to the structure of the building. Lime torching is a process that helps to regulate humidity by absorbing excess moisture. This moisture is then released through the gaps between the tiles, preventing it from causing damage to the roof.

Church Roof Repairs Using Lime Torching in Yorkshire

Churches are a vital part of our national heritage. They are widespread throughout the country and connect us to our past. Churches represent a time when ancestors gathered together to worship and often contain important historical artefacts. Churches also provide a sense of community and can be a focal point for social gatherings. However, Churches require regular maintenance and repair to stay in good condition. The Yorkshire Lime Company is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the region, and we have the qualifications and experience to carry out traditional masonry repairs using locally sourced materials where possible. Our years of experience give us the knowledge and ability to provide other traditional building services like heritage brickwork, lime pointing, lime torching and much more. We are committed to protecting the area’s heritage, ensuring that it is preserved for future generations.

Church roof repairs. Lime torching using hot lime mortar at Westgate chapel a grade II* building in Wakefield

Why Choose The Yorkshire Lime Company for Lime Torching in Yorkshire?

At The Yorkshire Lime Company, we provide professional building conservation services to help maintain historic buildings and structures. Our services include hot lime pointing, lime torching, and traditional masonry repairs. We also provide an assessment and consultation service, which includes mortar analysis and specification. We work on many historic buildings, from churches and castles to stately homes and manor houses. Our goal is to help ensure that these critical pieces of our history are preserved for future generations. If you have a historical building needing conservation, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and develop a customised plan to help preserve your unique piece of history.

Some of the main reasons why we believe that you should choose us for

  • We offer a range of professional building services
  • We have years of heritage industry experience
  • We’re well known across Yorkshire
  • We’re passionate about what we do
  • We’re competitively priced with other masons across the UK

The above points are just a few main reasons why we believe you should choose us for traditional building repair services in Yorkshire. For more information about us or any of our building services, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Contact The Yorkshire Lime Company for Lime Torching in Yorkshire.

If you live in Yorkshire or the surrounding areas, you are undoubtedly aware of the rich history around you. Whether the imposing castles and stately homes dot the landscape or the countless monuments and museums that tell the stories of centuries gone by, there is no shortage of reminders of the past. And while these reminders of days gone by are certainly part of what makes Yorkshire such a special place, they also require a bit of upkeep from time to time. For example, many of the region’s listed buildings need lime plastering, lime torching, or lime pointing to maintain their structural integrity. In addition, masonry repairs are often required to repair cracks and prevent further deterioration. By ensuring that these historical landmarks are well-maintained, we can preserve them for future generations to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Lime torching is a process in which a mixture of quick lime, crushed chalk, and coal grit is used to coat the back of roof tiles and the joining timbers. This mixture is combined with goat’s hair to reduce the likelihood of cracking as the mortar dries. Lime torching and limewashing prevent the build-up of moisture by absorbing humidity from the air and drawing moisture out of the timbers. The moisture is then released into the air as circulation occurs inside the roof. In addition to combating moisture, lime also prevents bug infestations and is naturally antibacterial. Consequently, lime torching provides an effective means of weatherproofing and regulating humidity within a traditional roof.

Lime torching mortar is often a high-calcium mixture made with chalk and quicklime with inclusions of coal grit. Animal hair is added to this mixture to reduce any cracking caused by shrinkage within the mortar. Wood ash or coal ash can be added if there is a need to prevent water ingress. Ash is added to give the mortar a hydraulic effect, making it more durable against weathering. You would only add ash to prevent water from ingressing through the tiles.

The cost to lime torch a roof would depend on the amount of torching required and the ease of access around the roof space. The floor would need temporary boarding, and access to the highest points must also be considered. Ladders and platforms may be required to access certain areas. We would do this work on a day rate price. Lime torching is a specialist job, and not all roofers are trained or have the correct knowledge to carry out this work, if you require lime torching please give us a call to discuss your requirements.

If you can see daylight through your roof tiles, there is a good chance driving rain will be making its way through somewhere. Lime torching fills these small holes and prevents moisture from rotting the timbers. It does this by drawing the moisture out towards circulating air. Roof felts do not regulate moisture levels; even breathable felt does nothing to prevent moisture from building up in your roof space – they just hide any issues behind them. Lime torching and limewashes keep your roof space dry by regulating moisture levels and they keep your timbers infestation free because they are naturally antibacterial. Therefore, lime torching and limewashes are essential in keeping your roof in good condition.