Masonry Glossary:

Acrylic Emulsion: Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint containing pigment suspension in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are water-soluble, but become water-resistant when dry. When used as an exterior paint, acrylic emulsion has high capability to withstand against weathering impact and gives the surface a nice and durable finish.

Aggregate: A material or structure formed from a mass of fragments or particles loosely compacted together.

Alkalinity: The chemical property of masonry which may have a significant effect on paint durability and performance is the alkalinity of the wall. Paint products, which are based on drying oils, may be attacked by free alkali and the oils can become spoonified. To prevent this occurrence, an alkaline-resistant primer is recommended.

Ashlar masonry: Finely dressed (cut, worked) masonry, either an individual stone that has been worked until squared or the masonry built of such stone. Generally Ashlar masonry are cuboids in shape.

Breathable: If paint is described as ‘breathable’, it means that it is a micro-porous coating that allows damp, moisture and vapour out but not in.

Colourfast: Dyed in colours that will not fade or wash out.

Efflorescence: The deposit of water-soluble salts on the surface of masonry and is another factor that can hamper the performance of painted masonry. Efflorescence, if present on the surface, should be removed and, once removed, the surface should be observed for reoccurrence prior to being painted.

Fletton Brick: A type of relatively soft and porous brick made from Oxford clay, of which a large amount comes from near Fletton in Cambridgeshire.

K-Rend: A synthetic resin render used as an exterior coating.

Lime: Chalk, limestone and other types of calcium carbonate. When lime is burnt in a kiln it becomes quicklime (calcium oxide). Water is added to this in a process called ‘slacking’ to form hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide). The addition of more water makes a paste called lime putty.

Limestone: A naturally occurring and abundant sedimentary rock which consists predominantly of high levels of calcium and/or magnesium carbonate, and/or dolomite (calcium and magnesium carbonate). Limestone also contains small amounts of other minerals.

Limewash: A liquid made with quicklime in a surplus of water. It can also contain alum, casein, size or other binders. Coloured washes can be made with the addition of pigments. Non-pigmented limewash and distemper is called whitewash. Often used in older buildings or ones along the British coastline.

Lime-Cycle: The process by which lime products can revert back to their original limestone state through a natural reaction with Carbon Dioxide.

Lime putty: Also known as non-hydraulic lime - is produced by burning relatively pure limestone (calcium carbonate) at between 850 and 1,300 degrees C. The resulting calcium oxide is slaked in clean water to produce lime putty (calcium hydroxide). This form of lime cures (carbonates) by absorbing carbon dioxide which then reverts to calcium carbonate. It is usually stored under water to prevent it curing prematurely.

Micro-Porous: Products that allow any moisture trapped in the wall surface to evaporate.

Mineral: A solid, naturally occurring inorganic substance

Mortar: Mortar is a workable paste used to bind building blocks such as stones, bricks, and concrete masonry units together, fill and seal the irregular gaps between them, and sometimes add decorative colours or patterns in masonry walls. In its broadest sense mortar includes pitch, asphalt, and soft mud or clay, such as used between mud bricks. 

Pebbledash: This term is used to describe external rendering where smooth pebbles are thrown or ‘dashed’ onto the topcoat of render before it dries so that they stick to it and provide a weathering surface.

Plasto-elastic Coating: Coatings or polymer paints blended with specialized polymers. They are highly flexible, UV resistant and have crack bridging properties. Not suitable to be used with most Beeck products.

Potash: Mined salts with Potassium in, water soluble form.

Render: A coat of plaster or cement applied to a masonry surface.

SD value: A measure of how much of a barrier the material is to water vapour. The lower the SD value the more breathable it is.

Silicate: A salt in which the anion contains both silicon and oxygen, especially one of the anion SiO42−

Silicification: The chemical reaction between mineral surface, filler and potash water glass.

Sinterskin: The fine film/coating from the binder paste on new renders following their rubbing up. Applicable to lime and cement.

Spar: Spar is a close relation to pebbledash, however it uses jagged chippings that tend to jam into and adhere to the render better and thus lasts longer.

Substrate: The item upon which your product or coating will be applied (i.e. a wall or a window frame etc.)

Veneer: A thin decorative covering of fine wood applied to a coarser wood or other material.

Veneer (Masonry): Walls that consist of a single non-structural external layer of masonry work, typically brick, backed by an air space.

Water Glass: Sand and Potash are combined together when heat is applied and this forms Water Glass. 


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