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These microcracks recrystallise through the action of 'free lime' effectively self-healing the affected area.
Historic buildings are frequently constructed with relatively soft masonry units (e.g.
Lime mortar is more porous than cement mortars, and it wicks any dampness in the wall to the surface where it evaporates.
Thus any salt content in the water crystallises on the lime, damaging the lime and thus saving the masonry.
Usually any dampness in the wall will cause the lime mortar to change colour, indicating the presence of moisture.
The effect will create an often mottled appearance of a limewashed wall.
Bo Ossian Lindberg’s map of the medieval churches of Åland, 1997.
The Åland churches project is fundamentally humanistic in nature, with the aim to pinpoint the chronology of the churches and to maximize information concerning them.
With the aid of dendrochronology and mortar from the different building stages it has been possible to trace the different stages of their complicated building history.As the moisture levels within a wall alter, so will the shade of a limewash.The darker the shade of limewash, the more pronounced this effect will become.Traditionally on building sites, prior to the use of mechanical mixers, the lime putty (slaked on site in a pit) was mixed with sand by a labourer who would "beat and ram" the mix with a "larry" (a wide hoe with large holes). This was then covered with sand and allowed to sit for a while (from days to weeks) - a process known as 'banking'.
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The lack of contemporary written sources adds to the uncertainty.