Home » Offering a natural and durable solution to trapped moisture in old/heritage buildings

Offering a natural and durable solution to trapped moisture in old/heritage buildings

by Media Xpose

We are all familiar with troublesome paint bubbling and delaminated plasters, which are caused by trapped moisture within a wall.

AFRIMAT HEMP offers a natural solution to this problem.

Afrimat Hemp’s airPLAST lime plaster is ready-mixed specially formulated lime plaster, for heritage renovation and old building repair work, that guarantees breathability in old buildings;  and airCOAT lime-based paint is a lime-based wall coating formulated for heritage and hempcrete construction .

In five easy steps and with two products, breathability and durability are guaranteed:

  1. Clean the wall
  2. Rebuild with airPLAST
  3. Apply a watery lime mix
  4. Apply airPLAST breathable plaster once the surface is dry
  5. Finish off with applying airCOAT breathable paint

Who is Afrimat Hemp:

Afrimat Hemp is a Cape Town-based company, launched in 2021, which is pioneering and beneficiating the industrial hemp value chain in Africa. Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant where the entire plant has benefits such as the seeds which are particularly rich in these healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, the fibre is used in fabric, which is then three times stronger than cotton, natural and breathable.

Afrimat Hemp has the expertise to bulk process the hemp plant and use it in natural, carbon-absorbing construction materials, breathable lime-based plasters and mortars and cat litter, which is eco-friendly, antibacterial, highly absorbent, and provides odour control.

Afrimat Hemp, which is preparing to scale up its business unit that uses hemp as a building material, is also looking to develop a local supplier base. It aims to work with farmers with commercial hemp licenses and community co-operatives, where small-scale growers aggregate their output. We are also working with a few non-governmental organisations that have been involved with hemp farming in rural communities, where knowledge of hemp farming is excellent, and it is expected that they can come online faster than new commercial hemp farms.

Why construction with hemp/hempcrete?

Hemp grows quickly and requires minimal water and pesticides, making it an ideal crop for sustainable farming and a viable crop, given the water scarcity in South Africa. The plant absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide during growth, and the woody core, which is typically discarded, is used to make hempcrete. This means that hempcrete is a carbon-negative building material, which actively reduces carbon in the atmosphere.[TP3] 

Hempcrete (also known as hemplime) is a bio-composite material, a mixture of hemp, lime and sand, which is used as a material for construction and insulation. The physical properties of hempcrete include its relatively low thermal conductivity, medium-low density, very high specific heat, strong thermal insulation, and thermal mass, ensuring building comfort and preventing sudden heat changes.

The woody core hemp plant is processed, with a locally formulated lime binder from Afrimat and water is added to form Afrimat Hempcrete.

Hempcrete blocks ensure humidity regulation, acoustic insulation, protection, and fire resistance. It’s ten times stronger than concrete and one-sixth of the weight.

Combined with the breathable and durable properties of airPLAST and airCOAT, any building constructed with these products contributes positively towards a sustainable environment and future.

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