This historic cottage in Newcastle East was suffering considerable erosion on the facade of its sandstone foundation due to erosion. This had been made worse over the years by cement plastering and infill between the eroded blocks. A common error when attempting to repair natural stone or mudbrick, cement actually traps water vapour behind the render, and the water eats away your stone or earth wall slowly, unnoticed for many years. To remedy this situation here, all cement was chipped out and a clay plaster made to replace this. Because clay ‘breathes’ similarly to natural stone, the vapour won’t be able to build up behind the plaster, while at the same time protecting the facade from further wind erosion. This particular mix was made from pure clay, washed beach sand and native Casuarina needles. We will be making the final layer on Monday, so feel free to drop by, have a chat and have a turn at applying the plaster! The house is at the corner of Zaara and Alfred streets, Newcastle East.