As recently as 15 years ago, masons just wanted to make mortar the way they had for the last 100 years. In the last 5 years, however, they have become eager to have companies create performance mortars using admixtures that are approved by the different building codes. Contractors are looking for performance mortars – or architectural mortars – and it’s been easy for manufacturers to keep developing new products when they know there is a market looking for them.
In 1835, when the Pemaquid Point lighthouse was built in Bristol, Maine, the American paint industry did not yet exist. Portland cement technology was still more than three decades away from reaching the United States, and prepackaged paint production would start even later. Yet the stone lighthouse, built utilizing the best technology of its time, endured severe coastal exposures for 172 years with only minimal maintenance.