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Wattle and Daub

Wattle and daub are construction materials, used in a method of wall building, that has been regarded as an important and historical technique for many thousands of years and can be found in the construction of buildings all over the world. Many original examples of wattle and daub dating back up to seven hundred years, are still known to exist today.

Wattle is constructed by weaving thin branches between vertical sticks to form a lattice structure, to which the daub will cling. Daub contains a mixture of materials: aggregates such as sand, earth and crushed salt give the mix stability, reinforcements such as straw or hay helps to provide flexibility and binders combine the mix and can include substances such as clay, lime and chalk dust. Historically both mud and even animal dung were used to form a daub mixture.

Daub is pressed or 'daubed' onto the wattle lattice to form panels, similar to that of modern day lath and plaster means of construction. Traditionally timber frames bear the weight of the building and the open areas in-between are filled with wattle and daub to form interior and exterior walls. These are sometimes easy to recognise as the panels can appear to be somewhat irregular or even distended or bulging. Traditionally wattle and daub walls are often finished by plastering and whitewashing or painting.

Natural materials

As wattle and daub is constructed from natural materials, it allows for combined movement with timber framed buildings and can support severe structural uncertainty. It's insulation properties are said to be superior to brick and if properly maintained, wattle and daub will not only protect your property from the elements but help to conserve the environment, as renewable and organic materials are used in construction.

Maintenance

Some modern methods of repair and rendering can lead to decay , as cement based render may crack and daub can become wet over time, this could result in damage to both the wattle and daub and the timber frame of the property.

Wattles can also be prone to insect infestation, such as woodworm. Both wattle daub can be professionally repaired, providing the wattles are in a stable condition, although sometimes replacement panels may be required.

If your wattle and daub property is a listed building, it is advisable to consult with a local conservation officer, as consent is sometimes required before a property undergoes reconstruction.

Orwell Insurance Services provides cover and protection for all types of non-standard property construction, including wattle and daub materials and timber framed buildings, ensuring property owners enjoyment of their traditional homes and buildings with security.

 

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