Hidrocal arises under the direction and permanent supervision of its founder Mr. Carmelo Cárdenas López. It is the legacy of many years in the art of lime finishing and has the mission of giving technical, constructive and decorative solutions for the finishing of buildings with traditional lime mortars.
In his desire to evolve, he adapted the artisanal process carried out until then to bring together the traditional quality of the lime mortars and the speed, profitability and cost savings that new times demand. To give new solutions – as well as to enhance the properties of their products – he reached an agreement with the Instituto Eduardo Torroja (CSIC). That is how water-repelling lime mortars were created – after years of investigation – and the reason behind the acknowledgement given to them by the School of Technical Architects and the prize awarded to them by the Fundación Escuela de la Edificación. This specific prize was awarded to them for creating a “Coating system with water-repelling mortars of application to vertical walls with high levels of humidity and salts”.
It has become a referent as a business within the Spanish national market, having their products be used in works involving historic heritage, as well as in public and private buildings.
They carry out different kinds of finishes such as:
Sgraffito, made up of three layers of mortar render, carried out with a traditional aged lime mortar and pigmented with mineral oxides. They are then applied to the existing supporting element manually with a trowel and a stencil. The sgraffito of the upper surface layer is carried out with some specialized tools, spatulas, paletón trowels or scrapers, once the oblique cut of the sketched edge has been carried out with a punch and the surfaces have been brushed.
The brick-like finish, carried out imitating a particular kind of stone (piedra de abultado), is made of two layers of traditional lime mortar applied on a rendered supporting element or on top of the prior render. The corners receive a rounded finish and the final touch is the brushing of the surface with a scrubbing brush made of horse mane.
The stucco is carried out rendering the interior vertical walls with a white mixed mortar (lime-cement) of 1.5 cm of maximum thickness and, above it, a final finish with lime stucco over the entire surface of the vertical walls, smoothing out the surface with a trowel until the desired aspect of a bright but non-uniform colour is reached.
Rendering a la catalana, made up of two layers 0.5 cm thick in total with a finish made with a bushing chisel. It is carried out with a traditional lime mortar applied on top of the prior render, quartered with a llaguero trowel, marking the socles with a compass, cleaning the surface, and then a treatment with a bushing chisel (hammer with diamond-shaped tips) is given to create an uneven texture of the vertical element and lastly, a brushing of the surface with a scrubbing brush made of horse mane.
Granite-imitation rendering, to be used especially in socles. Made of 1 cm – thick layer of lime mortar with grinded granulated granite, marble and silica (with a material dosing of 1-3.5), applied with a trowel on top of the prior layer of plastering or rendering. The outline of the joints is carried out with a sharp trowel and so is the process of bringing out the larger particles to the surface, along with water and brushes made of horsehair.
He started as an apprentice of a great Master in the arts of traditional lime renders: D. Carmelo Cárdenas López, in Madrid.
2010: AIDICO- Instituto Tecnológico de la Construcción: “Jornada técnica la cal en la construcción” (Technical session on lime as used in construction).
2011: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Fundación Gómez Pardo: “El futuro de la cal como material de construcción” (The future of lime as a construction material).
2014: MA in Building Pathology at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid: Lime mortars for facades, stuccoes and interiors.
Technical session and practical sessions: “La cal y la alta decoración en la restauración” (Lime and high-standard decoration in restoration) aimed at Technicians of National Heritage and State Heritage.
IV Session of the Foro Ibérico de la Cal, “FICAL 2014”
2016: Technical and practical session: “Diferentes acabados de revocos en cal tradicional” (Different finishes for traditional lime rendering), delivered for the technicians of Heritage in Málaga.
Technical and practical sessions: “Revocos y Restauración de Tapiales con Mortero de Cal” (Renders and Restoration of Rammed Earth Walls with Lime Mortars), course delivered for the team in charge of the conservation of the Alhambra in Granada.
Course on stuccoes and high-standard decoration by Oikos, in Italy.
The Stock Exchange Building, Madrid.
The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office located in Calle Manuel Silvela, in Madrid.
The Patio del Reloj of the Treasury Department located in Calle Alcalá, in Madrid.
Don Felipe Hotel, in Segovia.