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Advantages of building stone houses in Yucatan.

stone houses in yucatan, Advantages of building stone houses in Yucatan., Casas en Valladolid

I am always surprised by the pleasant temperature inside colonial stone houses. I admire the height of their ceilings, the large windows… and wonder why they stopped building stone houses in Yucatan?

Masonry is a long-living tradition that goes back to the Mayan temples and the Spaniards that came after. For instance, rocks are an abundant element in the area, making sense to use it as a building material.

Considering the area’s temperatures, Masonry is a construction technique that takes advantage of natural resources and the local craftsmanship of the Mayan.

Advantages of Stone houses in the Yucatan

stone houses in yucatan, Advantages of building stone houses in Yucatan., Casas en Valladolid

Stone houses have a lot of charm and also many advantages. For example, they look good, they require no maintenance, they are thermal and very durable. Rocks are even good at isolating noise and are fire-resistant.

Despite its advantages, this construction technique has been losing popularity. And sadly, the reason has nothing to do with technical advances or the use of better materials.

For instance, building with concrete blocks is faster, and the cost per material may be lower. In addition to this, it is already difficult to find workers who have mastered the masonry technique or are willing to use it.

But the truth is that stone houses in Yucatan are perfect for the weather!

During the summer, walking into a concrete house in the middle of the afternoon to walking straight into an oven. The walls give off heat. The air is hot. The fan helps your cooking be even. Then, you understand why the neighbors take the rocking chairs out on the sidewalk …

Enjoying a coffee at home.

Advantages of stone houses in Yucatan

1. Stone is a thermal and insulating material

Masonry houses are cooler and help keep the heat outside… But to take full advantage of the advantages of a stone house in Yucatan, you must consider the material’s thermal inertia.

What is thermal inertia? Kömmerling defines it as “the ability of a material to conserve the heat it receives, maintain it and release it progressively”.

This means that if your stone house receives the sun all day, at night, when the outside temperature drops, it will release the accumulated heat inside your house.

However, living in the tropics challenges even the noblest material: tips to keep stone houses cool.

For instance, you can add areas such as a porch, shed, or palapa that keeps the sun away from the walls. If the walls are not heated, they will not have heat to release, and your home will be as cool as you want it to be.

Another option is to plant vines around the walls that receive direct sunlight. Plant a few vines at the bottom of the walls and let nature do its thing, and the plants will cover the wall.

Tips to keep stone houses in Yucatan warm.

It is worth considering that thermal inertia also comes into play in the winter months.

Although winter in Yucatán rarely drops below 14º C, it is enough to cool the stone and make the house feel cold. The solution is to put a fireplace or a heater.

There is a lot of information available on the internet on natural resources and bioclimatic strategies in construction.

2. Rocks are a breathable material

Stones houses walls are made with a porous material, hence they give off water vapor or humidity. This is an important detail to consider if you want to build a stone house.

For example, if you want to flatten your walls, the material could peel off over time. To avoid this, some claim that using some water-repellent mortar allows the stone to breathe and gives a smooth finish to the walls.

Tips to keep stone houses in Yucatan dry.

Another detail to consider is the capillarity of the water, by which the walls of both block and stone absorb moisture from the earth. In the rainy season, a strong humidity can be felt in these houses.

To avoid this, there is an important step when building, which is that, once the foundations have been completed, ‘paint’ the stones with tar before raising the walls.

This layer of tar acts as a barrier that prevents moisture from rising up the walls, keeping your spaces dry and pleasant, even during the rainy season.

Chain with tar layer to avoid humidity.
It is then covered with stone for an aesthetic finish.

3. This is a sustainable and locally sourced material

Building with stone has little impact on the environment since no resources are required for its production. The impact that it can have is pollution from transporting it from one place to another, although if you have rocks on your land, that impact is reduced

If you want to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum, this technique is for you. It is environmentally friendly, and due to the material’s qualities, you can save a lot of money on building, materials, and bills.

Maintenance of a stone house

Whitewashed stone walls.

Maintenance varies depending on the finish you have decided on your home. If you decide to leave the stone exposed outside, there is practically nothing to do.

Another recommendation is to buy a brush and sweep the walls once a month to remove cobwebs, dust, and insects at bay.

If you prefer to cover the stone, you can whitewash the house’s walls. On the outside, the white color will prevent the house from heating up. Inside, due to the material’s disinfecting qualities, it prevents the formation of fungi and mold, and insects stay away.

If you are looking for land to build your house, contact us! We will be happy to help you find the perfect place for you. We also have a good selection of colonial stone houses in the Yucatan!

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