Monthly Archives: April 2017

Choosing the right render for your home

There are lots of reasons why you might decide to render your home. The existing render might be cracking or discoloured; the brick work might look tired or need some repointing; you may even want to insulate your home with our external wall insulation systems. Our top performing coloured render is BBA certified to last in excess of 25 years – so for once you can be sure that it is an investment worth making.

We have worked tirelessly over the last 5 years to find the best render products across Europe and even further afield. Working with EWI Pro and their extensive selection of render products, we are delighted to now be able to offer these to a wider market.

Choose a render that lasts!

There is no point buying a render that will only last for a few months when applied to the outside façade of your property, since before you know it you will need to either re-render the wall or be left with unsightly, cracked walls. Bearing that in mind, you can rest assured the renders we supply (on behalf of our partner EWI Pro) are going to last, whether as standalone render systems or as part of external wall insulation systems. The renders we now offer have been proven to withstand even the harshest conditions across Europe, and there is further proof of their durability in the form of the BBA certificate which shows the products have undergone extensive testing in the UK. Both these facts should fill you with a great deal of confidence that when you buy render from EWI Store, you are buying the best render available on the market!

Choose a render that is flexible!

Render needs to be flexible in two senses. The first is that modern day renders should be flexible so they don’t crack (it also helps if the render is breathable too!), but people also want choice – they don’t want to be told they can only finish their property in one particular way. At EWI Store, we offer 56 different colour renders, 4 different granulate sizes to change the appearance from a smooth render finish to almost pebbledash. Likewise, we also offer several different types of render: mineral render, acrylic render, silicone and silicone silicate render, as well as mosaic renders. We also offer both acrylic and real brick slips and a full pebbledash system. In terms of flexibility, we are pretty pleased with our line-up!

Choose a render that is available next day!

Unfortunately we are not blessed with predictable weather living on these shores! The UK is renowned for its wet weather, even during the middle of summer. This means it is difficult to predict when conditions will be right for applying render are needed, and jobs can be halted. At EWI Store, all our render products are available next day. That doesn’t simply mean white render – all of our coloured renders are mixed on site and available for next day delivery! This means that you don’t need to hold all the render products on site. You can take deliveries in stages based on the weather as well as the storage capacity at site. At EWI Store we hold enough stock for even the biggest orders – we hold in excess of 10,000 m2 of render systems – all available for next day delivery.

Choose a render that is cost effective!

Quality comes at a price, but having said that there is no point overpaying the odds! Previously sand and cement renders where used across the UK – these initially work well since they look great and the materials are relatively inexpensive. The issue with the sand and cement renders is the time they take to apply (so increased labour costs) as well as the fact they crack since they have no flexibility. The cracking can lead to water ingress which will lead to further breakdown of the render, but to be honest, the main issue for most people when their render cracks is that it doesn’t look very good! The cost of painting the render regularly -and the fact sand and cement render will need replacing- should make you look elsewhere when choosing the render for your property.

Our flexible thin coat render systems have an embedded fibreglass mesh in the base coat layer. This means that when the render is applied to even the oldest properties – which tend to move the most – the render won’t crack. The flexibility of the render and the base coat will go with the natural movement of the property leaving you a perfect looking façade at all times!

Choose a renderer who knows thin coat render systems!

Most renders/plasters will have tried rendering a property with sand and cement render. As such we get a huge number of calls of people interested in our products. The difference between our render system and other systems available on the market is the fact the top coat render needs to be applied very thinly. If it isn’t, then the required finish will not be up to scratch. We like to ensure that the professionals installing our system know what they are doing and therefore we recommend that they attend one of our training days. We have an extensive render installer network up and down the country, but if you would like to join our ranks then please get in touch using the form below and a member of our team will provide more details.

The training is free and will give you the basic feel of how to install our render systems and how this differs from other systems available on the market.

Choose EWI Store for your render!

If you would like a quote for one of our render systems then click on our calculator– this will allow you to pull together an automated quote for all the materials you require.

Interested in joining our installer network? Get in touch!

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100m2 Of Render Only System

Adding insulation to OSB board

OSB board is an engineered wood-based panel consisting of strands of wood which are bonded together with a synthetic resin – these are then pressed together in layers. Unlike traditional wood which is full of knotholes, core voids or points of weakness, OSB board is uniform in strength across the whole sheet. This makes it an ideal building material, especially with respect to load bearing.

It is not only the strength of OSB board that means builders choose it for wall sheathing – it is also the cost. OSB is relatively inexpensive compared to other building materials. In order to increase the energy performance of OSB sheathing, our external wall insulation systems are the perfect solution. Since the insulation board is applied on the outside of the OSB board, the thickness of insulation is not really restricted. We recommend looking at 90mm, as this will mean the build conforms with Part L of building regulations.

When installing our insulation on top of OSB board, we normally recommend attaching a breathable membrane directly onto the board first.

Next we recommend creating a 35mm cavity on top of the OSB board. This can be achieved very easily by installing vertical battens (counter batten) on the OSB board. These timber battens should be 80mm wide and attached to the OSB board 600mm apart.

Once the battens are securely attached, you need to attach a cement/carrier board to the top of the battens. This creates the cavity and allows water (if it were to enter the system) to travel down and away from the building. Once the cement board is attached to the battens, you are then ready to start installing our different systems.

Priming the carrier boards

The first thing that you need to do is to prime the carrier board. We recommend priming the carrier board with EWI-310 Universal Primer, because the presence of silicate in the primer allows the base coat layer to key into it, ensuring a really strong adhesion between the cement board and EPS adhesive.

EWI-310 Universal Primer comes in 20kg buckets and each bucket can cover between 60 and 80m2 depending on absorption of the cement board. The primer is applied to the cement board by a brush or roller and is red in colour allowing you to see where on the wall it has been applied. We recommend allowing this to dry completely before applying the next layer.

Attaching the insulation to the carrier board

Once the EWI-310 primer is dry, you can begin attaching the EWI-410 EPS insulation boards. This is done by applying a layer of EWI-220 to the perimeter of the insulation boards, and then three dots in the middle, and attaching the boards in a staggered formation as shown below:

Once the adhesive has dried firmly, you can then apply the mechanical fixings. When attaching the boards to cement board, we recommend our EWI-745 Plastic fixings for OSB. These allow you to pick a length of screw based on the combined thickness of the insulation and OSB board, to ensure it provides a strong mechanical fix.

If you are looking to hit a U-value of 0.3, then we recommend installing 100mm of EPS in order to achieve this.

The base coat layer

Applying the base coat to the cement board is relatively easy – we recommend using either EWI-220 or EWI-225. The EWI-225 is slightly stronger than the EWI-220 so it depends on how solid you need this façade to be.

Both the EWI-220 Basecoat Adhesive and the EWI-225 Premium adhesive come as a dry mix and therefore need to be mixed with water prior to application. Once the adhesive has been mixed with water and the grey putty has formed, it needs to be applied to the cement board with a notched trowel. We recommend using a 10mm notched trowel, this is the best size of trowel to apply a 6mm layer of adhesive to the cement board.

Once the adhesive has been applied it is time to embed the fibreglass mesh within it; it is this mesh that gives our render systems such flexibility. Our reinforcement mesh comes in 50m2 rolls (1mm wide), and this needs to be applied in vertical strips within the adhesive. The strips of mesh need to overlap one another by 10cm at edges and this is needs to be sunk within the layer of adhesive – this can be done by using the flat edge of the notched trowel and drawing this up from the bottom of the wall – this will pull the adhesive through the holes in the mesh.

If you are looking to further strengthen the wall, then you might want to consider double meshing the system – this involves embedding a second layer of reinforcement mesh at 90 degrees to the first mesh layer. In order to do this, you will need to add a marginally thicker layer of base coat adhesive (minimum 8mm) to give the required depth to add the second layer of mesh.

Remember the final render coat is very thin, so it is very important this base coat layer is smooth otherwise you won’t get a great finish.

Applying the final render topcoat

Once the base coat layer has completely dried (this make take 24 hours or more) it is time to prime the wall prior to applying the final render topcoat. The primer used depends on the render you are going to use, but all our render primers are applied in the same way – it needs to be applied with a brush or roller all over the base coat surface. EWI-330 is used for mineral/acrylic renders while EWI-333 is used for silicone/silicate renders.

The 7kg buckets of primer will cover approximately 20m2, while the 21kg buckets will cover 70m2 of wall.

Finally – to the render!

All our renders are thin coat, so the thickness of the render depends of the granulation of the render being used. For example the thickness of our 1.5mm granulate render needs to be 1.5mm once applied to the wall. It is very easy to get the thickness incorrect, so please practise before applying the render to the wall to ensure you can achieve this thickness. It is important to achieve that depth to ensure the render is flexible and doesn’t crack. Also if a thicker layer is applied, it is more liable to wash off because the weather here in the UK is pretty unpredictable and a thicker layer of render will take considerably longer to dry.

How does insulation work in the summer?

Insulation is often thought of as a way to keep your home warm in the winter. This is, of course, true – but what often gets forgotten is that it can also benefit you in the summer.

How does insulation work?

Insulation works by slowing heat movement between two materials. It uses dead air space or cells within a material to trap air and slow heat flow between objects of differing temperatures. If you have uninsulated walls, heat travels through them easily. This means on a cold day, you may notice your heating disappearing. It works in the opposite way too – on a hot day, it can be hard to keep cool air in and warm air out.

How does insulation help in the summer?

Our external wall insulation helps stop the passage of heat by trapping air bubbles within the insulating material. This means it’s easier to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. A good demonstration of this is loft insulation. If you have your loft insulated at joist-level, you will probably have noticed that it gets very cold up there in the winter. This is because the insulation is stopping the heating in your home escaping up into the loft, where it would be wasted. On the other hand, if you go up there in the summer, you’ll notice it’s hot in the loft space, because hot air is coming through the roof but not getting into the main body of your home.

Although any insulation helps reduce air transfer, external wall insulation is the best type. It stops up to 40% of heat transfer through walls – which can make a big difference. Our expanded polystyrene (EPS) boards for external insulation are made up of 98% air. This is good news because air is the best insulator there is when it is trapped and unable to move around. It creates a barrier which is very difficult for hot or cold air to get through.

On hot days, insulation prevents your home from overheating because if your walls are heated by sunlight, the heat doesn’t pass through to the inside of your home. If you have an air conditioning system, adding a layer of external wall insulation can make it more effective. If you don’t, you can still reach a comfortable temperature by opening the windows to let in cool air at night and closing them during the day. External wall insulation will help keep this cool air inside.

Why install external wall insulation?

Reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer, save money on your heating bills in the winter, and feel more comfortable all year round. External wall insulation has other benefits too – it helps you to reduce your carbon footprint because you’ll need less heating, it reduces noise entering your home, and smartens up the outside of your home.