Monthly Archives: March 2018

How do I prevent damp in my home?

Many people consider installing EWI because they have problems with damp in their homes. External wall insulation is a great method of preventing damp. Nevertheless, we do recommend that the cause of these problems is addressed before you go ahead with installing EWI and that you talk to your installers about ventilation strategies with your EWI to prevent damp in the future. For example, leaking pipes could eventually create huge issues in the long run, and would be extremely detrimental to an EWI system – so these need to be ascertained and addressed first.

However, take for example a property that suffers from problems with damp due to the fact that it has a lack of light. External wall insulation can easily remedy this. Read on to find out more about how external wall insulation can prevent damp in the home.

Breathable EWI Systems help prevent damp

Your EWI system can be totally breathable (vapour permeable), depending upon your choice of products. At EWI store we have designed a totally breathable EWI system with our range of materials, so if you are considering EWI and damp/mould is a concern to you then definitely keep reading. Let’s break down which products are the best for breathability:

Mineral Wool: Mineral wool AKA Rockwool is an excellent insulation material. Rockwool is highly breathable, and the best part is that it’s made up of molten volcanic rocks so it’s non-combustible! To make the boards, the volcanic rock is heated in a furnace to about 3,000 degrees Centigrade, until it melts into a liquid. The lava is then exposed to a high-pressure jet of air or steam, and then spun at super-high speed into long fibre strands (like that of cotton candy). The strands are then compressed into thick, dense mats, which are cut into conveniently-sized boards to be used as insulation.

Because it is a stone wool, Rockwool has a low absorptivity and no nutrient content, so it allows moisture to escape and prevents the build-up of rot or mould, making it a highly breathable insulation material. (An extra benefit is that it’s also a renewable material and can be recycled!).

EWI-225 Premium Adhesive: It’s a slightly more expensive option, but its’ high strength, high elasticity and high breathability makes the EWI-225 a popular option for buyers. It also reduces your total expenditure on materials because it does not require a primer to be applied underneath. This Adhesive is also compatible for use on Rockwool insulation boards.

Silicone render/Silicone Silicate: Our silicone-based renders are our most popular render choice. Silicone renders are thin-coat renders, which mean that they are highly flexible and breathable. This is because water vapour can cross the surface of the render, ensuring that the building can breathe, and reducing the risk of condensation and damp. Silicone renders are also very compatible for use with mineral wool as part of a breathable system.

Installing External Wall Insulation to prevent Damp

Although the materials are a key component in helping to prevent damp in the home, the installation is equally important. For external wall insulation, it is vital that the materials are fitted completely tight to the wall. This is why insulation boards have to be cut to fit to the shape of the wall, and cracks in the wall need dubbing over with mortar to begin with. When using EPS insulation, the back of the insulation board also needs to be completely covered using a 5mm notched trowel to maintain a dispersion layer. Uneven substrates always need to be fixed using a leveling coat before application of external wall insulation as well, so ensure that there is no chance of air pockets behind the system. If there are air pockets behind your solid wall insulation system, then water vapour and moisture can gather here and continue to cause damp internally. 

It’s surprising how disruptive and dangerous a little bit of water and damp can be. Not only can it cause your property even more problems internally, but it can also affect the structural integrity of your EWI system and prevent it from functioning to its optimal capabilities. This is because with the presence of water the insulation cannot slow thermal transfer as effectively. So, although external wall insulation will prevent damp in the long run, it’s important that you choose someone who is qualified and experienced in carrying out installations so that it’s done properly. We have a whole list of approved installers, so do get in touch if you are looking for someone trustworthy.  

Ventilating your home against damp

In most properties, damp and mould commonly occurs behind large pieces of furniture, such as sideboards, so it’s important that your room is well ventilated to prevent this. Ventilation goes hand in hand with insulation. If you install EWI, then you are forming a tight seal of insulation around your house, and tightly sealed houses need proper ventilation. This is to prevent mould and damp, and to allow for the house to change air and breathe. Houses should be able to draw in fresh air and expel stale air for good human health. This happens in a number of ways:

Uncontrolled ventilation comes from places such as the doors and windows. This is a good thing in moderation – windows are the most effective and obvious way to ventilate your home. However, if your house feels drafty even with doors and windows closed, then this is a problem and can be costing you more money on heating bills.

Controlled ventilation comes from vents and fans, situated in different spaces of your house – such as the attic.

Some of these vents include:

A Ridge Vent: the most effective method of ventilating your home. This is a type of vent installed in the roof of your home and effectively allows humid air to escape.

Soffit Vents: create a natural flow of ventilation in the roof cavity.

Foundation vents: these will be situated at the base of the wall and allow for cool air to enter the lower levels of your home and prevent moisture build-up underneath your home.

Turbine Vents: This is a turbine mounted to the top of the roof, and again allows for hot air to escape.

Trickle Vents: meant to provide minimum ventilation requirements for naturally ventilated spaces.

Fans are also a common method of ventilation. You’ll often find extractor fans in bathrooms and oven-top fans in kitchens. These are used to draw out moisture from the air in rooms which have a tendency to be especially humid.

So there you have it! Hopefully this was useful to those of you who are suffering from damp in your homes and are looking for a solution. We would suggest that the take home from this article is that EWI isn’t a cure but it is a prevention. For any more advice about our systems, give us a call – we are always happy to help!

We upload to our blog every Tuesday and Thursday, so tweet us your questions about EWI or leave a comment and we will answer them!

 

Where can I find an EWI installer in Birmingham?

Looking for renderers in Birmingham? Here at EWI Store, we understand the importance of having a warm home to come back to after those dark and chilly winter days. Homeowners can unwittingly lose up to 50% of heat through their walls, effectively heating the outdoors.

It’s important that when you are considering an EWI installation, you have a reliable and professional installer at hand to provide a great quality of service. We have a list of approved installers who have undertaken our specialist training course, and who we can put you in touch with. If you are a homeowner looking for EWI installers or renderers in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, or the surrounding West Midlands, then Thermal Render Solutions are the installers for you!

By installing EWI (external wall insulation) you can achieve three main things:

  • Keeping your home warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer.
  • EWI can halve your heating bill (using less energy: helping the environment).
  • Improving the overall look and energy efficiency rating of your property, and therefore potentially increasing its value.

Installing EWI isn’t a small job, and a trustworthy, experienced installer is an essential factor towards achieving a positive outcome.

EWI in Birmingham – Who are Thermal Render Solutions?

Thermal Render Solutions are a highly commended company based in Wolverhampton, providing external wall insulation services all across the West Midlands and surrounding counties. They provide homeowners in Birmingham and the West Midlands with the best quality BBA (British Board of Agrément) approved EWI, sourcing their products directly from us here at EWIstore.

With almost twenty years’ experience as EWI installers, your home is in safe hands and Thermal Render Solutions can guarantee you a great installation job. Keep reading to see some of their fantastic before and after installation photos below!

If you are based in the West Midlands, a number of EWI services are available to you with Thermal Render Solutions, including:

  • External wall insulation
  • Through coloured render (monocouche)
  • Mesh reinforced crack resistance render
  • Weather-resistant nanoxil render
  • EWI/render surveys, inspections and repair advice

Are Renderers in Birmingham improving the appearance of homes?

Birmingham has a largely industrial past, and as a result has expanded over the years into a vast metropolitan city. Due to heavy air raid attacks during WWII, Birmingham has also been historically associated with the ‘concrete jungle’ look arising from the post war housing crisis.

When it comes to domestic properties, this means that EWI will benefit your home in numerous ways: by improving thermal comfort, saving internal floor area (essential for spatially smaller city properties), insulating against city noise (road traffic etc.) and enhancing external appearance.

Thermal Render Solutions have worked as renderers in Birmingham and have installed EWI on many different Birmingham homes. As a result, Thermal Render Solutions have contributed to the improvement of the city’s outlook, with customers reporting a noticeable difference to their home.

Renderers in Birmingham – What kind of render is best?

Living in a city means choosing a render that will resist getting dirty from the pollution and traffic. Currently, our top of the range thin coat render is our silicone render, and it’s perfect for the city environment. This is because silicone render not only offers unsurpassed breathability and vapour permeability (it will allow water vapour to escape through it, thereby preventing damp), but it also offers self cleaning properties. This means that the silicone render will stay looking clean and fresh for years to come!

If you’re looking for a slightly lower price point for render, then you can’t go wrong with our silicone silicate render. It’s our most popular because it is a hybrid silicone render. It maintains the same level of breathability and vapour permeability and offers a slightly lower level of self cleaning than pure silicone render. It’s a great one to choose because it’s a real all-rounder and performs excellently at a great price.

If you are interested in EWI Pro external wall insulation and render systems, then give Thermal Render Solutions a call on: 01902 686283 or 07507 893222 you can view some of their completed installation jobs by scrolling down to the pictures below.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a free quote on EWI materials, then you can fill out our materials calculator here. Our sales team are all experts on our products and would be happy to provide you with any technical information that you require.

Stay tuned for more content! We upload blog posts every Tuesday and Thursday all about EWI and render.

Render in Birmingham – Before and After Photos

What is Mineral Render? EWI Pro Coloured Renders

So, you’re looking to re-render your property, and whilst looking at our selection of renders you are unsure as to which render is the right choice for you. Well, this is understandable because all of our renders have different properties and therefore can offer you different things at different price points. Allow us to help you by shedding some light on the wonders of our Mineral render

Mineral render is a popular render choice for EWI and render-only systems that are going to be installed in colder climates. It’s a dry-mix finish and is our fastest drying render – therefore it’s a better choice for you if you live somewhere blessed with cold and rain every other day (Scotland, Wales… we’re looking at you). As long as the temperatures are above freezing, you can still go ahead with installing your mineral render without problems – which reduces so many complications for both the installer and the homeowner.

Mineral render comes in a variety of different grain sizes – so it’s great if you want a more customisable render finish to suit your tastes. If you are familiar with our silicone render  (you can read our blog post all about silicone render) then it can basically give you the same result as this (except without the silicone, and it’s cheaper), because Mineral render is a thin-coat render, so it still allows for breathability, flexibility and resistance to cracks. The breathability of Mineral render is also great for if you are installing a Mineral Wool external wall insulation system, because Rockwool is highly breathable as well.

Mineral Render and Silicone Render Paint

However, a lot of people can be put off by the fact that the Mineral render needs painting after it has been applied to the substrate. This does rack up the price – although mineral render is less expensive in the first place, so it can balance out somewhat.

Mineral render needs painting with a render paint because when it has been left unsealed it is susceptible to lime bloom (otherwise known as efflorescence). This is because Mineral render contains Portland cement. Lime bloom occurs in white patches and discolouration where “lime” (calcium hydroxide) settles on the surface of the render due to a chemical reaction. This can cause the formation of crystals on your render which can damage the system.

To combat this, we recommend that once dry, you immediately seal your mineral render with our EWI-005 Silicone paint, because silicone offers hydrophobic properties which will further protect your render finish. This also means that the external finish of your property will be more low maintenance, because silicone resists organic growth – so you won’t have to keep washing the property.

Although having to paint the render after installation can be more time consuming, it can actually be a good thing because silicone paint can be layered. Therefore, if you wanted to brighten up the property or change the colour of your external finish further down the line, then you can easily just paint over it again.

How to apply Mineral Render

Because mineral render comes as a dry mix, it needs combining with water before application. You can do this using a mechanical mixture or manually with a paddle mix. The render is then applied to the substrate using a Notched trowel. Usually, you’d apply your render to the same thickness as the grain size – so if you went for a 3mm grain size you’d apply the render at a thickness of 3mm.

So, once you’ve applied the mineral render it should take roughly 12 hours to dry (depending upon the conditions). After that, you are free to use the Silicone paint to seal it! You can apply our silicone paint with a spray machine, a roller or simply by using a paint brush.

Why Choose EWI Renders?

Here at EWI Store, we prioritise providing our customers with the best quality products on the market. We are confident in the abilities of our renders to deliver fantastic results, so you can be sure that they will meet your expectations!

Do I need Planning Permission for Solid Wall Insulation?

Undertaking an EWI installation can be a difficult process. From finding the right installers, choosing the EWI system that suits you and your home, and accommodating the work on the house, there is a lot to think about. An extremely important factor to consider before you go ahead with EWI is whether or not you will need planning permission for it.

It’s always best to seek advice if you are unsure about this. To do this, you can call your local council and planning authority – it’s important to be one hundred percent certain before you go ahead with any projects, especially as in certain cases (i.e. for listed buildings) it can be a criminal offence with a penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine if you undertake a project such as EWI without consent.

Every EWI installation is different, and your EWI installer/surveyor will most likely know the ins and outs of the circumstances where you will need to get planning permission, but we thought we would give you a brief overview of when you are likely to require planning permission for a solid wall insulation installation.

Firstly, external wall insulation does not count as an extension or enlargement, and wall cladding is considered Permitted Development on the grounds that the new cladding will be similar in appearance to the existing cladding and structure. So, the new cladding does not have to be made of the exact same material as the older cladding, so long as it mimics the look of it!

One reason why an EWI installation may not be allowed would be if the EWI crossed over the boundary line and onto your neighbour’s property. Boundary lines can be a very contentious issue for some neighbours and it’s often really unclear as to where the boundary line actually is. In this instance, you may be able to negotiate with your neighbour whether they are happy with where the EWI will be installed. Also, bear in mind that if your external wall insulation is physically close to another property, to comply with building regulations it will need to be fire resistant to prevent fires spreading from building to building. (Our Rockwool insulation (link) is the best fire-retardant insulation material on the market).

In what instances do I need planning permission for solid wall insulation?

  • When it ‘overhangs’ land that is not considered to be in ownership of the property owner,
  • If the external cladding is of a different appearance to the current cladding/building appearance,
  • If you live in a listed building (you can check if your house is a listed building here https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/)
  • A flat or an apartment (usually these are lease-hold only, so any major changes will need to be approved by the freeholder)
  • a Conservation Area,
  • a National Park,
  • an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,
  • or the Broads.

Outside of any of the above restricted areas, you may carry out your EWI installation without the need of planning permission! The good news is that it’s actually a small percentage of people who would need this permission. However, as we mentioned before, it’s always best to check with your local authority.

After getting planning permission for solid wall insulation

So you’ve sorted out your planning permission (whether it’s required or not) and you have the green light to go ahead with your EWI installation, what next? Well, your EWI installation does need to comply with building regulations. It is your installers responsibility to be able to certify this for you.

In brief, to comply with building regulations your EWI installation needs to have a damp proof course to resist moisture from the ground, and it must be totally watertight so as to endure the effects of the weather. The materials used also need to be fire resistant. This is all in the interest of health and safety, because a poorly installed EWI system can present the risk of falling off the wall and potentially causing injury. Materials which aren’t approved and without adequate fire resistance can also dramatically contribute to the spread of fire.

Our materials here at EWI Store are all BBA approved, which means that they are rigorously tested for any chemical or fire safety risks. We can also put you in touch with our approved installers who are all experienced in installing externally insulated render systems, and  have undertaken our specialist training course to ensure the safe and proper installation of our EWI system.

Are you looking for an EWI installer? Simply give us a call or an email and we would be delighted to put you through to one of our installers!

Applying Render to a Timber Framed Property

Timber framed properties and EWI

Timber-framed properties are constructed of heavy-weight timbers which are used to form the building shape and are then fitted together to create joints. This building method is mostly prominent in cold climates, and has been around for thousands of years. An added bonus of timber construction is that as long as trees are planted in place of the used ones, timber construction can be very green and environmentally friendly. So, pair this with an EWI system and you can count yourself as doing your bit towards the environment!

Timber framed structures are built to be tightly sealed against water and moisture, and are built as part of a dry construction process where, once weather-tight, the timber needs to dry out before the walls are further constructed.

Timber framed houses, however, do heat up and cool down much faster and aren’t as naturally energy efficient, so insulation is very necessary. These days, timber framed houses are constructed with wall boards backed with aluminium foil, but this is difficult to do if you live in an already-built, older property.

Insulation is also vital to timber framed properties since damp and mould can be detrimental to the structural integrity of the building. As any professional would tell you, timber framed houses cannot have cavity wall insulation because timber needs air circulation, otherwise it will rot and cause damp.

Installing a timber framed house with cavity wall insulation may invalidate your insurance, so if you live in a timber framed property, then external wall insulation is a great option for your home because the materials can allow for vital air circulation and breathability. Keep reading to find out about the most suitable materials for the job…

EWI and render for a timber framed property

When externally insulating a timber framed property, the EWI system that you want to choose ideally consists of the most breathable materials. For example, the Mineral Wool with our Silicone Render system.

Mineral wool (otherwise known as Rockwool) is a great option for timber framed properties because it is made of spun volcanic rock. It is therefore highly resistant to moisture (which is what you want with timber frames) and is the most fireproof insulation material out there. Timber is relatively slow burning but will not hold up as well as brick and masonry, so with the Rockwool insulation acting as extra fireproof support in the event of a fire, it could help to protect the property from too much damage occurring.  

We also recommend that during installation you use the DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb® Housewrap which will add an extra layer of fire protection and vapour permeability!

Your choice of render on timber framed properties is especially important as well. You maybe wouldn’t want to go for acrylic render, for example, because this is the least breathable. Technology has greatly improved the breathability of renders. Silicone render is a high tech, thin-coat render with vapour permeability and breathability. Silicone render is also perfect for timber framed properties as it will resist organic growth such as algae and mould – further protecting your timber frames!

We recommend that with timber framed properties, you use our EWI-225 Premium Adhesive because again it is breathable, high strength, water resistant and has high elasticity.  

Wood Fibre is Ideal for Old Timber Frames…

If you’re looking for an extremely eco-friendly way of insulating your timber framed property, you may want to consider our Wood Fibre insulation systems. We source our Wood Fibre insulation from Pavatex, who are committed to a completely environmentally friendly manufacture and timber sourcing process; so much so that they have achieved the prestigious NaturePlus certification.

Older buildings in particular need careful attention. Choosing materials that suit the requirements of the building structure is highly necessary, and indeed it seems obvious that with a building structure built of timber, you would want to insulate using Wood Fibre which is formed from waste timber shavings. Not only is it environmentally friendly, Wood Fibre insulation is extremely breathable, offering excellent thermal performance. Because of it’s breathability, Wood Fibre insulation is popularly used on older buildings with a lime render as a finishing coat; this is because older buildings in particular need to breathe, and the Wood Fibre really allows for this, lending its thermal capabilities without damaging the delicate building fabric.

We recommend using our Lightweight Basecoat in conjunction with our Wood Fibre insulation systems. The Lightweight Basecoat contains lime, which offers a high level of breathability and flexibility.

Read all about our Wood Fibre insulation here.

How is external wall insulation installed onto a timber framed property?

So how is this all applied to the timber frame? Well, ideally with a Mineral Wool EWI system: the DuPont™ Tyvek® FireCurb® Housewrap will be stapled onto the OSB board, then Mineral Wool will be laid over the top using the Premium Adhesive and metal mechanical fixings to secure it. After this, the Premium Adhesive is used as a basecoat on top of the Mineral Wool, and then finally primed and finished with a Silicone render. 

In terms of Wood Fibre systems, we recommend a dry-fix system. The Firecurb Housewrap is stapled to the substrate, then the Wood Fibre is secured to the substrate using metal mechanical fixings, after which the Lightweight Basecoat is applied and is finished using a Silicone Render or Silicone Paint.

Looking to compare all of the insulation options for your property? Our complete guide to our range of insulation materials is one click away.

Will EWI on a timber framed property take away from its appearance?

Many people think that if they install EWI onto their property then it will take away from the unique characteristics of the property. In fact, this just simply isn’t the case, because unique elements of your property can be recreated using materials which mimic the previous look of the property.

For example, on timber framed properties you may have exposed beams. This can be recreated using our wood panels which are made using a wood effect render, created with a silicone mold and then painted the equivalent colour. Brick patterns can also be recreated using our brick slips which come in a variety of different shades. You can also recreate pebbledash using the EWI-235 Dash Receiver (although not many people are that keen on it – check out our blog on how to replace pebbledash with coloured render!).

If you are a timber framed home owner and EWI is of interest to you, then do get in touch with us here at EWI Store. We can put you in touch with an installer local to you and we can give you an estimated quote for materials. We are also always happy to give technical advice!

Applying render to a range of substrates…

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Chemical DPC’s – the Solution to Rising Damp

Applying one of our thin coat render systems to the outside of your property is a great way to help stop penetrating damp. Penetrating damp occurs when water travels through the bricks of your home – it often occurs where there are porous bricks, damaged brickwork or some sort of building defect.

Penetrating damp can cause damage to plasterwork internally. Initially, this would manifest itself as stains on the internal walls, but if left untreated the plaster/paint will eventually begin to flake off. Likewise, another issue with penetrating damp is the damage caused to wooden fixtures and fittings. Over time, the water will cause the timber to rot and decay.

By applying our thin-coat render systems to the external walls of your property, you are essentially coating them with a protective barrier which prevents the ingress of water. However, while incredibly effective at stopping penetrating damp, non-breathable renders can actually exacerbate rising damp.

What is Rising Damp?

Rising damp is not the same as penetrating damp – it occurs when water is sucked up from the bottom of the wall by capillary action. Nowadays, every new property built will have a damp proof course (DPC) – this is a physical barrier that stops water being pulled up through the brick work – the damp proof course tends to be some sort of plastic membrane.

A DPC is not a new idea. In actual fact they are fairly common in properties built around 1900, but instead of a plastic membrane these DPC’s were often created using slate to form the barrier to stop water being pulled up the wall. The issue now is that in many cases these old slate DPC layers have been broken down over time, making them far less effective and increasing the property’s chances of rising damp. There are also many old properties that were never built with a DPC, and instead rely on evaporation through the brick work to get rid of the water being pulled up via capillary action.

The problem with putting a non-breathable render on the outside of the property is that evaporation of the water can no longer occur, so you are trapping the rising water in the walls. In this case the water will unfortunately continue travelling upwards, causing all the brickwork in the property to become damp.

Using a Chemical DPC before Rendering

We usually recommend our breathable renders to our customers, although to be honest even if you are using one of these breathable silicone or mineral renders, we would recommend installing a chemical DPC to ensure you lock out rising damp.

At EWI Store we offer two types of chemical DPC. The first is Dryzone – this is a cream that is injected into holes around the perimeter of the property. We also offer Dryrod, which are little rods that are pushed into the drilled holes. They both work in the same way though – the chemical is absorbed by the surrounding brick and mortar, creating a water impermeable layer.

Installing a chemical DPC is relatively simple – holes are drilled around the perimeter of the property at 120mm intervals. The depth of the hole should be 40mm less than the thickness of the wall – we suggest marking the drill bit with tape so that you drill all the holes the same depth.

Once the holes are drilled, you can either inject our Dryzone cream into each of the holes, or push the Dryrod sticks into them. The Dryrod sticks are probably a little easier to install – so if you aren’t too handy with DIY this is probably the way to go!

By installing a chemical DPC before rendering, you can be sure that you will be protected from both penetrating damp and rising damp.

 

EWI-269, lime basecoat, lime render

Replacing Pebbledash with Coloured Render?

Pebbledash is perceived by many as an outdated look for a property. This is because it was frequently used during the post-WW1 housing crisis as a means of covering up quickly-built, slap-dash properties. If you live in the UK, you are most likely to have come across a pebbledash building, and while it’s a durable building method, it’s definitely an acquired taste.

The pebbledash effect is created by applying a layer of mortar (usually sand and cement) to the external wall, and literally throwing pebbles at it to allow them to stick. Pebbledash houses are still dotted all over towns and cities in the UK and can often have a somewhat dilapidated look. As well as this, over time the pebbles can drop, which leaves the mortar exposed to the weather and therefore vulnerable to absorbing water and creating problems with damp. Due to its unpopularity, pebbledash can also reduce the value of a property purely for its lack of aesthetic appeal. This is why coloured render is vastly more popular because it’s nice to look at. Our coloured renders are available in thousands of different colours and can be ordered online or by phone!

We’re not hating on pebbledash (much), but many people want to know how to remove it in order to replace it with coloured render. For those who have recently moved into a new home, or who are looking to update the look of their property, re-rendering is a popular consideration. However, there is a definite gap in the public knowledge over whether you can apply render on top of pebbledash, and this is something that we are frequently asked here at EWI Store. So, we thought we would tackle the question for all the pebbledash homeowners out there.

The short answer is that unfortunately, you cannot replace pebbledash with coloured render by applying coloured render directly on top of the pebbledash. However, not all hope is lost, because there are a few ways around this that you may want to consider, which we will elaborate on in this blog post…

Ways of removing pebbledash to replace it with coloured render

So, as you may have realised, pebbledash is incredibly difficult to get rid of. You basically have three options when considering how to remove pebbledash…

Option one: removing the pebbledash

The first option is to attempt to hack the pebbledash off, at risk of the brickwork underneath and with no guarantee that you will be able to achieve a smooth finish. If you do decide to go for this option be really careful about who you hire to do this and make sure they are experienced in removing pebbledash. If your pebbledash is forcibly removed by a builder, this can really damage the underlying substrate and can invalidate your house insurance. Even after all of this, you still wouldn’t be free to apply coloured render directly over the wall, you’d need to apply the basecoat layer and maybe even a levelling coat before the coloured render.

Option two: Lightweight Basecoat to cover up pebbledash

The second method is to use the Lightweight Basecoat to completely smooth over and cover up the pebbledash to achieve a clean slate. The good thing about the Lightweight Basecoat is that it is breathable, so will help to prevent water ingress, and it can also be applied up to 20mm in one pass, so it’s likely that it will be able to smooth over the pebbledash nicely.

Option three: insulate then render over pebbledash

We think that the most beneficial way of ridding yourself of the pebbledash look is by installing 20mm (or thicker, but the thicker you go the more expensive) external wall insulation boards over the top of your pebbledash. This is actually a great option, because the EWI will give you added insulation which can save you money on bills in the long run.

By installing EWI boards, you will also save time and money because hacking off the pebbledash won’t be necessary. This is because you can simply secure insulation boards over the top of the pebbledash using adhesive and mechanical fixings. Once you have done this, you can apply the render of your choice over the top of the insulation boards and achieve a far more pleasing outcome.

TheGreenAge recently wrote a really useful blog all about EWI, which you can check out here.

Which coloured render can I use to replace my pebbledash?

There are so many options out there for replacing your pebbledash with coloured render that it can be quite overwhelming. We wanted to give you a clear idea of what each coloured render can offer you, so that you can make the right choice to suit the needs of your property and your own personal tastes.

Thin Coat Coloured Renders to Replace Pebbledash:

Thin coat is a great option to go for when removing your pebbledash and replacing it with coloured render. Because they are thin-coat, they offer a level of flexibility that ensures that your coloured render finish stays crack-proof for years to come. Thin coat coloured renders are also highly breathable, so they will help to prevent problems with damp and mould on your walls.

They also come in different grain sizes, which determines the textural finish that the coloured render will offer you – the bigger the grain size the more textured the finish that you’ll achieve. If you have simply removed your pebbledash, then you may want to go for a larger grain size because this makes any imperfections in the basecoat less noticeable. Read our blog ‘coloured render cost per m2’ for an idea of pricing!

There are three options that you can choose for thin coat coloured renders:

  • Silicone render/Silicone Silicate render: Silicone Coloured Render is a premium, modern technology coloured render – which is available in hundreds of different colours. Silicone is a very popular choice because it offers hydrophobic properties, which means that it repels water, dirt and organic growth – so  it requires about the same maintenance as pebbledash (very little). Silicone render is also super easy to apply because it comes ready to use, so you just apply it straight out the box. (Read more about Silicone Render here).
  • Acrylic render: Acrylic Coloured render is very similar to silicone, except for it doesn’t provide the same hydrophobic properties. It’s a solid middle-ground thin coat render because it still provides the same flexibility, Acrylic render is also great at holding onto colour pigment. So this is also a fantastic choice if you are looking to replace pebbledash with a coloured render. (Read more about Acrylic Render here).
  • Mineral render: Mineral Coloured render is a dry-mix, thin coat render. This is a very popular choice if you live in a cold or rainy climate (as many pebbledash homeowners do – Scotland, coastal homes!) because mineral render is extremely fast drying (you can’t apply other renders in cold/rainy temperatures because they take longer to dry). The only thing about this render is that you need to paint it afterwards with silicone paint to seal it in. This is because if it’s left exposed to the elements it can develop lime bloom due to the presence of Portland cement. (read more about Mineral Render here)

Thick Coat Coloured Renders to replace pebbledash:

Thick coat coloured renders are far more traditional but, as the name suggests, do lack flexibility and breathability because they are applied in a much thicker layer. Once you’ve removed your pebbledash or installed EWI boards on top of it, you can use our monocouche scratch render…

  • Monocouche scratch render: Monocouche scratch render is a thick coat, through coloured render. It is more traditional, but does require extra work to install it. This is because the Monocouche needs to be applied in two passes for extra strength and cannot be applied in wet or humid conditions. Monocouche render then needs fibreglass mesh embedded within it to provide extra strength and flexibility (which means it will resist cracking), and then once it’s dried it needs scratching back to achieve the desired texture. Read our blog ‘monocouche scratch render cost per m2′ for an idea of pricing!

To conclude…

If you are a pebbledash homeowner, looking to re-render or potentially even install external solid wall insulation, then we have everything you will need. Check out our materials calculator or get in touch with us directly and we can point you in the direction of one of our fantastic approved installers!

Are you a fan of Pebbledash? Leave a comment below…

We want to strike up a bit of a debate: pebbledash or no pebbledash? Leave a comment below with your opinion, is pebbledash outdated and ugly, or is it a relic from our past that we should preserve for traditional purposes? For those in favour of the pebbledashed look, we might have something just for you. Check out our blog ‘Pebbledashing: Dash Receiver or Cement Mix?’

We upload a new blog post every Tuesday so stay tuned for more external wall insulation installation advice, tips for homeowners and product information!