Monthly Archives: July 2018

Applying Coloured Render onto ICF

What is ICF?

ICF (Insulating Concrete Form) are hollow foam blocks that are stacked into shape, reinforced with rebar steel and then filled with concrete. The ICF blocks combine the thermal capabilities of EPS insulation with the strength of concrete and rebar steel, creating airtight, energy efficient and outstandingly structurally stable walls.

Here at EWI Store, we use EPS insulation in our external wall insulation systems as a means of retrofitting thermal insulation to a property in order to upgrade its thermal performance. With ICF blocks the insulation is already part of the substrate, however, the exterior polystyrene is not weatherproof and therefore needs finishing with a coloured render system. In this blog, we’re going to talk about how you can apply coloured render onto ICF.

How to apply Coloured Render onto ICF substrates

The method of application of coloured render onto an ICF substrate is very similar to applying coloured render to EPS insulation boards. First the basecoat must be applied to the substrate using a trowel to create a smooth surface before the thin coat render can be applied. To create the basecoat, you can use either the EWI-220 EPS Basecoat Adhesive, or the EWI-225 Premium Adhesive for an extra strong and stable base.

Fibreglass mesh needs to be embedded within the basecoat layer in order to enhance tensile strength and crack-resistance. Once this is done, the basecoat needs to be as smooth as possible because any major imperfections will be visible due to the fact that the render itself is applied in such a thin layer.

The basecoat layer needs to set for a period of 24-48 hours before any more work can be done. After it’s set, a render can be applied; this will depend upon the type of coloured render that you intend to use. For example, our SiSi Render Primer is designed for use with our Silicone Silicate Renders. The primer needs to be left to set for 12 hours, and then finally the coloured render can be applied!

Contact our sales team for a copy of our full installation guide!

Why use Coloured Render on ICF

Coloured render can offer your property a world of benefits and is an excellent finish for ICF substrates. Coloured renders are flexible and crack-resistant because they are applied in such a thin layer (it can vary from 1mm-3mm thick depending upon the grain size you go for!). When choosing a coloured render, you can select from our expansive colour chart or we can custom mix the render into any shade, we also have a blog post ‘coloured render cost per m2’ which outlines really clearly how much the system typically costs. 

With EWI Store, we offer a wide selection of renders for a range of substrates:

Silicone/Silicone Silicate Render: Silicone-based renders are a high performance option when it comes to coloured render. Not only does Silicone Render possess self-cleaning capabilities (although silicone silicate less so), both are also highly breathable and hydrophobic, thereby preventing water vapour from becoming trapped within the substrate and the render system.

Acrylic Render: Acrylic is what most people think of when they think of thin coat coloured render. It is most renowned for coloured render because it is so great at holding onto colour pigment (think of the vibrancy of acrylic paint). Acrylic render is very impact resistant, so if you have kids who love kicking footballs against your walls acrylic render is right for you!

Mineral Render: Mineral render is a great choice if you live in a particularly harsh climate. Because of the fact that it’s fast drying, it can be installed in cold or humid conditions, nevertheless it does require painting with a silicone paint after it has dried to prevent the formation of lime bloom – which is essentially like a cement ‘disease’ which makes your house render appear patchy.

So there you have it. Our full range of renders and how they are applied to an ICF substrate. For any further questions, comment down below or call up our technical team who are always happy and on-hand to help.

Applying Render to a Range of Substrates:

Recap of Materials required for applying coloured render onto ICF:

We upload a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned for more content!

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10 Tips for Avoiding Condensation

10 ways to avoid condensation in the home!

Part of your external wall insulation aftercare and maintenance includes taking actions to reduce excessive condensation within the home – we thought we’d cover that today.

We often talk about how water and condensation are detrimental to external wall insulation systems, and how breathable materials can really help reduce the risks of these issues – you can read this blog for more information about it. However, while EWI is a great preventative measure against moisture entering your home, you do need to take steps to ensure that your home is well ventilated and condensation-free internally. Avoiding condensation can be easier than you think!

1. Ventilation strategy

With a good external wall insulation install, comes a good ventilation strategy. Any decent installer should be able to recognise where you will need ventilation and where your walls have too high a moisture content for you to safely install EWI. Vents are designed to ensure that your home is ventilated in a controlled way. For example roof vents, trickle vents and foundation vents can work wonders at reducing condensation build up.

2. Warmer walls (insulation)

External wall insulation itself should help to prevent condensation by retaining the heat in your walls and thus slowing down heat transfer. This basically means that when warm, humid air from indoors hits your walls, it’s not going to turn into condensation because the temperature difference will be significantly reduced. The key with insulation is that thermal bridges need to be minimised as much as possible, because where there are gaps in the insulation condensation can gather and cause problems.

3. Open windows for a short while after you’ve had a shower or cooked food.

Excessive condensation and humidity is created after hot water has been used in the home. Ever noticed how steamy your bathroom gets after you’ve had a nice long shower, or how your kitchen windows mist up when you’re cooking lots of different foods on different hobs at the same time?

Even opening a window a crack for five minutes or so can provide enough of an escape route for the steam. When airing a room like this it’s best to keep the door closed with the window open to prevent too much heat loss from other parts of the house, and also to stop the humid air moving into colder rooms and then turning to condensation there.

4. Extractor fans

Another key part of ventilation. These are great in bathrooms (especially if you don’t have a window) and kitchens as a means of extracting water vapour from the air and reduce the necessity of opening windows and potentially losing heat from inside.

5. Dehumidifier

If your home is particularly prone to damp and mould, then a dehumidifier could be the best option as a preventative measure to avoid condensation. It’s always better to be safe than sorry – moisture is particularly detrimental to EWI. Another thing you also might want to consider is that damp can often occur on the back walls of built-in wardrobes, so a hanging wardrobe dehumidifier could be really effective.

6. Double glazing

When you install EWI, it’s always best to install any new windows before the installation. With that in mind, it does not make any sense whatsoever to replace inefficient single-glazed windows with more of the same. Single glazed windows won’t retain any sort of heat, so temperature-wise the actual glass is going to be cold and therefore when the warm air from inside hits the cold glass – boom! Condensation. Double glazing can fix this issue because there is a pocket of air between the two panes of glass which slows down heat transfer and therefore avoids condensation.

7. Have a Good DPC

As we mentioned, any professional EWI installer will be able to check for rising damp and also check that your DPC (damp proof course) is in good working order before installation. Some people don’t even have DPC’s, and in this instance you may want to consider a chemical DPC to avoid rising damp, such as Dryzone Damp-Proofing Cream.

8. Avoid drying clothes indoors

Wet clothes in a warm room equals evaporation and condensation. Enough said. But really, if you need to dry your clothes indoors try to use an airing cupboard or turn one of the rooms in your house into a temporary laundry drying room. Simply switch the heating off in that room (your EWI should keep the room at a comfortable temperature without the heating on anyway), open a window slightly and keep the door closed. It will be worth it in the long run when you avoid condensation and reduce your chances of damp.

9. Leave a gap between your furniture and the walls

Mould often starts growing in warm, dark places such as behind large pieces of furniture. To prevent this and to allow for air circulation behind your furniture, you should leave an inch or so of space between the wall and the furniture. This should allow the walls to breath and prevent damp.

10. Keep your home at a constant temperature

With external wall insulation, the rate of heat loss from within your home is slowed down significantly. However, this is not to say that you shouldn’t have a regular heating pattern so that your home runs at a comfortable temperature and internal condensation is reduced. You can use your thermostat to do this, setting it to a specified temperature or by arranging for the heating to come on using a timer.

These are our top tips for avoiding condensation in your home! We hope this was helpful, if you have any questions then do leave a comment below or give us a call – we are always happy to help!

We upload a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned for more content!

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The Best Weather Conditions for Rendering?

The Ideal Weather Conditions for Rendering?

Things don’t always go to plan when working on a construction site, and sometimes poor weather conditions can affect whether or not you’re able to start rendering. The current heatwave in the UK has meant that we’ve received many enquiries from renderers and homeowners about whether these are the best conditions for rendering, and we endeavour to give as much advice as possible to avoid situations where the render fails.

The ideal temperatures for installing render varies between manufacturers, however for EWI Pro renders it is advised that the optimal temperature for applying the renders should be between +5 and +25 degrees celsius.

This isn’t to say that this unprecedented heat wave should put a halt to all works, as we know that the daily temperatures have been well over 25. Renderers simply need to be able to find ways to work around the heat, and the same goes for when the weather’s cold. So here’s our advice on what to do when the weather conditions aren’t ideal for rendering!

Rendering in Hot Weather

We always advise not to use our materials in temperatures over 30 degrees. Most especially, we advise that if it’s a warm day it’s best not to render in direct sunlight, as this is the most probable cause of the render drying out too fast. Render that has dried out too fast can result in cracking and damage, or even a patchy finish.

An old trick that lots of renderers use is to start before the sun has fully risen (many of our installers start out at around 5am!). Start by applying render on a wall that is not exposed to sunlight, and follow the sun around the building working on the walls that are in the shade. This allows you to continue to work in sunny weather, but prevents issues with the render drying out too fast in direct sunlight (it’s also much better for the installer to be out of the sun anyway – safety first!).

Another way to avoid cracking when the weather conditions for rendering are not ideal is to wet the walls before application, or even better apply the Water Based Primer. This primer limits the absorptive capacity of the substrate. During hot weather, ordinary masonry will have dried out and the absorptive capacity of the substrate will be extremely high. Using a primer ensures that the substrate is prevented from absorbing too much water from the render and causing it to crack during the curing process.

For our thin coat render systems, we always advise the use of Fibreglass Mesh embedded within the basecoat layer. We also advise that mesh is embedded within the first layer of Monocouche Render. This is even more essential when the weather conditions for rendering are not ideal, as the Fibreglass Mesh increases the tensile strength of the whole system, so when the render shrinks during the process of drying, the mesh will help to prevent cracking.

Rendering in Cold Weather

Cold weather means that the render may not dry out fast enough. If this is the case, the render may retain moisture for too long and thus become susceptible to damage from this trapped moisture.

Mineral Render is a great option when it comes to applying thin coat render in colder conditions. This is because it’s a dry-mix render and is therefore much more quick-drying than our ready-to-use thin coat renders. It also has much faster drying times than our Monocouche Scratch Render because this is applied in a very thick layer, which increases its curing time.

Using a Render Accelerator in the colder weather is also excellent if you are installing our Silicone Silicate, Silicone or Acrylic Renders. Simply mix in 100ml of Render Accelerator per 25kg bucket of render and you can gain faster drying times, reduced cracking and water retention in the winter.

When it comes to the basecoat layer, the Winter Adhesive has been specifically designed for use in colder temperatures when the weather conditions for rendering are not ideal – it can be used even down to zero degrees. When you use the Winter Adhesive, you are ensuring that you have a strong and crack-free surface onto which you can apply your thin coat renders. By doing this, you increase your chances of achieving a great finish – even when the weather is not ideal!

We upload every Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned for more content all about our render and EWI systems.

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Sand and Cement Render on High Performance Blocks

Cracked Sand and Cement Render on AAC Blocks

We recently came across a case where a customer had sand and cement render installed on their home which was built with high performance blockwork. High performance blockwork, such as autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), is a lightweight concrete building material. These blocks are known as high performance because they offer insulating capabilities, fire and mould resistance and are also highly breathable.

The issue with using sand and cement render with this kind of blockwork is that sand and cement render is very old fashioned and lacks any sort of breathability and flexibility. The contrast between the two materials is that by using sand and cement render you are essentially using a low-performance render on a high performance substrate. The result is therefore excessive cracks in the render, as this customer unfortunately discovered. (see photos below!)

Hairline cracks in sand and cement render around doors and windows:

An array of cracks within the sand and cement render:

Render for High Performance Blocks

Because high performance blockwork is so lightweight and breathable, using a really solid and hard material such as sand and cement is not suitable. Instead, you need a lightweight and breathable material – such as our Lightweight Basecoat. This is because the Lightweight Basecoat contains lime and perlite, so it’s strong but most importantly flexible and breathable; therefore it is completely ideal for high performance blocks because as the soft blockwork moves with the building, so will the basecoat.

Once you’ve applied the Lightweight Basecoat to the high performance blocks, leave it to set for 24-48 hours and then prime the basecoat using our SiSi Render Primer. This will ensure a strong adhesion of the Silicone Render to the basecoat.

Thin Coat Renders for High Performance Blocks

Silicone Render is ideal for use on lightweight, high-performance blockwork instead of a sand and cement render (check out our blog on ‘Sand and Cement Render vs. Thin Coat Render’ for more information!). It’s a thin coat render and is therefore extremely breathable, flexible and crack resistant. This is the ideal render if you are looking for something that will maintain a clean and fresh appearance for years to come because Silicone Render is self cleaning.

An alternative to the Silicone Render is our Silicone Silicate render. This is very similar, except it’s a hybrid-silicone render; it therefore lacks the same level of self cleaning but the presence of silicone within the formula means that Silicone Silicate is also very breathable.

In some parts of the UK, poor weather means that installing a thin coat render is challenging. Our Mineral Render is extremely fast drying and offers the same breathability and flexbility as the Silicone or Silicone Silicate Renders. Mineral Render only needs painting with Silicone Paint afterwards to seal it in and protect it against weathering.

Paint Finishes on High Performance Blocks

Many people opt for a sand and cement render so that it can be painted directly after application and setting. As we know, when using high performance blockwork sand and cement render will crack, and your perfect painted finish will result in hairline cracks.

If a paint finish is your desired outcome, then using Silicone Paint on top of our Lightweight Basecoat is a brilliant alternative to sand and cement render on high performance blocks. Using Silicone Paint can achieve a smooth finish that is very easy to refresh and re-paint as time goes on.

Before you can apply the Silicone Paint to the substrate, you will need to do a ‘tight coat’ of the Lightweight Basecoat. This is where you apply a thin layer which is then either rubbed up or sponged to give the desired finish before painting.

Silicone Paint is the most ideal paint for use on high performance blockwork because it is hydrophobic and breathable, and will therefore work in harmony with the breathable high performance blocks. 

You can also check out our blog post on how to render ICF for an idea of how you would go about rendering different high performance substrates!

Recap – Suitable Render Products for High Performance Blocks:

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How to Remove Render

What is ETICS Render Remover?

We love to bring to our customers new and exciting products that will genuinely be of use on-site. Among these is our ETICS Render Remover, because it’s a bit of a lifesaver when it comes to cleaning up and making sure that there’s no damage to the property during installation!

When working on-site, it’s practically impossible to ensure that the property remains immaculately clean. It’s inevitable that render will be dropped on areas such as patios, pavements, windows and doors, leaving a worrying stain. ETICS Render Remover is a fast-acting chemical cleaner which effectively breaks down spilled, dried out render. We always recommend that installers take precautions to protect these exposed areas by using window protection film and other protective covers, however accidents happen, and here’s what to do when they do!

How to use ETICS Render Remover

Something that makes this a really appealing product is the fact that it’s so easy to use. ETICS Render Remover is highly versatile, as you can use it on a range of substrates including metal, plastic and rubber, glass, uPVC, brick, concrete and tarmac. It’s perfectly safe to use, posing no threat to workers and, importantly, it’s not hazardous to the environment!

To use the ETICS Render Remover, you can simply wet the stain using water and remove any large chunks of render, then blob the ETICS directly onto the stain, leave it for 10-20 minutes and bob’s your uncle! You can re-apply the render cleaner as many times as you like if you’ve got some particularly tough stains to get rid of.

Another convenient use of the ETICS Render Remover is by using it in combination with a jet wash! For each process, whether it’s by hand or by jet wash, once you’re happy that the stain has been fully removed make sure you wash away any remaining ETICS with clean water.

ETICS Render Remover comes in both a gel and a liquid. The gel is particularly useful if you’ve managed to spill render on a vertical surface such as a window, because the ETICS needs to be able to sit on the surface of the stain for 10 minutes to work and the gel prevents it from just sliding off.

EWI Pro Materials and ETICS Render Remover

The great thing about the ETICS is that you can use it for a wide range of product stains and still get great results. For example, you can use the ETICS with our thin coat renders: Silicone, Silicone-Silicate, Acrylic and Mineral Renders. It’s also great for use with our adhesives and basecoats, with Monocouche Scratch Render and with our Silicone Paints!  

ETICS Render Remover – An Overview

  • Use it on your tools to get rid of damaging stains
  • Use it at the end of a job to present a nice clean finish to your clients and bring in some great reviews
  • Use it to clean up the edges of your render to go that extra mile and be high quality
  • Virtually no risk to the finished work
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Versatile – use on a range of substrates and to clean away a range of products
  • An environmentally friendly product

Stay tuned for more content! We upload new blog posts every Tuesday and Thursday all about our products, with technical advice and answering customer’s FAQ’s!

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What are Brick Slips?

Brick Slips Cater to Every Taste

It often comes as a surprise to customers that our render finishes aren’t the only finish that we offer here at EWI store. We offer brick slips in a wide range of different colours, including:

With external wall insulation, you cannot use actual bricks due to the fact that the system wouldn’t withstand the weight. Brick slips are therefore fantastic if you need to recreate the original look of your property. This could be the case for many people who are installing EWI somewhere where it is required that you maintain the character of the property or even if you would just rather have a brick finish rather than a render finish.

The great thing about them is that they can really improve the look of the property, especially if the original brickwork is looking a bit tired and worn – the brick slips offer a total face lift, and with the added benefits of EWI thrown in it’s a bit of a no brainer.

Brick slips are fantastic because they are so realistic looking, but they are also completely flexible, weatherproof and UV resistant (so the colour won’t fade over time!). The EWI acrylic brick slips are almost completely mineral based, made from a mixture of assorted quartz sands and a binding agent.

Rather than being made of the traditional mortar, our brick slips offer vapour permeability, making them perfect for use as part of an EWI system. They are also impact resistant and are easily washable, so very easy to maintain.

How are Brick Slips Installed?

Our brick slips are really simple to install. We offer our special adhesive which comes in five different colours and is designed specifically for use with the brick slips to create a long lasting, reliable bond between the brick slips and the substrate.

When installing brick slips on top of an external wall insulation system, you would first install the basecoat and mesh on top of the insulation boards. The brick slips are then applied on top of this; you must use a notched trowel to apply the special brick slip adhesive to an area of the substrate (approximately 1m2). You then apply the brick slips to the adhesive, forming a standard brick pattern by staggering the bricks and leaving a space of around 10mm between each brick vertically and horizontally, which will give a really realistic effect. You can very easily bend the brick slips around corners because of their flexibility, or you can cut them to the desired shape.

Brick Slips can be used Internally  

We recently had a really enthusiastic customer who wanted to purchase brick slips to go around the chimney breast inside her living room. It’s great to see creative home design, and because of the fact that we offer brick slips in both white and black you could really easily achieve a chic and modern look inside your property.

We think that installing our brick slips is super easy and can definitely be done internally as a DIY job for your chimney breast, your kitchen splash back or even as a statement wall. They would also look great in apartment block entryways.

Where can I buy Brick Slips?

You can buy flexible and durable brick slips via EWI Store! We offer a wide range of finishes, including brick slip corners.

If you have any further questions regarding our brick slip finishes, comment down below or contact our sales team! 

Looking for more inspiration on how to make your property look great on the outside? Check out our blog on render design features for some great ideas.

 

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building regulations and U-values, EWI, external wall insulation and U values

External Insulation for Passive Houses?

What is a Passive House?

Passive Houses and external wall insulation are two hot topics within the energy efficiency and insulation industries. Passive House is a construction concept that originally began in Germany; initially coined ‘passivhaus,’ it is generally known as an energy efficient, environmentally friendly house that practically requires no heating. The building is constructed in such a way that it is tightly sealed in a thermal envelope which allows very little heat to escape, so that essentially a room can be warmed simply by light from the sun, body heat or the heat from small electrical appliances. 

There are three things that a house needs to achieve before it can be considered a Passive House:

  • A Passive House needs to have primary energy demands (such as warm water, heating, house appliances) lower than 120 kWh/m2a
  • A Passive House needs to have heating demands lower than 15 kWh per square meter annually.
  • A Passive House must pass a pressure test and the pressure must be limited to 50 Pascals with the pressure differential not exceeding 0.6 times a room’s volume per hour.

A Passive House has a high level of insulation. That includes the doors, windows (triple glazed), walls, floors and roof. However, as we know, houses need proper ventilation – therefore Passive Houses also require a mechanical ventilation system.

Excellent indoor air quality is a characteristic that Passive Houses possess, and this is achieved through the mechanical ventilator exchanging the air from inside with the air from outside. These are great for being energy efficient, because during the process of heat exchange the ventilators can transfer the fresh air into the room at the same time as heating up/cooling down the fresh air. This means that Passive Houses are able to exist without the frequent or constant use of conventional heating systems, many only have one radiator in the bathroom for drying off towels.

External Wall Insulation on Passive Houses

So, as previously mentioned, Passive Houses require an outstanding amount of insulation; typically a Passive House wall will have a U-value of 0.15m/m2k. Luckily, external wall insulation would do the job perfectly if you get it at the right thickness. EPS, Mineral Wool and Wood Fibre have low enough U-values to be able to obtain the required level of insulation for a passive house.

However, the insulation needs to be totally sealed against thermal bridging– which means absolutely no gaps. This is because gaps in the insulation break the thermal envelope and, especially in highly insulated houses, reduce the effectiveness of the insulation. Thermal Bridging can cause damp and condensation – which can be far more detrimental to a passive house than a regular house.

Which EWI System is Best for a Passive House?

To achieve Passive House U-values on a 215mm solid brick wall, 270mm of Mineral Wool would be required. Mineral Wool is highly breathable so it’s great for a Passive House construction where ventilation and air quality are key in order to prevent damp. Due to the fact that Mineral Wool is made of a renewable material (volcanic rock), it’s also in keeping with the ethos of the Passive House. Rockwool is made by spinning volcanic rock in a furnace at a high temperature to create a cotton candy-like texture, and then it’s compressed into dense, flat insulation boards. Rock is not a very good heat conductor, and the fibres from the spun rock provide air pockets, which is what makes it a great insulation material.

In keeping with the Passive House rules, the EWI-225 Premium Adhesive, designed for use in Rockwool systems, is also ideal because it is breathable, strong and waterproof.

To finish off the system, for a Passive House you will want to use a Silicone Render. Again, this works really well in conjunction with the Rockwool system because of its breathability. Silicone Render is hydrophobic (water repelling) so moisture will essentially bounce off its surface, safeguarding the system against damp.

Wood Fibre Insulation for Passive Houses

Our most environmentally friendly insulation material is our Wood Fibre insulation, which we source from Pavatex. To achieve Passive House U-values with Wood Fibre on a 215mm solid brick wall, you would need 240mm of insulation. Wood Fibre is a highly versatile insulation material, offering excellent thermal performance. Our Wood Fibre insulation is completely recyclable and holds the prestigious title of being NaturePlus certified. The fact that this insulation is so highly renewable and environmentally friendly means that really it’s ideal for Passive Houses where environmental consciousness is at the forefront of the building design. Passive Houses also require a high level of breathability, and Wood Fibre is the most recommended insulation material to achieve this.

Building a Passive House is a highly technical procedure, and external wall insulation could definitely play a part in helping to mimic the Passive House standards. Our sales team are experts on all of our products and will be able to give you any technical advice about their technical specifications and usage. Feel free to contact us for any questions regarding our materials or get yourself a free materials quote using our calculator!

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The Best Masonry Paint? Silicone Paint

What is Silicone Paint?

We often receive enquiries about our Silicone Paint from customers who are looking for high quality masonry paints, or who are interested in re-rendering their properties. The main questions that they ask tend to be about what the difference is between Silicone Paint and Silicone Render; and what is Silicone Paint for? Well, we hope to answer all of your questions in this blog post!

Silicone Paint is a breathable, hydrophobic topcoat finish which is great for applying over the top of an existing render as you would a normal masonry paint. It’s resistant to water, environmental pollutants and organic growth, so it would be perfect if you live in a busy, built up city or if you live in a humid, rainy environment where your render is susceptible to organic overgrowth.  

What is the difference between Silicone Paint and Silicone Render?

It speaks for itself really that Silicone Paint is a masonry paint topcoat, whilst the Silicone Render is a render finish. The only similarities between them are the fact that they both contain Silicone, which provides numerous benefits – but we’ll come to that later!

Our thin coat renders come in different grain sizes ranging from 1mm to 3mm; in contrast, our Silicone Paint does not come in different grain sizes, it’s completely smooth so can be applied on top of the existing render without disrupting the texture.

Silicone Paint is designed to be used as either a masonry paint topcoat to seal in the render underneath (e.g. for use with our Mineral Render), or it can be used as a means of refreshing your render finish if it needs a bit of a spruce further down the line.

Silicone Render is hydrophobic, which means that it repels dirt and organic growth. However, after many years even a render with these capabilities can look tired. This is where Silicone Paint comes in really handy as part of your render aftercare because it is also hydrophobic – so it not only refreshes the render but adds another protective layer to top up its lifespan.

Why use a Silicone Masonry Paint?

Silicone Paint provides a super breathable finish, so as part of a render or EWI system it works particularly well. As we know, ingress of water and moisture is detrimental to rendered properties and to external wall insulation. For EWI, if water enters the system it can reduce its thermal capabilities and the water can damage the system during the freezing and thawing process. Ingress of water within a render-only system is particularly bad,  allowing the water to cause damage to the render. It can seep into the walls of the property and cause damp patches on the internal walls, especially with solid wall properties.

The Silicone Paint acts as a protective barrier against this problem. Its breathability allows water and moisture to escape through the surface of the paint and it prevents moisture from passing through, because the silicone within the paint repels water vapour. Because of its vapour permeability, Silicone Paint is also frostproof – frost will not cause damage by settling on its surface or within the actual masonry paint itself.

We always recommend to our customers that our Mineral Render should be sealed in with a high performance masonry paint such as Silicone Paint. Mineral Render is our fastest-drying render which is perfect for cold climates, however its ingredients means that if it’s exposed to the elements for too long it can be susceptible to lime bloom. This is why it’s necessary to apply Silicone Paint over the top of it, to prevent water from passing through to the render underneath and causing the formation of lime bloom.

Silicone Paint can be Matched to the Coloured Render Underneath!

If you’ve used one of our coloured renders, then you can very easily buy a Silicone Paint in exactly the same colour to match it to the existing render. We offer a same-day colour mixing service using our render colour machine which can tint your Silicone Paint into thousands of different colours, so even if your render does not come from EWI Pro we will be able to match up the paint for you!

Silicone Paint is Great for Interiors and Exteriors!

We’ve previously talked a lot about render and how Silicone Paint can be used as a masonry paint in addition to your render finish as a protective topcoat, however many people aren’t aware that Silicone Paint can be used for interiors as well as exteriors!

We’ve heard of people using Silicone Paint in their bathrooms, because it’s a really waterproof paint and is perfect for the humid environment of a bathroom. We’ve also heard of people who have previously suffered with problems of damp in their home, and have used Silicone Paint as a future deterrent because of its breathability. One of our members of staff has also used silicone paint on his garden wall to prevent organic growth. We think all of the above uses are great ways to utilise Silicone Paint!

Get In Touch to Buy Silicone Paint!

We’re always happy to answer any further questions about our products, so give us a call if you are interested in using Silicone Paint for your home. We can work out exactly how much you’ll need depending on the square meterage of your property.

 

We upload a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned for more product information and technical advice!

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EWI Funding in Scotland (HEEPS)

Homeowners in Scotland can now claim financial funding for EWI! Here at EWI Store, we’re all about helping homeowners increase the energy efficiency of their property through external wall insulation. Unfortunately for many people the upfront cost of installation just isn’t viable, so living with higher energy bills becomes something they have no choice but to put up with.

Fortunately for those living in Scotland, the HEEPS scheme may be able to help! The Scottish government are keen to help homeowners save money on their energy bills by providing funding for a wide range of energy efficiency measures. We’re happy to see that government initiatives are recognising the need for reduced energy bills for homeowners, especially when considering the current UK energy crisis and the resulting high energy tariff rates (our friends over at The GreenAge talk a lot about this topic!).

What is the HEEPS Funding Scheme for External Wall Insulation?

The Home Energy Efficiency Programmes Scotland (HEEPS) loan is open to applications and aims to help owners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes with funding for a number of energy efficiency measures. These include energy efficiency improvements such as insulation, glazing and boilers; home renewables systems such as solar panels; and energy storage systems such as storage heaters.

The great thing is that the funding covers external wall insulation and is not limited to cavity wall, so if you live in a solid wall property, or cavity wall insulation is simply not available for you, then this grant is open to you!

How Does the EWI in Scotland Funding Work?

The HEEPS scheme is divided into loans and cashback. Under the HEEPS loan scheme, you can borrow up to £10,000 interest-free in order to carry out external wall insulation on your property. Cashback funding is only available if you apply for and go on to claim a loan; cashback funding therefore cannot be applied for separately. For external wall insulation you can claim £2,500 in cashback on a £10,000 loan.

The repayments for a £10,000 loan are completely interest-free, and are to be paid back over the course of up to 12 years. When you consider the amount of money you’ll be saving after external wall insulation, the money you would have paid towards energy bills will essentially go towards the repayments of this loan.  

How do I get the HEEPS loan?

In order to get the HEEPS loan, you need to contact Home Energy Scotland personally, who will give you advice on the best energy saving solution for your property. You will not be able to get your installer to apply on your behalf, as the scheme will need to speak to you personally before sending out the application form directly to you. This is because the scheme is managed by the Energy Saving Trust, who are experts in energy saving advice for homeowners and therefore will ensure that the funding is going towards the right measures for the right people.

People who are eligible for the EWI funding in Scotland include homeowners and registered private sector landlords, however this is restricted to ‘natural persons,’ which effectively means landlords that are not registered as a company. As well as this, in some circumstances landlords can apply for funding on up to 3 properties that are currently occupied by one or more tenants. More information on the scheme can be found via the Energy Saving Trust!

Energy Saving and External Wall Insulation

External wall insulation can benefit homeowners in many ways. Not only does EWI reduce energy bills, it will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. EWI can also reduce problems with damp, improve the outward facade of the property and increase the lifespan of the property’s external walls by protecting against weathering.

EWI is an energy saving measure that is open not only to owners of solid wall properties but also those who own timber frame houses, steel frame houses and more. We advocate the installation of EWI because it is so versatile and genuinely worthwhile.

Looking for installers of EWI? Fill out the form below and we will be in touch!

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Stay tuned for more content! We upload a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday, all about our products and systems, with technical advice and answering customer’s FAQ’s!