Monthly Archives: October 2018

rendering metsec steel frame

Applying Render to Metsec Steel Frames

When it comes to rendering Metsec steel frame buildings, the external surface of the building needs to be taken into consideration. At EWI Store, we provide coloured render and external solutions for a wide range of substrates, and today we’re going to be discussing in detail the exact process of how to go about rendering a Metsec frame. Metsec is a company that sells cold-rolled steel for structural frames; essentially the building is constructed of a lightweight steel frame (produced by Metsec) and a variety of materials are anchored to the frame to create the buildings’ exterior skin.

There are many materials that can be used for the outside of the Metsec frame, but typically a sheathing board is secured to the steel frame. For non-residential buildings, Mineral Wool insulation is fixed to the sheathing board and the thin coat render system is applied on top. For residential projects, Mineral Wool insulation is installed within a cavity, before a render carrier board is secured to the steel frame on the outside. Quite often you can find steel frame buildings with a brick cladding forming the exterior surface as well.

We’re going to be taking a look into how you can render different substrates on a steel frame building!

Render Carrier Board: Rendering Metsec 

Once the render carrier boards have been secured to the steel battens, there will be a spacer gap of a few millimetres between each edge of the board. This is to give the boards space for ventilation and to compensate for any movement. However, these gaps need to be covered over using an appropriate render tape, or Pavatex Render Carrier Board Joint Tape; both are suitable, however the Pavatex tape acts as a vapour permeable membrane so has that extra level of breathability.

After you’ve joined the render carrier boards together using either of these methods, you can apply the EWI-225 Premium Basecoat to the surface of the render carrier board – no primer needed. Premium Basecoat is our strongest basecoat-adhesive, so we really advise using this as a basecoat for a secure render installation. The Premium Adhesive needs to be mixed with 6.5L of water and applied at a thickness of 6-8mm, before Fibreglass Mesh is embedded within the basecoat using the flat edge of the notched trowel. Each strip of Fibreglass Mesh should overlap its neighbouring strip by approximately 10-15cm.

Leave the basecoat to set for 24-48 hours, then prime the basecoat using an EWI Pro render primer. If you’re using our Silicone Silicate Render then the SiSi Render Primer is the ideal primer; simply paint it onto the basecoat and leave it to dry for 12 hours. After this, you are ready to apply your Silicone Silicate Render; this is the final layer that ensures the system is entirely waterproof and resistant to weathering. You can apply the Silicone Silicate render straight out of the bucket and trowel it on at a thickness that corresponds with the grain size; after this, rub up the surface of the render using a plastic render float to get a textured effect.

External Insulation: Rendering Metsec 

When rendering Metsec, architects will often look to create an insulated render system using a Metsec steel frame building. With this kind of construction, sheathing board is applied to the lightweight steel frame leaving a ventilated cavity in front, and then a render carrier board.  Following the manufacturer’s guidelines insulation is applied to the render carrier board using the appropriate adhesive and mechanical fixings. Once the insulation is in place, the Premium Basecoat can be used once again as a basecoat, before priming and rendering using Silicone Render.

It is commonplace to install a ventilated cavity within these residential systems, as it is a requirement for several insurance companies, although they have recently come under criticism from the general public and within the industry itself since the Grenfell tragedy. We advocate the use of Econic boards and Rockwool Mineral Wool insulation in these circumstances because they are A1 fire rated and non-combustible.  Products such as the Dupont Tyvek Firecurb Housewrap can also be introduced for extra vapour permeability and fire resistance.

And there you have it, rendering Metsec steel frames! We upload a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday, so stay tuned for more content.

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mosaic render

What is Mosaic Render?

Mosaic Render is a bit of a luxury render, offering unparalleled durability and splash resistance. Our Mosaic Render contains quartz aggregate and is therefore known for being strong, durable and waterproof. This makes it ideal for below the DPC, where impact resistance and splash proofing are essential.

Mosaic Render is available in white, black and grey and not only looks fantastic but serves an integral function within the render and EWI system, ensuring that water will not penetrate from the ground up.

Mosaic Render as a Decorative Feature

The finish that Mosaic Render achieves is especially attractive in that the effect is almost marbled due to the fact that it is highly granulated and varicoloured. Because the product offers such a uniquely appealing finish, it is popularly used as a decorative feature for various areas of the property.

The render would produce a fantastic finish around pillars, windows and doors and on garden walls. It would also look great as a feature wall next to swimming pools because of its resistance to water and its durability. The porch area is also a very common area that homeowners use Mosaic Render, as it creates a nice contrast with the main render as a backdrop. In effect, Mosaic Render is brilliant for those looking to create a unique external facade, with close attention to detailing and high quality features.

Mosaic Render for the DPC

Another very common use of Mosaic Render is for the DPC, where durability, waterproofing and impact resistance is essential. Ensuring that an external wall insulation system is watertight at DPC level is vital to continued performance and longevity, and for this purpose mosaic offers unparalleled performance. The DPC area is also prone to plant growth and splashback, which this render can withstand really well.  

For ensuring a strong DPC, we always recommend using XPS insulation boards (because they have a higher density and are less likely to absorb water). XPS should be secured to the substrate using our Premium Basecoat, which is extra strong and breathable (this is also used for the basecoat reinforcement layer), and finally finished with the Mosaic Render.

Mosaic Render vs. Acrylic Render

As discussed, Mosaic Render is known for being extremely durable, impact resistant and waterproof. However, we also often talk about how Acrylic Render is impact resistant – so what is the difference?

Acrylic Render is a thin coat coloured render, with grain sizes suspended within the solution which give it a textured effect and a seamless colour. By contrast, Mosaic Render is made up of lots of different coloured grains which give a completely different look, these grains also make it slightly more hardwearing and waterproof.

And there you have it! Everything you need to know about our Mosaic Render. We upload a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday so stay tuned for more content.

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re-rendering with coloured render

Re-rendering with Coloured Render

We speak to hundreds of customers who are looking at re-rendering with a thin coat coloured render, and need a solution for their existing render. Often this is because the existing render is cracked and damaged with staining from plant life and general signs of weathering. Re-rendering the property with a coloured render can work wonders on giving it a facelift and improving the general aesthetics.

In a previous blog post, we discussed how to replace pebbledash with coloured render, however in this blog we’ll be taking a look at how you might want to go about replacing an existing sand and cement render with coloured render.

Re-rendering Sand and Cement Render with Coloured Render

As is often discussed here at EWI Store, sand and cement render is extremely prone to cracking and water ingress. In general, sand and cement render is just not a suitable material for the vast majority of buildings, especially older buildings and timber frame structures; and yet it is still so commonly used. With coloured render, you are guaranteed a flexible and strong render finish because unlike sand and cement render, coloured render is applied in an extremely thin layer which means it’s much less unforgiving.

Coloured render also gives you the option of choosing a breathable render, such as Silicone or Silicone Silicate, which prevents water ingress and water vapour build-up by allowing it to escape from the building through the external walls, where it can then evaporate off the surface of the render.   

When considering re-rendering with coloured render, the most ideal place to start is by removing your cement render. This can be a pretty difficult process, as cement render is such a tough material and removing it poses a risk to the underlying substrate. Nevertheless, this is most likely the best course of action to protect your property against structural damage because Cement Render is incredibly liable to water ingress.

Re-rendering: Do I Remove or Repair my Sand and Cement Render?

If you’re considering re-rendering with coloured render, then most likely this is because your existing render has cracks within the surface. Unfortunately, as soon as the cracks start to appear then water ingress will undoubtedly follow. If this is clearly the case and your render is beyond repair then it will need removing. Once you’ve removed the render, you may need to repair the underlying substrate before you can go ahead with the re-rendering job.

On the other hand, if the render is in good condition it may be best to simply go over the top of the existing render with a coloured render system. Your installer will need to assess for any hollow patches and areas where the damage is too excessive to safely re-render. If the existing render is damaged or cracked in any way, then sometime down the line your new render may start showing cracks or it may even start falling off the wall, so ensuring the substrate is stable is essential.

How to Repair Sand and Cement Render

Often, sand and cement render was applied to buildings as a means of covering up cheap brickwork and to give an expensive-looking finish. When cracks start to appear in your render, it’s important to repair them as soon as possible in order to prevent water ingress. As soon as water gets behind the render, the process of freezing and thawing will eventually escalate the problem – leading to timber decay, internal damp and render falling off the walls.

If removing your existing render just isn’t possible without causing excessive damage to the underlying substrate, you may be able to patch repair it before applying a coloured render on top. You can use the Levelling Mortar to patch repair your existing render, as this can be applied at a thickness of up to 50mm, creating a smooth and stable surface for your new coloured render.

If your render has come away from the wall in some places completely, you can fill this using the Levelling Mortar, but we do recommend that you are careful to ensure that the rest of the render is stable enough to support a new coloured render.

Applying coloured render on top of existing render

Once you’ve established that your existing render is safe enough to re-render with coloured render, you first need to prime the substrate with the Water Based Primer. This will limit the absorptive capacity of the underlying sand and cement render and prevent it from drawing water out of the basecoat and creating a waterlogged mess underneath.

After this, you can use the Premium Adhesive as a basecoat, with Fibreglass Mesh embedded within it; each strip of mesh should overlap by 10-15cm. The reason we recommend using the Premium Adhesive is because it is much stronger than any of our other basecoat adhesives and will ensure a stable adhesion to the underlying render. Leave the basecoat to set for 24-48 hours, then you are ready to apply your coloured render.

We recommend using a Silicone Render because it’s extremely hydrophobic and vapour permeable. This means that it will prevent water ingress while at the same time allowing trapped water vapour to escape from its surface. It’s an ideal choice for old and new buildings as it’s extremely flexible so will not crack due to structural fluctuations.

And there you have it! How to re-render with coloured render. If you have any further questions or need advice about whether your property is suitable for re-rendering with coloured render, you can call our technical team who have all the technical know-how.

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

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winter insulation materials

Winter Insulation Materials with EWI Store

Winter insulation materials… is your home prepared for winter?

Winter insulation materials are on everyone’s mind; these crisp and chilly mornings are a sure sign that the blazing heatwave of summer is over, and the dreaded task of defrosting the car every morning is drawing near. This time of year generally triggers a mass panic about where to buy winter insulation materials in order to prepare for winter, and we’re here to alleviate these stresses.

What is the solution to preparing homes for winter?

The answer to the above question is simply another question: is your home adequately insulated? If not, we’ve got everything you need. Below is an infographic all about heat loss in the home, and how external wall insulation can help.

Why choose EWI for your home?

  • Warmer in the winter
  • Cooler in the summer
  • Reduced damp
  • Reduced noise
  • Minimise energy bills
  • Extends the life of the property
  • Saves internal space

Install external wall insulation before Winter really sets in…

The best time to install external wall insulation is at this time of year, where the air temperatures are dropping but not yet freezing. EWI materials need to be used at the correct temperatures; this varies between manufacturers, but EWI Pro specify that most of their materials should be used between 5°C and 25°C. Autumn is therefore ideal for those last-minute preparations, and the good thing is that external wall insulation should only take a couple of weeks to install.

Insulating your home in the Winter? Use the right materials…

If you do happen to get to winter and discover that your insulation just isn’t enough, then it’s not too late! We have a range of winter insulation materials for installers to use during the winter months.

Winter Adhesive

Time to crack out the old Winter Adhesive. If you’re installing EPS insulation during the winter months then the Winter Adhesive is the perfect solution. It’s essentially the same as the EWI-220 EPS adhesive but it dries far quicker and is designed to be used even down to zero degrees. The Winter Adhesive is actually a bit of a lifesaver during colder climates, because it alleviates any worries about adhesive failure and resulting insulation falling off the wall.

Mineral Render

Mineral Render is a dry-mix render, so it’s in its nature to be more fast-drying. Mineral Render is intended for use in harsher climates, so it’s ideal for winter installations. It’s a thin coat render and is highly breathable, so you still get the same benefits of our other thin coat renders, the only downside is that because it’s a dry-mix it does require painting afterwards with a Silicone Paint.

Render Accelerator

If the idea of the Mineral Render really doesn’t appeal and a through-coloured render is what you want, then the Render Accelerator is the perfect solution. All you have to do is mix 200ml of the render accelerator into a 25kg tub of one of our thin coat renders, and it will speed up the drying times of the render.

The reason for render failure during colder temperatures is that it takes longer to dry and therefore water ingress becomes a problem. The accelerator completely reduces all of these worries, allowing you to install any EWI Pro thin coat render during the winter months.

Why is a fresh coat of render the best thing to have for winter?

Winter in the UK generally means miserable rain, wind and frost. Cycles of freezing and thawing can be seriously detrimental to building structures, especially if your home has an old, cracking sand and cement render. All it takes for a sand and cement render to fail is this process of freezing and thawing.

Water is easily drawn into cracks within the render before repeatedly freezing and thawing. This weakens the render and eventually, the sand and cement will fail and crumble away, leaving your wall exposed and unprotected against the elements. Worse yet is when water becomes trapped behind the non-breathable sand and cement render, moving through the walls to create damp patches internally.

A fresh coat of render installed before the temperatures really start to drop can save so much hassle. We recommend choosing a Silicone-based render, because they are extremely hydrophobic but also incredibly breathable; this means that water will not be absorbed into the render but any water vapour from inside the house can easily pass through. Silicone renders are also highly flexible, so cracking is very unlikely.

Looking for a trusted installer?

We know how hard it can be to find a responsible and reliable installer to carry out your renovation project, that’s why we have installers up and down the country who have been ‘EWI Pro approved.’ Fill out the contact form below and we will be in touch!

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