Tag Archives: pebbledash

Pebbledashing: Dash Receiver or Cement Mix?

Our Dash Receiver is a one coat solution to all of your pebbledash requirements. Pebbledash is a type of render top coat that is very roughly textured by pebbles and/or stone fragments; it’s a very common building method in the UK, dating back to the late 20th century. With pebbledash, you can still see the colour of the cement underneath the pebbles, so it often appears to be a dirty caramel colour when you look at it from a distance.

We’ve previously written a blog about what to do when you want to get rid of your pebbledash (check it out here) as admittedly it’s not all that popular in the UK these days. However, many people find that either they have no other choice but to replicate and replace it, or they actually like the way that a high quality pebbledash finish can look. For both of these cases, the EWI-235 Dash Receiver can produce great results. Looking for technical information? Have a read of the Dash Receiver Data Sheet.

Why is the EWI-235 Dash Receiver better than using ordinary cement?

The reason we would always recommend using the Dash Receiver over other cement-mix products is because it was designed and engineered to be used for the specific purpose of pebbledashing. Due to this, the Dash Receiver presents a strong and high performing solution to ensuring a pebbledash finish that will last.

Strength and High Adhesion

For example, because the Dash Receiver is meant to be used specifically to adhere to dash aggregates, it has been designed with strength and high adhesive capabilities in mind. This essentially means that rather than just sitting on the wall as a rock-solid, immovable mass, the Dash Receiver will maintain its hold on the pebbles and therefore reduce chances of the dash aggregates falling off the surface and creating an unfortunately irreparable and ugly appearance.

Weatherproof

Using bog-standard cement to create a pebbledash effect means that it is not best suited for being exposed to the elements and is therefore lacking in weatherproofing capabilities. The Dash Receiver is waterproof and frost proof – it’s meant to be slightly exposed to the elements and can withstand this, whereas normal cement mix doesn’t cope well with exposure to weathering, hence the often dilapidated appearance of older pebbledash looks.

A Range of Colours

Unlike cement-mix products, our Dash Receiver comes in a choice of colours. Because the Dash Receiver still somewhat shows underneath the pebbles, colour can make a pretty big impact on the overall appearance of the pebbledash. As a result, we offer our Dash Receiver in white, magnolia, champagne and cream, so you can also choose which kind of dash aggregates to use in order to contrast nicely against the Dash Receiver as a background.

Durable and Flexible

When a building heats up and cools down, the external walls expand and contract minimally. This is often the cause of cracks appearing within render facades, and cement-based products are especially susceptible to this because they lack the flexibility to be able to move with the building and compensate for these minute changes in structure. The Dash Receiver has been designed to be highly flexible to ensure that your pebbledash finish will resist those unsightly cracks.

The Perfect Consistency

Our Dash Receiver is the perfect consistency for pebbledashing. It isn’t too viscous or too dilute, so the dash aggregates won’t drop off the surface or sink too far within the Dash Receiver. This not only helps to secure a long lasting adhesion but also helps to create a finish that looks as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

How do you install the Dash Receiver?

 

 

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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!