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What does it mean to be BBA-approved?

Did you know that, here at EWI Store, we stock a range of BBA-approved products? If so, then you know that we are guaranteed to offer high-quality, long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing solutions to cater to your render and external wall insulation needs. If not, you might be wondering: what does BBA-approved mean? Well, you’re in the right place; BBA approval is a huge deal, and that’s why we’re so proud to hold such and share what it means with you here!

What is BBA?

The British Board of Agrément (BBA) is a certification body within the construction industry that assesses the quality of a company’s products, services and systems through extensive research, auditing, inspection and testing. Throughout the industry, a BBA status is highly regarded by building control, government departments, architects, local authorities, specifiers and industry insurers like the NHB and used by manufacturers as a symbol of authority, validating that any product that gains BBA approval can be trusted. Here at EWI Store, we stock the entire EWI Pro range, many products of which have gained BBA approval.

How do you gain BBA approval?

The BBA testing process can take anywhere between several weeks to 18 months depending on the kinds and number of assessments that need to be taken. Nonetheless, once a manufacturer has been awarded their certificate, it doesn’t end there; the BBA requires that all manufacturers are reviewed and are subject to organised surveillance. To gain their BBA approval, EWI Pro’s render and external wall insulation products that comprise their most common external wall insulation systems – Mineral Wool and EPS – underwent rigorous laboratory tests, on-site evaluations, product inspections and quality management checks. As a result, EWI Pro has long gained marketplace acceptance with their BBA approval, which is why we are so proud to offer their products and be trusted by homeowners and installers.

While assessing EWI Pro products, the BBA checked for the following factors:

  • Durability

This includes performance after hygrothermal cycling and colour change measurements after UV exposure.

  • Energy efficiency and thermal performance

This includes thermal transmittance/U-value (guarded hot box) and thermal conductivity and resistance (heat flow metre).

  • Hygrothermal testing

This includes heat/rain and heat/cold cycling (ETAG 004 environmental chamber) and heat/spray and freeze/thaw cycling (MOAT 22).

  • Mechanical testing

This includes resistance to soft body impact, resistance to hard body impact, perforation test, resistance to pull through of fixings, flexural strength, compressive strength and bond strength.

  • Water penetration and water vapour permeability

This includes water vapour permeability and water absorption (capillarity).

  • Wind Loading

This includes wind uplift.

What does this mean for EWI Store?

As the leading UK render specialists who strive to offer the best possible choice of materials from trusted manufacturers and established brand names, the BBA approval on EWI Pro’s products validates that we only offer high-quality, long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing solutions for your next render project.

Our range of BBA-approved products

All the products that comprise a Mineral Wool and EPS external wall insulation system are BBA-approved. EWI Pro Mineral Wool and EPS external wall insulation systems consist of grey and white EPS insulation boards which mechanically fixed to the substrate wall with a supplementary adhesive, fibreglass reinforced basecoat and a render finish. After the boards have been secured to the wall with adhesive and the required number of mechanical fixings, the basecoat is applied using a trowel over the boards to the required thickness, followed by the reinforcing mesh which is fully embedded within the basecoat. After the basecoat has fully cured, a primer (depending on the finishing coat) is applied, followed by the render finish.

You can shop the full range of EWI Products in our store here.

Get in touch

Want to know more about BBA approval? While we think we’ve covered a good amount, we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have not just related to BBA approval, but anything related to our products and services. Click here to find our contact details and get in touch with one of our specialists!

 

EWI Store are the leading UK render specialists, offering a range of high-quality Render and External Wall Insulation products. We take a whole-system approach to external wall insulation, stocking all the materials required to help installers achieve a stand-out result. Our selection of products is constantly growing as we strive to offer our customers the best possible choice of materials from trusted manufacturers and established brand names.

Why you should have External Wall Insulation on your Cavity Walls

Whether your house should occupy cavity wall insulation (CWI) or external wall insulation (EWI) is an age-old question that still leaves homeowners confused. While it seems obvious that CWI should be installed on cavity walls and EWI on solid walls, there are many benefits to having EWI installed on your cavity walls. Of course, the decision ultimately comes down to what best suits both your budget and your property; however, with CWI’s history of creating issues surrounding damp and mould compared to EWI’s aesthetically pleasing and energy-saving properties, it’s clear why EWI is quickly becoming the favoured choice.

If you’re still torn on which type of insulation would be best for your home, we’ve compiled a little guide on the advantages and disadvantages of both CWI and EWI to aid your decision.

Advantages of Cavity Wall Insulation

If CWI is the only option for you, it does offer some benefits:

  • CWI does not alter the external appearance of your property
  • CWI helps to reduce your energy bills
  • CWI keeps your house warmer in the winter
  • CWI helps to reduce your carbon footprint
  • CWI is very quick and easy to install
  • CWI is cheaper than EWI

Disadvantages of Cavity Wall Insulation

If you are considering CWI, it is important to consider these factors:

  • CWI is at risk of being improperly installed by underqualified installers
  • CWI has been known to trap moisture and cause dampness when poorly installed
  • CWI restricts the amount of insulation that can be installed (dependent upon the size of the cavity), making it less effective than EWI
  • CWI is not suitable for all buildings (i.e. solid wall structures)

Advantages of External Wall Insulation

In contrast, EWI offers many benefits:

  • EWI massively improve the façade of a property due to the decorative topcoat
  • EWI has no restriction as to how much insulation can be installed (you can get up to 200mm+)
  • EWI regulates the thermal comfort of your home, thereby reducing energy costs
  • EWI materials such as Rockwool have soundproofing capabilities as an added advantage
  • EWI has minimal risk of dampness and condensation issues
  • EWI does not cause thermal bridging
  • EWI prolongs the lifespan of the building by protecting its exterior walls
  • EWI increases the value of the property in terms of its energy efficiency and external appearance
  • EWI requires very little maintenance
  • EWI is suitable for virtually any property type

Disadvantages of External Wall Insulation

Though not strictly disadvantages, there are some things to consider before installing EWI:

  • EWI is more expensive than CWI due to the number of materials required and the higher level of skill required to install it, but its long-term benefits make it worthwhile
  • EWI requires skill to install to ensure it is safe and won’t cause problems further down the line, so you need to be careful as to who you hire
  • EWI can be difficult to get planning permission for on older properties as it creates a completely new exterior
  • EWI may need the occasional touch up to ensure the render topcoat remains fresh, but this can be easily completed by giving it a little wash and by using our Silicone Paint

The verdict: Why you should choose External Wall Insulation

If you already have CWI installed and it’s not as effective as you would like it to be, you can certainly have EWI installed as well. By doing this, not only will you achieve two layers of insulation but any thermal bridges within the existing CWI will be negated by the EWI. Together, CWI and EWI will achieve maximum aesthetic and thermal performance.

Nonetheless, the downside is that you can’t have one without the other; trying to install EWI onto an empty cavity wall will achieve very little given that the air within the cavity will be heated up before escaping. Therefore, if you don’t have CWI insulation already, be sure to have that installed first, then consider EWI at a later date.

To conclude, EWI offers an array of benefits to an insulated cavity wall property; it greatly increases the thermal comfort, massively enhances the façade and even prolongs the lifespan of the building, to name a few. If you’re looking for more advice on having EWI installed onto your home, do not hesitate to reach out to our technical team who are available to help every step of the way!

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Can You Paint Over Silicone Render?

Have you had your Silicone Render for quite some time now? If so, you might be wondering how best to give it a little refresh. Here at EWI Store, we’re often asked how Silicone Render can be maintained to continue to exude a stand-out finish. Although Silicone Render has advanced self-cleaning properties, that doesn’t mean that it’s not completely susceptible to gathering dirt over time. To solve such, a gentle clean with a jet wash is perfect now and then however, houses that are likely to become dirty more easily – that is, those on busy roads or in highly-vegetated areas – may need to be painted over. That said, you might be wondering whether you can use standard masonry paint on top of Silicone Render. The simple answer is, while no one can stop you from doing so, it is highly recommended to use Silicone Paint instead. Keep reading to find out why.

Why use Silicone Paint on top of Silicone Render?

Silicone Render is a specialist, breathable render product ideal for application on external wall insulation systems where a breathable insulant, such as Mineral Wool, is being used. Therefore, while you technically can use standard masonry paint on top of Silicone Render, we recommend that you use Silicone Paint because it is also highly breathable. A standard masonry paint might not have such breathable properties which would completely nullify the render system’s ability to allow water vapour to pass through its surface, while a breathable Silicone Paint would work with the Silicone Render to continue to offer optimum performance.

The best thing about our Silicone Paint is that it is available in thousands of colours. If your current render system is coloured and you’re afraid that you won’t find a colour to match, never fear – our Silicone Paints can be tinted to absolutely any shade! That way, not only will the Silicone Paint still cater to your taste, but it will also freshen up the entire façade of the property and extend its lifespan.

How to apply Silicone Paint onto Silicone Render

Before you apply Silicone Paint to your render, there are a few preparatory steps that must be taken to ensure a flawless finish. First, you’ll need to clear the render of any dirt or grime. If the walls have been painted previously, you’ll need to remove any flaking paint using either a jet washer or a wire brush. Also, be sure to apply tape to areas that need protection from the paint, such as window and door frames.

Silicone Render is incredibly flexible and therefore highly unlikely to crack. However, if you notice any minor cracks, these too need to be filled.

We recommend applying the paint using a standard brush and roller, starting at the top and working your way downwards to catch the paint as it drips and runs. Silicone Paint can be applied in multiple coats, so once the first is dry (after about 12 hours), you can go over it with as many coats as desired. However, beware that – if your render has a finer grain size – the more coats of Silicone Paint you apply, the less visible the grain size will become.

So, if you’re looking to paint over your Silicone Render, look no further than Silicone Paint. Silicone Paint is the perfect solution for allowing your render system to continue to offer optimum performance, refresh the façade of your property and extend the façade’s lifespan. If you’re looking for a complete guide on how to maintain your render finish, be sure to check out our blog on how to look after your render finish here. As usual, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us or comment below!

 

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Coloured Render Cost Per Square Metre

Here at EWI Store, we offer a vast range of coloured renders to both improve the look of your home and cater to every taste. Our renders can be tinted or matched to absolutely any colour, including any NCS, RAL and Pantone colour, allowing for maximum colour customisation. What’s more, with their advanced breathable, flexible and self-cleaning properties, rest assured our renders will offer your property the utmost protection.

Choosing a coloured render for your property can be overwhelming. That’s why we offer colour charts and render tester pots to assist you in deciding which colour is best for you before making a purchase. However, once you’ve made the all-important decision as to which colour you’d like, you’re probably wondering: how much will it cost? Well, wonder no more, as we’re here to help!

Calculating the cost of coloured render per square metre

To work out exactly how much coloured render you will need for your property, we first need to work out the approximate square meterage of the property.

Working out the square meterage of your external walls is easy: you just need to go outside and measure the length and height of the wall, then multiply the two numbers together. This needs to be repeated for each wall you intend to render, then totalled all together; this total will give you the external wall area.

Priming the substrate

Assuming the substrate is standard masonry, we recommend that you use our Water Based Primer, which costs around 30p per square metre.

Applying the Basecoat and Mesh

Then, we need to take into account the basecoat layer, which goes on before the coloured render to smooth out the external wall and aid adhesion. Fibreglass Mesh is also embedded in the basecoat. One bag of our EPS Basecoat will cover 4 to 5m2, which will cost £2.40 per m2. The Fibreglass Mesh, which will be embedded within the basecoat, will cost approximately 70p per square metre.

Using a Render Primer

Now, we need to consider how much render primer your property will require. For a Silicone Silicate system, you’ll need our EWI-333 SiSi Render Primer, which can also be tinted to match the colour of the render for extra opacity and pigmentation.

A large 21kg bucket of Render Primer will cover approximately 60m2. This means that the primer will come to roughly 80p per square metre.

  • Top Coat Primer – 20kg

    £67.00 (incl VAT)

Choosing a render

Let’s assume you want to go for a Silicone Silicate Render. First, we need to calculate how much Silicone Silicate Render costs per square metre.

For instance, one bucket of Silicone Silicate Render – with a grain size of 1.5mm – will cover between 9 and 10m2, which is roughly £4.90 per square metre.

When buying your render, remember that coverage will vary based on the grain size that you go for; the larger the grain size, the more product you will need because it will provide less area coverage.

Silicone coloured render

Beading per m2

Finally, we find that beading usually costs approximately £2 per square metre, although this can vary depending on the property.

The total cost of Silicone Silicate coloured render system per square metre

Altogether, the cost of a Silicone Silicate Render system per square metre approximately come to £10.80. Bear in mind that this is an approximation. Nonetheless, if you were to multiply this number with the square meterage of your property, you should get an idea as to how much the materials will cost for installing coloured render on your home!

Which coloured render do I choose?

We have a huge range of coloured renders to choose from, all of which are BBA-approved and of the highest quality on the market.

We also provide tester pots that allow you to test different colours. It’s always best to see the coloured render in-person to ensure that you are happy with your decision before it’s applied all over your property.

Our thin-coat-coloured renders are bestsellers. We offer:

  • Silicone Render/Silicone Silicate Render: Silicone Render is a premium, modern-technology coloured render which is available in hundreds of different colours. It is a customer favourite as it offers hydrophobic properties, meaning that it repels water, dirt and organic growth. Silicone Render is also ready-to-use, making it super easy to apply; it can be applied straight out of the box! Read more about Silicone Render here.
  • Acrylic Render: Acrylic Render is very similar to Silicone Render, except it doesn’t provide the same hydrophobic properties. Saying that, it still provides the same flexibility as other thin-coat renders and is great at holding onto the colour pigment; it’s a solid middle-ground thin-coat render. Read more about Acrylic Render here.
  • Mineral Render: Mineral Render is a dry-mix, thin coat render. This is a very popular choice if you live in a cold or rainy climate because mineral render is extremely fast-drying (you can’t apply other renders in cold or wet conditions as they take longer to dry). However, this render needs to be painted afterwards with silicone paint to seal it in because, if it’s left exposed to the elements, it can develop lime bloom due to its inclusion of Portland cement. Read more about Mineral Render here.
  • 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 needs to be applied in two passes to provide extra strength and cannot be applied in wet or humid conditions. Monocouche Render also needs Fibreglass Mesh embedded within it to provide extra strength and flexibility, ultimately making it crack-resistant. Then, once it’s dried, it needs to be scratched back to achieve the desired texture. If our monocouche system is of interest to you, check out our blog Monocouche Scratch Render Cost Per Square Metre for a detailed insight into how much you’re looking at with this system.

How much does Coloured Render cost to maintain?

Let’s say, 10 years down the line, you want to give your render a bit of a refresh; Silicone Paint is a great way to do this as it can be matched to the exact colour of your existing render. To learn more about why Silicone Paint is best for refreshing an existing polymer-modified render, you can read this blog. However, in terms of sprucing up your render, a 15l bucket of Silicone Paint typically covers 60 to 70m2. Therefore, you’re looking at around £3 per m2.

So, what do you think? Does Coloured Render sound right for you? Was this blog helpful? Be sure to comment with your thoughts and questions, should you have any, below – again, we’re here to help!

 

 

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The Best Masonry Paint? Silicone Paint

Are you interested in re-rendering your property and seeking high-quality masonry paint to coat the render for a fresh, modern finish? Then look no further than Silicone Paint! At EWI Store, we often receive enquiries about our Silicone Paint, the most common being “what is Silicone Paint?”, “what is Silicone Paint used for?” and “what’s the difference between Silicone Paint and Silicone Render?”. If you’re wondering the same, don’t worry – we’re going to cover everything you need to know about Silicone Paint right here, right now!

What is Silicone Paint?

Silicone Paint is a high-performance masonry paint that can be used for painting over either an existing Silicone Render to refresh the facade, or over our Mineral Render to seal the render. It is highly breathable, waterproof and resistant to environmental pollutants, making it perfect for homes in busy or humid environments where render alone may be susceptible to organic overgrowth. Silicone Paint is also available in thousands of colours, catering to every taste!

What is the difference between Silicone Paint and Silicone Render?

The names are self-explanatory; Silicone Paint is a masonry paint topcoat, while Silicone Render is a type of render finish. Their only similarity is that they both contain Silicone which provides numerous benefits, but we’ll come to those a bit later!

While our thin-coat renders come in various grain sizes, ranging from 1mm to 3mm, our Silicone Paint is completely smooth, meaning it can be applied on top of an existing render without disrupting its texture.

As with our Silicone Paint, our Silicone Render is hydrophobic, meaning it repels water, dirt and organic growth. However, even with all these capabilities, render can eventually look tired after so many years. That’s where Silicone Paint comes in; not only does it offer the render a decorative refresh, but also an extra layer of protection with its same hydrophobic properties, prolonging the render’s lifespan.

 

Why use Silicone Paint?

As we know, the ingress of water is detrimental to external wall insulation and render-only systems. In external wall insulation, the presence of water can reduce the system’s thermal capabilities and lead to freeze-thaw damage. In a render-only system, it can dampen the internal walls, especially in solid wall properties, damaging the overall render. Therefore, as part of external wall insulation or render-only systems, Silicone Paint is particularly beneficial; its breathability allows water to escape through the surface of the paint. Also, its vapour permeability makes it frostproof, meaning it won’t damage the surface of the paint.

At EWI Store, we always suggest to our customers that our Mineral Render should be sealed with high-performance masonry paint like Silicone Paint. Mineral Render is our fastest-drying render, making it perfect for cold climates. However, its ingredients mean that, if exposed to the elements for too long, it can be susceptible to lime bloom. That’s why Silicone Paint is necessary as a topcoat; it prevents water from travelling through to the render and forming lime bloom.

Silicone Paint can be matched to the Silicone Render underneath!

If you’ve used one of our coloured Silicone Renders, then you can buy a Silicone Paint in the same colour to match! Here at EWI Store, we offer a same-day colour mixing service using our Render Colour Machine, which can tint Silicone Paint to thousands of colours. So, even if your render is not from EWI Pro, we can still match the colour to give it a refresh!

 

As well as exteriors, Silicone Paint is great for interiors!

Up to now, we’ve talked a lot about Silicone Paint can be used as a masonry paint as a render top coat to offer both a protective and decorative finish. However, as for exteriors, Silicone Paint is also great for interiors!

Given that it’s waterproof, we’ve encountered many people who have used Silicone Paint in their bathrooms, making it perfect for combatting condensation on bathroom walls. Likewise, we’ve heard that people who have previously suffered from damp problems in their homes have used Silicone Paint as a deterrent, limiting the chances of such issues in future. One of our team members has even used Silicone Paint on his garden wall to prevent organic growth! In our opinion, all the above are great ways to utilise Silicone Paint.

Get in touch to buy Silicone Paint!

We’re always happy to answer any questions about our products. If you’re interested in using Silicone Paint for your home, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can discuss its suitability for your situation; we can work out exactly how much you’ll need depending on the square meterage of your property.

 

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Sand and Cement, Monocouche and Silicone Render: Which is best?

Of the 28 million properties in the UK, a large proportion are rendered, or at least coated, with some form of protection like pebbledash. However, while pebbledash was vastly popular pre-1930, this aesthetic is now largely considered outdated, making render the go-to for creating a clean, modern look. In this blog, we investigate why render is so popular and the best products to create an incredible finish on your property or home.

 

Originally, UK properties were built with either brick or block. Over time, however, the mortar fusing the bricks together would break down due to natural weathering. Replacing the damaged mortar – known as re-pointing – is incredibly time consuming and, as such, very expensive. Therefore, a feasible alternative to re-pointing a property is to apply render. Render acts as a protective layer for a property; not only does it disguise the existing damaged mortar, but it provides a new facade for the brickwork, offering a clean, modern finish.

 

Traditionally, sand and cement render – typically six parts sand, one part cement and one part lime – was applied to the surface of a property. This render would be applied at a thickness of about 20mm and be coated with paint to complete the aesthetic. As with mortar however, the issue with these traditional renders was that, over time, they would crack due to the natural movements of the buildings by season, expanding in the summer months and shrinking in the winter months. While the addition of lime was intended to provide flexibility to adapt to such movements, the render was still not flexible enough to withstand these movements, causing hairline cracks. Such cracks cause further issues as they would provide an entry point for water to travel behind the render system and, as such, cause it to come away from the wall.

 

In the 90s, several manufacturers introduced a render known as “monocouche”, French meaning “one coat”. Monocouche render is easier to use than sand and cement render as it is premixed, typically four parts sand and one part cement with various other additives; all you need to do is add water. It is applied at a similar thickness to sand and cement render however, once applied, it is scraped to provide a chalkier finish. Monocouche render always uses white Portland cement as the binder; the white base allows for the manufacturer to add a coloured pigment to the render, meaning it does not require paint on top. As such, monocouche became increasingly popular in the 2000s, becoming the go-to product for those looking to render their properties.

 

Again, monocouche render ultimately comes with its downfalls. Firstly, as with sand and cement render, the thickness of monocouche render means that it cannot withstand the seasonal structural movements of the building, therefore causing cracks which again create an entry point for water. Secondly, while monocouche looks fantastic on application, it becomes a hot bed for algae growth as it encounters water. The biological growth on the monocouche can quickly lead to discolouring so, while it initially looks great, it quickly starts to look messy and requires a lick of paint to keep it looking fresh.

Then, in early 2000 came silicone renders – sometimes referred to as thin-coat renders – from Eastern Europe. Silicone render fundamentally differed from sand and cement render and ultimately replaced monocouche render. As opposed to a 20mm-thick render, the silicone render maxed out at 7mm and consisted of two main layers: a 4-6mm cementitious basecoat with embedded fibreglass mesh, and a silicone render topcoat typically at 1.5mm thick, although 0.5mm, 1mm, 2mm and 3mm grain sizes are also available. The fibreglass mesh in the basecoat is vital; it provides the render system the ability to flex with and absorb a building’s natural movements, making it crack-resistant – the defining factor and main benefit of silicone render.

 

Much like paint, silicone renders can also be tinted to any colour, providing infinite design options to apply to your property or home. Monocouche renders do come in various colours however, since pigments need to be added in the factory, they are very limited. So, if you need to match a specific colour – for instance, RAL-7016 anthracite grey – then silicone render is the obvious choice as it can quickly be tinted to match the required colour.

 

What’s more, silicone renders are hydrophobic, meaning that they possess self-cleaning properties which repel water. This means that, whenever it rains, the rain carries away any dirt particles from the render system, so the facade stays cleaner for longer. The EWI Pro Premium Bio Silicone render also has added slow-release biocides within the render, helping to prevent biological growth, which is especially useful if the render is being applied in areas of high vegetation.

 

Finally, unlike sand and cement and monocouche renders, silicone renders are lightweight, meaning that they are ideal to use in conjunction with external wall insulation systems. The weight of sand and cement and monocouche renders can pull the face of the insulation away and are therefore not recommended to be applied on top of insulation materials.

 

As this blog has established, render technology has changed significantly over the last 30 years. Whether you have a property that has existing damaged render that needs an upgrade, or even a new build like an ICF or a timeframe building on which you desire an advanced render system, then look no further than silicone render. With a silicone render system, you can rest assured that the facade will not crack over time and will likely stay much cleaner than either sand and cement or monocouche render, therefore providing a render system that will last for years to come.