Rendering is the layer of hard-wearing cover applied over external walls to protect a building from the damaging extremes of weather. Rendering is a technique that has a long history, and there have been many different types of materials have been used over the centuries. These have mostly been natural products that were growing or found naturally in the locality. These days mud and dung renders are thankfully not so popular, but people still use wood and lime alongside the modern plaster based renders. Technology is improving all the time and today's materials are tough and durable, giving a smooth modern finish that lasts for many years before needing to be renewed.
Applying a layer of external render to your building also has the effect of making your home far more energy efficient. It's thought that around thirty per cent of domestic heat is lost through normal external walls, but this is vastly reduced by the addition of render on the outside. Thus good quality rendering will help to save the planet as well as the cash in your pocket.
It's important to be clear what modern plaster rendering looks like. The word itself often conjures up images of the drab grey pebble-dash of the 1950s – 1970s, but thankfully that's a world away from the products that are available on the market today. Modern renders give a smooth clean look to a building and are available in a range of contemporary colours and textures. The recent addition of silicone and acrylic to traditional plaster renders has allowed for greater durability, flexibility and usually a maintenance-free lifespan. Smooth or textured surfaces can be either painted to suit, or pre-injected with a colour of your choice prior to application.
The modern rendered house of today looks bold yet elegant, with sharp impressive lines toned in attractive modern colours and shades. Modern rendering materials will not only protect your building from potential damage from wind and rain, but it will also save you money on your heating bills as well as updating the look of your property. A good render will add value to your home and increases both its status and saleability.
Whatever the style of your property and whatever your budget, there are a wide range of render options to choose from. Whether you're after smooth or textured, traditional or modern, there is a render to suit your needs.
A Handy Guide to Render
Cement based renders have been used more frequently than any other form of render in the last one hundred years. This is largely because it is a good cheap and hard-wearing option that is relatively easy to apply. However, it does require regular painting to keep it looking at its best and it is brittle and subject to cracking should there be any settling or movement of the underlying building. Cement renders are usually mixed on site and often require several coats of varying coarseness to apply.
Lime Renders have been protecting the outside of buildings in Britain for centuries, and they have seen a recent revival in popularity as their usefulness and practicality are being rediscovered by a new generation of eco-aware consumers.
They are generally a far superior product to most cement-based renders despite the fact that they require more skill to apply. This is a factor that is therefore unfortunately reflected in the costs. Because lime renders are a natural product, like lime plasters they have the ability to let moisture pass through them allowing the building underneath to breath and expel moisture. This helps prevent damp and mould from accumulating underneath, making it a popular choice for many renovation projects and conservation work in older houses. In the past, the application of concrete renders on period properties has caused a great deal of damage, and it is only recently that this has become fully understood and appreciated. The non-permeable nature of concrete render traps moisture in the walls and fittings causing significant damp problems and occasionally even structural damage.
Lime renders have the added benefit of being incredibly flexible, and will bend and stretch with the structure should the building move or settle in any way. Unlike concrete renders they do not crack under pressure, but instead extend and contract with the natural shift of the building structure. Lime also has natural fungicide properties and will help prevent the growth of mould on exterior walls, keeping buildings looking clean and well-maintained. Alongside all this, the beautiful natural finish of lime renders greatly enhances the appearance of both modern houses as well as period ones. Unlike modern renders, however, it requires reapplication every four to five years, but is otherwise maintenance free.
In the last decade, some companies have introduced high-tech lime render products intended to be easier to use but still retaining all the advantages of this traditional product. The addition of silicones into products such as K-Lime, brings this age-old rendering material into the modern period.
These modern renders are an innovative new products that are growing in popularity over the more traditional cement renders. Unlike cement renders they are extremely elastic and flexible and will not crack with movement or settling of the building underneath. They are also extremely durable and largely maintenance free over a long period of time.
Polymer products are usually premixed and can be pre-coloured and through-coloured so that no further painting is required once they have been applied. This is a particular advantage for high-rise buildings that have exteriors that are harder to maintain. The products come in a wide range of contemporary shades and textures guaranteed to suit any modern home or commercial building.
As they are silicone based, most polymer renders will still allow the underlying property to adequately breathe, so there is no risk of damp or trapped moisture. Several of these products are even self-cleaning which is ideal for those buildings where there is lots of vegetation and the risk of organic overgrowth.
These kind of renders have a plastic acrylic added to their formula, which allows the render to be stronger and more flexible than the traditional cement based renders. They are easier to apply usually requiring only a thin coat formed of fine acrylic hairs lying in alternate directions creating a highly flexible mat coating. This elasticity prevents them from cracking if the building moves or settles.
They can be applied to a wide range of surfaces including already painted walls, concrete and timber, as well as brick. They are manufactured in a wide variety of different finishes and textures allowing for a full range of contemporary looks. They also do not degrade in UV light, and are incredibly resistant against the elements.
Acrylic renders have the ability to form an absolutely impenetrable barrier to water yet still allow the building underneath to breathe. They are also resistant to mould and bacteria. and are extremely fast drying allowing painting to commence just a few days after application.
K-Rend are a leading British plaster manufacturer who have helped to popularise the use of silicone in modern renders. They are probably the most popular rendering products available on the market in the UK at the present time. Silicone is both highly water repellent and self-cleaning, and is therefore largely maintenance free.
K-Rend manufacture a number of different products, for every kind of property. They come in a range of colours and finishes, and are extremely durable and hard-wearing.