Many home owners get fed up with paying a decorator to paint their house every year, and masonry paint only lasts for a certain time, so a coating development team came up with a revolutionary exterior wall covering which is applied by spray, and does need to be repainted for up to 20 years.
There are so many different house painting and repair products out there, searching for more durable and longer lasting wall protection systems for the house can seem a nightmare but it doesn’t have to be so.
Paint certainly has its limitations and apart from perhaps economical in terms of availability, value and decorative properties, paint will not cure typical wall problems found by many surveyors in the UK today.
These problems often include such horror stories as brickwork discolouration or efflorescence, crumbling or loose mortar joins around brickwork, hollow or unsound rendering, cracked pebbledash or damp penetrating into the building.
Today, there are many varieties of exterior wall coverings on the market; mostly offered as “supply and fit” by dedicated wall coating companies, and some less effective but cheaper wall covering systems are available to apply yourself, although the latter should be avoided and here is why (opens in a new window)
So why not just buy some paint?
If you want to thrown your money away, go ahead! After all that’s what everyone does yes?
Well, not everyone…
There are quite a few benefits for someone that chooses an exterior wall covering instead of paint and typically these coatings are very durable, flexible and long lasting which means big savings in the long run
They are not applied a paint brush or roller, but with a special Spray machine, but only after a programme of repairs to the walls.
Because these wall coating companies give attention to various defects, when the final coat is applied to the wall, the home owner can usually enjoy up to 20 years of a maintenance free house exterior, compared to about 2 using normal masonry paints.
How are wall coverings applied?
To highlight how different wall coatings are in relation to paint, we have selected the top 6 procedures that go in to applying one of these special masonry coatings.
Applying masonry paint is often just with a brush or roller and very little attention is paid to all but basic preparation of the wall surface, however the generic exterior wall coating products many companies use, require a substantial amount of prep work before the system can be applied, or it will not last as long as it should do.
Stage one: Identify wall problems
As we learned above, good preparation is the key to a successful installation of an external wall covering, so great care is taken in identifying areas of concern across the wall surface. These can include areas of hollow rendering, loose pebbledash and signs of damp.
After these problem areas are attended to and repaired, the next process usually involves the application of an environmentally friendly fungal wash, which is sprayed onto the wall with a low pressure sprayer and then washed off using a power wash system, similar to the type used for cleaning patios and driveways.
Stage two: removal of the old wall surface.
There would be no point or reason to apply what is supposed to be a long life paint system, on top of loose or flaky paint, so all this has to be removed. Some of it gets taken off by the previous stage of cleaning, but in many cases, tools, scrapers and needle guns have to be employed in order to remove any old paint from the wall of the house.
Needle gunning is a vital process carried out on previously painted surfaces to eliminate loose and flaky paint and reveal hidden cracks.
Stage three: Fixing of cracks
After the first two stages, if cracks are found evident in the wall of the building, these must be cut out and widened using a power tool known as an angle grinder which has a small rotating disc which cuts a line into the rendering.
Then the cracks are filled with a bonding resin to ensure the fissure does not open up again which may crack the coating that will eventually go over the top.
These are then smoothed to match the existing surface because it is important that when repairing this sort of thing, that the cracks do not re-appear a few years down the line, cracking the surface coating.
Stage four: Testing for blown rendering
If render or pebbledash on the wall to be painted, is hollow, and has broken away from being held against the bricks or blocks that make up the fabric of the house, this can be a harbinger of damp and all associated problems that come with water ingress into a property. Once the problem areas of rendering are found, they are removed and then repaired with bran new render or stucco.
Stage five: Sealing the walls
For any external wall covering to last the duration of its expected lifespan, the correct primer must be applied, just like normal paints, in a fashion that allows ample drying time before the final coat is applied by spray.
The primer assists with micro-elasticity of a friable, loose, or exfoliated substrate letting it bond and stick properly to the entire house wall. This also acts as a stabiliser, which is especially useful on houses with pebbledash that may have had the stones in the dash come loose over the years.
Stage six: Applying the wall coatings to the house
Most external wall systems require specialist knowledge, tools and skill in order to apply them to the outside of a building. Two good coats are always needed to produce the required high quality finish, although on previous textured surfaces such as spardash or pebbleash, three coats are sometimes needed.
Because the paint is applied with a spray machine, careful attention is needed to avoid over spray and fine paint mist settling on areas where paint is not needed or welcome, so the doors and windows are often masked up using paper and tape.
Then the exterior wall coating is applied to the wall and allowed to dry before taking the paper off from the windows, and of course carefully removing the dust sheets which would have been placed on the floor to avoid the situation where paint settles on paths and flower beds.
Once this has been achieved, the coating becomes a protective durable finish for up to 20 years according to local climatic conditions and of course the quality of the products used.
Overall, using a special painting system like an exterior wall coating brings many benefits to the recipient dwelling, and can save the consumer a lot of time and money over the years, compared to yearly decorating with masonry paints.