Rendering is a process of applying a coating to the exterior of a building in order to provide a protective cover to the substrate and to give a pleasing aesthetic finish.
There are a variety of methods of render, each making use of different base materials and textures to give a broad range of finishes that can be best matched to suit the building type.
These can include a basic sand & cement render, thin-coat, monocouche, insulated systems and traditional lime renders.
There are a number of considerations to take in to account when choosing how to render your building and at MPC, we have the knowledge and experience to assess your buildings needs and provide guidance on the best course of action, whether you’re in need of a repair to a cracked or blown system, or are starting from scratch with a new-build development.
Types of Render
Sand & Cement Rendering
This standard method is a common form of rendering but is losing its popularity due to more modern and cost-effective techniques being introduced to the market. An application of sand and cement render would be applied in two to three coats, with the top layer applied in a smooth texture, ready for over painting in your choice of colour.
Whilst this frequently used method can prove cheaper to supply, sand and cement is not suitable for all building types due to its limited flexibility and need for maintenance to ensure it remains in good condition.
Thin Coat Render
An increasingly popular option, thin coat renders can be used both internally and externally to provide a low maintenance, watertight and durable coverage.
Thin coat renders are normally supplied as ready-made mixtures which enables a quicker application without the need for creating mixes on site and are suitable for use on a wide range of substrates. As a through colour system, it also removes the need for over painting once applied and is often chosen for its easy to maintain, attractive finish.
MPC are approved installers for thin-coat systems by many manufacturers, including Wetherby, Alsecco, Sto and Parex
French for ‘one-coat’, Monocouche is the latest advance in rendering and is rapidly increasing in use on large contracts across Europe. Applied either by hand or machine, Monocouche is a pigmented, cement based, pre-mixed system, eliminating the need to over paint.
Due to its 15mm consistency, only a single coat application is required making it much less labour intensive than other forms of render and lowering man hour costs.
Other ingredients, such as silicone are added to the mixture allowing for increased flexibility and reducing the need for repairs. These systems often have self-cleaning properties which significantly reduces the need for maintenance.
For information on Lime and insulated render systems, please visit our Heritage page.
How is Rendering Done?
The methods of applying render vary depending on the type of render used and the substrate to which it’s being applied. With all forms of rendering and plastering, the preparation of the substrate is key to achieving the best results.
On an existing building this may include washing down dirt and moss and scraping back any blown or cracked sections. On new builds, edges and corners will require beading to ensure clean, defined lines are achieved. A mixture is created where necessary and a screed coat of sand and cement will be applied with a trowel.
In the case of one coat systems, a primer may be used as a base on an existing rendered wall with mesh embedded where necessary. The pre-made mixture is applied either by hand or machine and flattened to give a straight edge. Drying time for all systems can be anything from 6 hours to 3 days, depending on the surrounding conditions. Once dried, the wall will be brushed down to remove any loose particles.
Rendering is often carried out in conjunction with other works and MPC can work alongside other contractors and trades to ensure the smooth running of your project. We can also arrange for any mechanical and electrical 1st and 2nd fix to take place in line with our works from our trusted, local subcontractors.
Is Rendering a DIY Job?
It is possible to carry out your own rendering and if you are familiar with the process you may find you have success on small repair works. However, it is important to understand the full processes involved with the application of all types of render and which system is best suited to your project.
For larger jobs you may also need to include the use of scaffolding and have phone lines and power cables altered, which must be undertaken by the appropriate companies.
In these cases, it is often best to leave your project to a specialist contractor, such as MPC Plastering who can plan your project from start to finish and is ready to take care of all the elements involved. We can attend a survey at your property, advise on the best options to suit your needs and provide a free quotation for the required works.