Render finish can be a great addition to a home or a property. It can add a layer of protection to a building, keeping it safe from the elements. It can protect the house from moisture and damp, and can add an extra layer of external wall insulation to the property. House rendering can also be applied for decorative purposes. It is a great way to add color to a house or to hide ugly brickwork or joins in a property.
What types of render finish are there?
The most common types of render are:
- Sand and cement render
- Clay render
- Lime render
- Pebbledash render
- Monocouche render
- Acrylic render
- Silicone render
- Tyrolean render
- Insulated render systems or EWI
The four latter render materials are more modern renders and are quickly becoming more common than their older more conventional render counterparts. Other rendering materials may be used, but these are the most common house render materials that will be offered by companies who are trained to do traditional render.
Which is the best type of external render?
Generally speaking, silicone render is considered to be the best option when it comes to external house rendering. The material is very high quality and is used commonly to replace existing render or to render a surface for the first time.
Why is silicone render the best render for external walls?
Silicone render is a great choice for house rendering for a few reasons. First and foremost, the material repels water, and so when used as a render surface it makes the home much more water-tight by adding water repellency to the building’s solid walls.
Secondly, silicone is very low maintenance. It has a high-quality finish but it does not involve a lot of work once it has been applied. It is also incredibly breathable, so whilst it provides a visually appealing smooth finish with superior water resistance, it will also keep the home looking spot on for a longer time than other external insulation.
Silicone render is also highly regarded for its natural looking finish, making even period properties look stunning without having to remove their charm by applying something like timber cladding. For those not interested in the natural look, though, silicone render also has an extensive range of color choices.
On the downside, though, silicone render can be really quite costly. It is not a cheap material, and applying render to a property can be a labour intensive process. It is also not an environmentally friendly material, which puts a lot of people off of it as an option.
What are the pros and cons of the other rendering materials?
Lime render is a traditional render that has been used for many, many years. It is still used today purely because it is reliable! Lime works well as a render as it is flexible, much more so than sand and cement render, and so it is much more crack resistant. This helps it to keep looking visually pleasing even after a few years.
Lime render is also incredibly breathable, making it suitable for house rendering. It is attractive and looks very traditional, which is perfect for anyone who wants to insulate their home with external wall insulation but doesn’t want to drastically change the look. It has a pretty low maintenance finish, so it is ideal for homeowners who perhaps do not have the money to upkeep a higher maintenance home render, and it is also a fairly environmentally friendly render mix.
The downsides, though, are that despite its age-old existence, lime render is still pretty expensive. It is also a difficult to apply render, meaning that the labor costs tend to be pretty high, and so silicone renders will often take longer to apply than other renders.
Silicone renders are, however, an example of self cleaning render. This means there is less chance of mold growth on the render than on something like cement renders or a mineral render.
Sand and cement renders
Sand and cement render has been around the longest, by far. It is a simple external wall insulation that is cost effective and achievable within most budgets. It consists of a sand and cement mortar render mixture, and is applied with a mixture and application technique.
It works reasonably well as a render material, and is very economical. It hides brickwork easily, and if you are just applying render for aesthetic purposes, sand and cement render would work fine. It is also easily repaired, so you needn’t worry about any damage to the render.
However, sand and cement render is not weather resistant (or at least not as much as other render mixes like silicone renders) and it can look quite simple. Additionally, it takes a fair bit of maintenance and is prone to cracking.
Pebbledash render is not as popular as it used to be. Sometimes referred to as dry dash or wet dash, it is a mixture of sand and cement render and a layer of decorative pebbles. This enhances the sand and cement render.
Pebbledash is weather resistant, and when it is done well it can be a really attractive form of house rendering. It is incredibly easy to repair and is inexpensive, making it a great choice.
However, it is basic and compared to some acrylic renders, its weather resistance is low. It is prone to cracking, and has to be maintained.
Acrylic render is pretty cheap in comparison to renders like silicone, and it holds wonderfully dashing colors. It is a great choice for those looking for coloured render. It is a thin coat render that comes pre-mixed and is long-lasting and provides a protective barrier. Acrylic renders do take longer to dry than silicone render, though.
Monocouche render is one of the modern renders. It is breathable and is a great example of single coat renders, making it a much quicker process. Monocouche rendering doesn’t need painting, as it can hold its own color, and provides a chalky finish. It is reasonably weather resistant and can last up to about 10 years.
Monocouche rendering is still susceptible to cracking, though. It is more crack resistant than other renders but owners will need to consider that cracking is a possibility.