Render problems and render cracking
Independent Surveyors and Rendered walls
We are highly qualified independent surveyors who can provide help and advice with regard to cracking problems, structural problems, movement in a property, dampness reports, building surveys, engineers reports and much more.
We use circles and ovals in our building survey reports
and lots of sketches and photos
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Render as protection
Render offers protection to a building, many years ago it was used to protect a timber structure and more recently we would argue that it is being used to allow us to use cheaper materials underneath such as blockwork rather than brickwork or stonework. Render then provides protection against the elements of the weather over the different seasons.
Different types of render and render problems
There are many different types of finishes of renders which we will consider in this article.
Older style render; what is it made of?
What is render hiding as well as protecting?
Behind the render coat is often a timber frame which can be affected with woodworm, wet rot and even dry rot.
Modern render or Cement render
A modern cement render is much harder than an older lime render and works well on more modern properties that do not move very much. However unfortunately it is often used on older properties where you can get the differential movement between the two properties which can cause hairline cracking.
We would always recommend filling hairline cracks as quickly as possible.
Older style render
Older style render is often known as pargetting and can be a mixture of lime, ox hair and other locally available materials.
Stucco render is a system of rendering where it is finished to look like stonework.
What is render hiding?
In some cases render is applied to hide defects; this may be a cynical Surveyors' view but over the years we have come across many defective properties which have had defects hidden by the render and in some cases carried out time and time again.
If render was hiding wall tie failure we would expect to see horizontal cracking.
Render painted to sell
This can also relate to hidden or latent defects where the render has been painted when the property is to be sold. We come across this a surprising number of times and could blame all the property television programmes that recommend you present your house in as good a way as possible.
Please see our articles on property television programme reviews such as
The newly painted render does make it very hard to see where the problems once were.
Cracking to render
This can be in two forms:-
Cracking to render can be caused by the structure beneath and the cracking can be in the render.
Cracking to render caused by the structure beneath.
Hairline cracking to render
Pen indicates hairline cracking
Quality of workmanship
One of the most important things with render, regardless of whether it is an old or modern render, is to understand how to detail a property. Over the years an experienced Surveyor will very quickly assess the quality of rendering; we often base this on the quality of the detailing.
Window drip detail
A window drip detail is to keep rainwater away from the window and can often be seen on buildings with render.
Maintenance of render
Render where it is used externally is subject to attack from the weather and as such does need maintenance. You can often find there is a protective coat of paint applied to the render which does weather over the years and needs to be re-painted with the correct type of paint.
How often should I redecorate render?
This depends on many factors such as the location and the exposure of the render together with how well it was originally applied to the wall as well as the detailing to the render which allows the water to run off it so it does not cause problems elsewhere.
A very general answer would be every four to five years but for example we have managed a property that is right next to the road and ideally it should be redecorated every few years.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and would like to refer you to other articles on our website that we feel may be of interest to you;
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We have a wealth of knowledge and experience as independent surveyors if you require a building survey or structural survey.
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