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Rendering a brick House

This article will help those wishing to undertake the challenge of rendering the outside of their home, whether to increase the valuation of the house, or just to transform it’s appearance. This technique is designed as a skim coat, to cover brick work. I do not recommend taking it in to your own hands to try this for the purpose of strengthening a wall, as that would require a great deal of experience with screeding techniques plus cure times and thickness of render. In the next section we describe the most cost effective and time efficient rendering method.                     


 








       

One of the most effective ways of completely transforming the first impression and style of a brick house is to render it on the outside. Rendering a house need not be such a daunting task and it is an amazing renovation tool.

TOOLS Needed:

Drill and Mixer(Use a drill powerful enough not to blow the engine)

Scaffold / Ladder

Shovel / Hawk / Small tool

Brickies’ trowel / Rectangular trowel

Corner trowel (Edging tool for corners).

Floats - polyester, plastic, wood, etc

Sponge

Flick Brush or Spray bottle (high quality)

Buckets and brushes for cleaning

Paint brush / Roller / extension poles / paint tray

 

TIP: Float types and textures, depending what type of finish you are after will be determined by what type of render and float you use. Talk to a professional as there are at least 4 different floats and dozens of different types of render products.


TIP
: Use clean water to mix in with render as any chemicals or contaminants may cause the render to “go off”. 

 

                 
 




  

Step 1: Before you are to start rendering you will need to find out whether or not the brick you will be covering is porous or not. To help you find out I suggest you chip a piece away and take this in to a paint or render store where the experts can advice you of what the best products are to coat your brick walls. In most cases you will simply be able to use sand/cement mixes without much hassle.

TIP: In some cases the brick may have a polished film or glaze over it. This could be ruffed up bit (sanded) as long as it is still porous (allows air through) to allow the render to stick.

Step 2: To ensure good coverage and prevent people from seeing where the render actually starts from, you should dig a small channel (about 30 cm) around the perimiter of the house, next to the wall.

Step 3: Initially, there is a little bit of cleaning that will have to be done. The brick and mortar must be clean before anything is applied. Any mould or dirt will cause the render to loosen its hold to the wall and over time may fall away. The most efficient method to get the walls clean with out too much fuss is to invest in or hire a high pressure spray hose as this will blast any dirt or mould off with ease and is also allowed under the current water restrictions.

TIP: Cover all windows and frames, decking or eve’s (boards hanging under roof) with black rubbish bags so not to have a big clean up afterwards.

Products: As this is your likely your first time rendering I suggest you invest in premixed render, in either a 20 or 25kg bag at a cost of between $10-18 a bag. This will cover approximately 3-4m2 per bag. To work out the area you will need to cover, go around each wall face and measure the width and height going 20cm below ground level as that is how deep you should need to go to keep a clean line of render above ground. Add these numbers together and divide by 10 to get your m2 coverage then add approximately 10% for any difference that might arise. 

 

TIP: A lot of render is lost on to the ground so it pays to add extra percentage and to check that if you run out that you will be able to get hold of extra bags at a moments notice. Also for clean up sake, it pays to lay a plastic tarp or sheet along the wall as you go to catch any left over render.

 

TIP: When using render, mix to instructions. One thing to consider when rendering is the climate of the area, as this will effect how long you will have to complete a wall. If the area you live in has a high in temperature and humid climate, you should start early in the morning and always try to stick to the shaded walls as when you start on a wall you should not stop until it is finished, this is because it is very difficult to blend together the dry render with the new moist render and is very visible even when painted over. Understandably this can not always be kept to, and I myself have been forced to work on walls for over 2 days in complete view of the sun. If this happens, keep a spray can nearby to keep render moist and if you have to stop half way, stop on a straight line up and down (for tying in the two parts cleanly).

 

 

  
 

Step 4: Wet the wall 30minutes before first coat is applied to give the wall some moisture; this will stop the moisture in the render from being sucked up to quickly by the brick and mortar. Again start early and for your very first coat, start on the wall that is least seen so you can perfect your technique. Start from the top of the wall and work your way down, using a rectangular trowel. Apply render in long upward strokes in thin and smooth layers. Between bricks will appear some raised bumps; do not worry about smoothing these over as this is normal on the first coat. When applying second coat you will go over them and any that pop up again will be blended in with the float.

TIP: Work your way across the top of the wall in sections of about a meter. Push the trowel up in a back handed circular motion, from inside of the chest area away from the body seems to work the best. The trowel is never kept completely flat, the bottom is used to spread the mixture whilst the top is tilted backward just slightly. Also move slightly from left to right or right to left depending on what hand is more comfortable to use.

Step 5:
 It helps to have two people when rendering: one to do the troweling whilst the other floats behind them. Leave the render for approximately 20 minutes before floating to allow the render time to firm up, if render seems to be dry, spray a little water over it but not much as to much will cause it to fall off wall. Also keep the float moist as floating draws moisture up from render; this is also crucial so try not to float to long on the one spot. Floating is designed to smooth over any small gaps that will appear from small rocks. As you move float around you are dragging render around with it until you fill in any gaps, if the gap is to big put a blob of render over gap and float it in.  Float in a circular motion but never press down hard or you will suck the render off the wall, “float” along the top.

TIP: When rendering around corners it pays to invest in a gauging tool, as this will round off the edges nice and smoothly with out much difficulty.

     

 

 




      
  

As you may have noticed I have not included talking about mixing in Oxides in to the render (to create different color finishes). This is simply because it requires a lot of practice to get an even color and for the learner, it is also time consuming. The method I prefer is to paint over render. The render paints are quite thick and contain a flexible membrane which has the benefit of covering over any small blemishes and preventing the finished result from getting any small hairline cracks.

Step 6:
 It is recommended to use a sealant which will be first applied over render before any paint is used, this will help to bind the render together and stop the render from becoming flaky and further protect it from weather.

TIP: Render should not be allowed to dry to quick, it should be kept moist by wetting every couple of hours for at least the first 12 hours and the minimum cure time of render is 2 days before another coat and depending on the climate, between 2-7 days before sealing and painting.

Step 7:

Then two coats of render paint are required. This type of paint is specific render paint which contains a flexible membrane. It is very elastic and stretchable and this is good to prevent small hairline cracks from appearing and will contract and expand with any movement from changes in seasonal weather.

TIP: When applying the paint, apply liberally as it seems as though the render cannot get enough. Do not try to get 100% coverage when sealing as it is not needed, you should not need to spend as long on this as you should when painting.

                

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Ana Stankovic is the founder of
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which was born from a wish to document mechanisms that have helped many investors achieve great success in wealth creation through property investing. It
offers investors tools, techniques and a step-by-step coaching program for creating results from Renovating for PROFIT.


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