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Cement Render on Old Buildings

Cement render is an increasingly popular addition to housing. With benefits like an increase in aesthetic appeal and protection of the underlying substructure this increase in popularity, more questions are being asked about cement renderings compatibility with different building surfaces. As time moves forward, so does the composition of the building materials used in construction. 

Over time, there have been many different types of building materials used. Choosing compatible materials when it comes to rendering is very important. To avoid unnecessary bumps along the way that could ultimately cost a fair bit to repair, learning about what works with what helps in the long term.  Many old buildings are simply not compatible with cement based render. In this article, we aim to outline the main problems associated with applying cement render to some older buildings.

What is Cement rendering?

So what exactly is cement render? It is actually a thick composition of materials that is applied to buildings to increase its aesthetic appeal and durability. Cement render boasts a strong resistance to water, making it seem ideal for older structures. However, this quality can begin trapping moisture within the walls which leads to decay and can greatly impact the structural integrity of the wall.

It is integral to get the formula of cement rendering to be compatible with the underlying structure. This ensures that the adhesion is consistent and to make sure it doesn’t crack and deteriorate prematurely. Lime washed cement has an antibacterial effect which also contributes to the render being crack resistant.

The first coat of cement render is usually rough in texture. Many people like this texture but if your personal preference is to have a smoother wall, it is possible to achieve this by applying the top coat layer.

Cement Render on Old Buildings | Zaks Render Sydney

What are some of the benefits of Cement Render?

But what are some of the benefits of cement render? As we stated before, cement render is particularly useful in increasing the durability of the wall. This protects the inner layer of the walls from harsh elements of the weather. Another benefit is the large array of finishes available. Depending on what you want, you can have your cement render tailored to your specific design desires.  There is also a strong insulative quality that comes with cement render. This means you can save a fair amount of money in energy bills. 

Having cement render applied to your house has even been shown to increase the value of the property. This is all the while staying reasonably affordable, especially when factoring in all of these benefits.

Can you use cement render on old buildings?

One of the most important elements to take into consideration with old and historic buildings is their ability to “breathe”. This is a key factor when it comes to the application of cement render. These older buildings, especially ones that were erected around the 1920’s, were build differently compared to modern architecture. To keep the moisture outside of the structure, more modern buildings depend on outer layers that are fundamentally impervious. 

This is starkly contrasted by the structure of older buildings known as cavity walls, where moisture and water would in fact be absorbed into the walls and then would dry out due to evaporation from the sun and wind. Because it was common to have large fires indoors, even if the moisture originated from within the structure itself it would be drawn out and released. Lime mortar is commonly used to conserve the structural integrity of older buildings.

So knowing the type of materials used in the building is key before making the decision to render (inside or out).

Trust the Experts at Zaks Render

There are many variables to take into account when it comes to the application of cement render. Weather conditions, how it is applied and what kind of surface it is applied on all influence the end result of the project. With this in mind, it is often best to leave it to the professionals. If you have any concerns regarding the inappropriate use of cement or lime renders on an older building, we are happy to help. We have decades of experience working with everything from hard and soft bricks, to the application and removing of cement render. For a consultation and a free quote, get in touch with us online or simply give us a call today on 0402 283 119. We look forward to hearing from you!