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Surface science – repair damaged render

Surface science – repair damaged render

Surface science – repair damaged render

Plastic Surgeon has developed a new system to solve one of the building industry’s most technically challenging problems.

How’s the crack?

Had you walked onto a site during the sixties or seventies, especially around London, there’s a fair chance you would have been greeted by some friendly Irish building worker who’d say: “How’s the craic?” The phrase roughly translates to- what fun’s happening?

These days, the demographics of the workforce have changed considerably, and if you did still hear someone ask “How’s the crack” they would probably be talking about the hairline fissures which can often mar otherwise pristine elevations executed using one of the commonly specified proprietary render systems.

From flats and houses to schools, hospitals and other public buildings, render is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, particularly due to the delays developers are suffering due to manufacturers trying to rebuild capacity after the downturn in construction.

Historically, of course, builders burned lime in a pit– and sometimes even mixed in horse hair – to make their renders and plasters, but times have changed. Even sand and cement render has been largely replaced by proprietary systems which are either silica or acrylic based: and although their long term durability is excellent, they tend to be susceptible to damage prior to completion. Scaffolders and fork-lift drivers can be very careless when working around the crisp new elevations. Poor adhesion can leave sections being ‘hollow’ while, worse still, settlement or drying out of the structure often results in fine cracks appearing.

Domestic customers who are faced with cracked or spalling render will often be advised by their builders to hack it all off and re-render the entire wall. For developers and their site agents, trying to complete new properties ready to handover, this would constitute an unacceptable and costly delay yet, up until now, there has been no reliable way to repair damaged render.

Happily, Plastic Surgeon has always responded to demands from its customer base by investing in research and development to provide new repair techniques; often based on innovative product solutions. In this case, formulating and trialling System 140.

Already the Finishers are being trained up in its use and the basic 10 dry powder mixes available can be blended to match most colours used in construction. More vibrant or special colours can be ordered from the company’s manufacturing partner, and the render can be applied in thicknesses of up to 25 mm.

Where chips or gouges have occurred the Finisher will cut out a circular hole up to 100 mm in diameter, exposing the substrate, and then make the repair using the System 140. The texture of the surrounding area can be matched by skilful use of trowels or other tools.

With silica and acrylic based renders also being regularly applied as the final finish for External Wall Insulation or EWI systems that attract funded under the Government’s Energy Companies Obligation initiative, the potential market for Plastic Surgeon’s System 140 render repair strategy looks huge.