A good render starts with good preparation.
A clean foundation or base surface, selecting an appropriate product, the time to complete the task and even picking the right day and climate can all make a huge difference to the end result. Before you begin your rendering project, take the time to go through our preparation checklist to get the best results, first time.
Choose Your Day
The unrelenting Australian climate can make any render job challenging. Too dry and you won’t have time to apply a full veneer; too wet or humid and it will peel straight off. Ideally, you want a warm, overcast day to allow you plenty of time to work your render while helping it dry steadily and evenly. While rainy days are definitely out, bright, sunny days are manageable if there is no other option. Try to get your project wrapped up early, or leave it until later in the day to minimise direct sunlight to prevent your render drying too quickly.
Clean Your Surfaces
Dirt, dust, salt, grease and any other foreign substances will prevent your render from bonding properly with the surface. A coarse brush and water are often enough to prepare your area, though oils and grease may require a detergent as well. However, the detergent itself can also leave behind a residue, so make sure your surface is thoroughly rinsed. If available, a gurney or power hose is an ideal way to prep your surface.
Prime Your Area
For smaller jobs, a dash coat may be enough. This is a strong mix of cement and water lightly brushed or flicked onto smoother surfaces to create a bonding layer. However, this isn’t ideal or failsafe. ROCKCOTE’s range of primers and bonding agents give your render the best chance of a strong, long-lasting bond. In areas of high salt spray, such as coastal regions, an anti-efflorescence layer is highly recommended. This removes and prevents oily salt deposits, providing excellent adhesion with a slip-resistant finish for easy render application.
Masonry, metal, PVC and other surfaces all require different treatments, so select your primer or KeyCote carefully according to your project. If in doubt, contact ROCKCOTE’s professional team for advice and a recommendation of the ideal primer for you.
Pick Your Base
There are two options when it comes to your base or primary render: cement or water-based. You can think of cement renders like sandpaper – they come in different grades depending on the texture and finish you require. Cement renders have a wide scope for creativity and creating a unique look to your project. They also form an excellent base layer for coloured and protective top coats. The downside is that they are firm when set, and if you’re working on a flexible surface or building prone to small movement (such as new timber-framed builds that need to settle), you may find small cracks appearing. These cracks are superficial and can easily be patched six months after application, but if you know movement may be an issue, a water-based polymer render is the perfect choice. With inherent flexibility, stronger adhesion and a more forgiving finish, water-based render isn’t quite as versatile in texturing but will allow your project room to breathe, without resulting in small fractures.
These four steps will help to save you time, money and the effort of having to patch or fill your render after a couple of months. Forward planning is always better than dealing with the repercussions of a rushed project.
Talk to ROCKCOTE today for help with selecting the best primers, bonds and base coats for your next project.