Rendered walls are a popular option these days for many homes and businesses, with many great benefits: they look amazing, improve insulation, and shield the walls from damage caused by the weather.
Most modern renders are long-lasting, with a lifespan of between ten and thirty years, sometimes more. They are specially designed to be low maintenance and to provide long-term protection.
Even so, the surface will become dirty after a while and will need to be cleaned. But exactly how do you do this? Is there a right or wrong way? Is there a chance that you'll damage the render by cleaning it?
All exterior walls are vulnerable to atmospheric pollution, dust and dirt particles, mould spores, bacteria, moss, fungi, lichen and algae growth. Much of the organic matter that ends up on your walls is deposited by rain, and the UK often has more than its fair share!
This doesn't always look so bad on brick or masonry walls as they tend to look better with age. However, a rendered surface is a large area of uniform colour. When parts of this are affected by algae and grime, particularly on bright-coloured render, it spoils the effect and looks unsightly.
The problem is that many types of render are breathable, with a porous surface that allows moisture to escape, providing an ideal place for mould spores and organic growth to establish themselves. Textured surfaces also attract dirt and bacteria, which can be difficult to shift successfully without special treatment.
In some cases, graffiti has ruined the look of rendered surfaces, and this can be particularly problematic. The removal of ivy growth can leave quite a mess too.
In addition, mineral salts can accumulate, either from the 'grit' used for icy roads in winter or sea spray, and this can damage render as it crystallises, forcing tiny open fissures or capillaries in the render. This can result in cracks, which often need to be repaired.
Many rendered facades take on black staining from carbon and pollution. Green or red stains (particularly in coastal regions) are caused by algae growth, mould and bacteria that thrive on the surfaces, and that's when you need to take action. We covered how to remove algae from rendered walls in our blog.
As we've seen, different render types require a different approach. Here are some examples of how render can be cleaned.
Pressure washing is one of the most effective tools in the external wall cleaning procedure, but it must be used correctly and wisely.
For example, lime-rendered walls are soft and easily damaged. Blasting this with a pressure washer could strip away the render or make holes in the surface. Even some modern render manufacturers recommend that you don't use pressure washing as this may damage painted render or the surface of the render itself.
Right Wash render cleaning experts know precisely what is needed for each type of render, and will select the appropriate setting when using a jet wash.
For most types, a soft wash with an appropriate cleaning solution is adequate and won't harm the render in any way. It's essential to adjust the nozzle to a spray setting for soft washing, as a high-pressure jet of water could ruin any type of render.
The first and most important stage when cleaning render is to make a site visit to assess the scale of the project. This allows us to make provisions for any potential hazards or obstacles, confirm the render type and check for any damage. This is repaired before any work begins.
Special consideration is given to site access and the use of equipment for working at height.
We will then decide which method is appropriate for the render and the team will get to work.
The duration of the project will depend entirely upon the size of the job, the method used, and the state of the render surface. However, as a rough guide, a 3-bed house generally takes a single day.
Ideally, a rendered property should be washed at least once a year. This may change depending on the weather and your location - a property based in a coastal area may face extra challenges due to sea spray, mist and humidity. Homes in the northern areas of the UK tend to experience wetter weather conditions, increasing the risk of dirt and contamination.
It's generally agreed that annual render cleaning will prevent the problem from becoming too severe, and will keep your rendered walls looking fresh and sharp. It isn't just about appearance, as render cleaning can also increase its lifespan and avoid the surfaces from being damaged.
While some homeowners are happy to handle the job themselves, it's not always an easy or straightforward process, particularly when large areas or upper levels are involved.
Also, you need to know the correct cleaning process for your render surface or you may damage it, especially when using a pressure washer (and not everyone owns one of these, anyway!).
Finally, some people may lack either the enthusiasm or physical ability to tackle this work, perhaps due to health conditions or senior years.
The friendly team at Right Wash has the expertise to deal with all kinds of render surfaces and restore them to their former glory. They know which cleaning method to use for each type, and will apply their knowledge and experience to achieve the very best results.
We are happy to take on all of your external wall cleaning projects where rendered surfaces are involved.
Right Wash offers a professional, cost-effective render cleaning solution that will leave your property looking fantastic. Our team has extensive knowledge of all render types and will select the right method to produce stunning results.
Contact us today to discuss your render cleaning, repair or removal requirements and for a free, no obligation quote.
Jet washing is the best way to clean various types of render according to various manufacturers of the actual render. Power washing will remove a lot of dirt and algae but algae and moss can penetrate into the porous render types making steam cleaning and soft washing a slightly better option in some cases.
Three to five years is a common figure for render staying clean after a good wash but things like blocked gutters & plants being too close to the walls can make dirt and algae appear much faster on any type of render.
Yes, steam cleaning render and soft washing is one of the best ways to clean render as there is less risk of damage to the render that you would likely get from jet washing.
To refresh a rendered wall that is covered in dirt, algae, moss or lichen then the safest way for all renders is soft washing and low pressure steam cleaning. In some modern renders you will be able to just jet wash it.