Victorian property external cement render removal

bentenbox12

New Member
My wife and I have recently purchased a victorian semi. Prior to purchase we had a damp survey which revealed some random high readings across our bathroom wall which corresponds to cracks in the cement render applied to the rear wall.

My understanding is that this cement render should never have been applied to this wall in the first place given that it is a solid, non cavity wall.

The render is only on the top half of one of the rear walls, covering an area of about 6 square metres. We were hoping to have that render removed and a lime wash applied which we believe from research to be the most appropriate finish, is this correct? The other options was to perhaps have the brickwork repointed.

I've had a few people around and they want to re render in cement but my research and our damp surveyor all advised against this, so as of now I'm a little confused. I've attached a photo to illustrate the back as it is. The window that's been covered over was on the list to brick up as well.
 

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bentenbox12

New Member
Even if no one wants the job, I would be happy to just know that I am going down the right path avoiding another concrete render in this situation?
 

Deri

Active Member
I would advise removing the current s&c render and apply a lime based render instead.
I am a bit far from Cheltenham tho.
 

Martin Brown

New Member
Hi, I’d say the best option would be restored brickwork, but it may have been covered for a reason and the brickwork may have been scutched (keyed) when the render was applied.
Limewash is an ok option, great from a breathability point of view, but if the brickwork looks tatty, the limewash will also.
Lime render would work well, definitely no cement needed.
Before any of that, have a good look at the detailing, is the lead flashing working as it should? the under cloak beneath the tiles, dark staining under the verge seems to suggest water getting through.
Also look at how you’re going to stop the render, stainless stop beads would maybe look better than bell.
 

bentenbox12

New Member
Hi, I’d say the best option would be restored brickwork, but it may have been covered for a reason and the brickwork may have been scutched (keyed) when the render was applied.
Limewash is an ok option, great from a breathability point of view, but if the brickwork looks tatty, the limewash will also.
Lime render would work well, definitely no cement needed.
Before any of that, have a good look at the detailing, is the lead flashing working as it should? the under cloak beneath the tiles, dark staining under the verge seems to suggest water getting through.
Also look at how you’re going to stop the render, stainless stop beads would maybe look better than bell.
That's great, thank you for the response. We've got a roofer coming around to take a look at the roof to check it over, inspect the lining and clear the moss off. We were advised to do that but only as routine maintenance as the damp surveyor didn't find any damp or signs of ingress from the roof. or is that separate from the under cloak? Apologies for the questions, complete novice here. The help is greatly appreciated
 

Martin Brown

New Member
The three black areas on the face of the render, under the tiles, toward the gutter, suggest to me that water is either running through a gap, or tracking around. There also appear to be cracks nearby.
The problem with a cement render, especially on porous soft red bricks, is that any moisture that gets in cannot get back out, the bricks act like a sponge. Damp solid brickwork will not only cause damp walls internally, but will severely reduce the thermal efficiency of the wall, creating a cold wall and therefore condensation and mould.
Best thing to do is to strip the render off as soon as you can, get some air to the brickwork, assess options, then if it's to be re-rendered address it in the spring.
 

johna

New Member
I noticed that no drip groove is visible on the top window sill. It's hard to judge from a photo, so it may be there.

capillary.png
 
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