Silicone render has been one of the most popular types of systems requested by our clients. So is silicone render any good? This is the question we hope to address in this article.
Here at Ralph Plastering, we understand that rendering a property is a big decision to make and you will need to account for many factors such as suitability, method of application, different rendering finishes, choice of colour, render costs, etc.
What is silicone render?
As obvious as it may seem, silicone render contains silicone – which is a polymer that is rubbery and has a greater resistance to high temperatures. Unlike acrylic, silicone render comes in several formulations and colours which provides great flexibility for homeowners.
It imparts a high degree of water repellency to the render system that allows for better breathability within the surface.
How long does silicone render last?
In general, silicone renders are more durable and reliable than the traditional mixtures. This is especially true when it’s combined with an adhesive base coat and mineral. As such, the average lifespan of silicone rendering is between 25 – 30 years.
However, you should also note that there are several factors that can affect the longevity of any render. These include where you live, the climate, how well the render was applied by the rendering contractors used, etc. If for instance your previous renderer has done a poor job with application, it may need to be replaced sooner.
Having said that, there are plenty of properties in the UK that have not needed rendering work for 50 years or more. Therefore, it really should be considered as a long term investment on your property.
Does silicone render crack?
Silicone is extremely versatile and provides high performance. As such it is very flexible and resistant to any cracks. Given that it provides a wide range of coloured options, it’s unique combination of such benefits has made it a very popular choice with our customers.
Unlike a layer of paint that will show underneath if it gets cracked, the silicone finish is highly pigmented which means the damage to the top layer is much less obvious. However in our experience silicone render doesn’t crack and on the odd chance that it does, it’s very easy to put right.
Is silicone render expensive?
As a rough guide, silicone render could cost double the price of a conventional cement mix – coming in somewhere around £65 – £80 per M2 including labour and materials. However the cost will vary depending on the type of base coat used. More information is available on our silicone render prices page.
For a breakdown of the costs involved and how to measure the area of the wall, this guide will help you get a better understanding. It essentially considers the following costs:
- Priming the substrate
- Applying the base coat and mesh
- Render primer
- Additional costs such as scaffolding and waste removal should be considered.
Can you apply silicone render over existing render?
One of the reasons why you may consider doing this would be to eliminate the cost required to remove the existing render. Though it may work in certain instances, careful consideration must be placed when deciding to apply silicone render over existing render.
In general, additional coats of render can only be applied safely when the existing work has satisfactory adhesion and the job is properly carried out. You would need professional renderers to assess if this is possible.
We would recommend removing the initial base coat and previous render for best results and to meet criteria for any warranties and guarantees provided by manufacturers, such as Weber.
Pros of silicone rendering
The benefits offered by silicone render is far superior than other alternatives available in the market.
- Ease of application: Thin coat silicone renders can be applied to a correctly prepared surface in just a few hours.
- Hydrophobic: Its water repellent feature suggests that it’s a self-cleaning render and any dirt particles are easily washed away by the rain.
- Great flexibility: As discussed above, it’s a very flexible system making cracking over its useful life very less likely.
- Highly durable: With a large lifespan, silicone render is a great investment. Some manufacturers offer over 25 years warranty.
Cons of silicone rendering
Given the above benefits and superior properties over other rendering alternatives, it must be understood that silicon rendering is a more expensive option due to product cost. However, considering that it can last for at least 25 years, the lifetime value it provides is significantly superior compared to other rendering methods.
Considering that it involves 4 different stages, it is labour intensive and is therefore not the quickest option. It could take time for it to be applied. Should you consider applying silicone render, it is therefore best that you plan well ahead and speak with your local contractor.
Our renderers at Ralph Plastering are equipped to help you plan the rendering process. So should you need any assistance, do get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to provide free consultation and quotations.
What’s the difference between acrylic render and silicone render?
Acrylic is a relatively cheap render which makes it a good option if you are on a low budget. They are a type of plastic and are added to render to help provide better stain and water resistance as well as greater resistance to cracking. The drawback with acrylic render is that it does not breathe, so if you want air to get to the bricks and insulation underneath, acrylic is not going to work for you.
Silicone render on the other hand, provides breathability and is longer lasting than acrylic renders. As such it is a more expensive option but considering the respective lifespan, silicone render provides better value than acrylic render.
So, is silicone render any good? As we tried to explore various aspects of silicone render, it can be understood that there are many benefits of using them for your property. It definitely should be considered as an investment to your property – one that can increase its value overtime too.
If you’re convinced enough to proceed with silicone render and based in the South of England, please feel more than welcome to contact us here at Ralph Plastering for a free quote and consultation.