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Painting Silicone Render. - 3 Reasons Why We Would Advise Against It!

Many people assume that the final stage of decorating the façade of a building is painting. Painting a property gives it a bright, clean finish and helps to hide any imperfections or blemishes on the external surface. However, when you’re dealing with a building finished with silicone render, painting is the last thing you want to do. 

While a fresh coat of paint might look good initially, in the long term, it could result in several maintenance issues and cause your property to look tired and uncared for before its time. Avoiding paint and using other more appropriate finishes on your building will ensure the façade looks good for as long as possible. If you’re still considering giving your silicone rendered building a coat of paint, take a look at the top three reasons why we’d advise against it.

1. Painted properties need to be repainted

One of the main reasons we believe painting a silicone rendered building is a bad idea is that, once painted, properties need to be repainted. This will need to be done regularly to keep them good-looking. Exposure to wind, rain and sun can quickly take its toll on paint, causing it to crack, peel and discolour over time. Unless painted buildings undergo regular maintenance, they’re likely to look old, worn and tired within a few years.

Painting large domestic and commercial buildings can be time-consuming and expensive. In most cases, scaffolding will need to be erected and, in instances when access is challenging, cherry pickers and other heavy machinery may be required. This can cause a lot of disruption for the residents or tenants using the building and prove expensive for the property owners.

By not using paint in the first place, property owners can avoid these ongoing maintenance issues. In the long run, this can help them to save a considerable amount of time and money and keep disruption to a minimum for their tenants.

In many cases, modern render can have colour added to it before applied to a building. Manufacturer K-Rend offers a great range of coloured silicone render that’s suitable for use on buildings of all types. Not only is coloured render more convenient, but it’s also easier to maintain and clean.

Unlike paint, which only covers the render's surface, through-colouring ensures the render is the same tone inside and out. This means that when the surface is cleaned and algae, fungi and other contaminants removed, the render will look as good as new. What’s more, as cleaning, unlike painting, can often be done without scaffolding, cherry pickers and other heavy machinery, it’s a quicker and cheaper way to maintain a building.

2. Algae and fungi need to be killed

It’s prevalent for algae and fungus to appear on the surface of a silicone rendered building after a few years. This growth is caused by spores landing on the building's façade and is something that occurs naturally over time.

When algae and fungus grow on the exterior surface of a building, they cause discolouration. Generally green, red or black in colour, this discolouration can make a building look uncared for and in need of a bit of TLC. 

In many cases, contractors who don’t know a lot about silicone render will suggest painting over algae and fungus patches. While this might look good in the short term, it’s not a great option as biological growth will compromise the paint if it’s not killed and removed before work begins.

If algae and fungi are painted over, you can expect to see discolouration appear again within 6-12 months. As the algae and fungi regrow, they’ll cause the paint to peel and crack. This paint will then need to be removed using chemicals and the surface steam cleaned before repainted or re-rendered.

The best way to restore silicone render to its former glory is to clean it rather than painting it. Our patented system allows modern silicone render to be cleaned quickly and easily. As we 3D print our own specialist equipment, we’re able to tackle jobs of all shapes and sizes and reach parts of a property that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Our unique system allows us to work both from the ground and via rope access. This minimises the need for scaffolding and cherry pickers, reduces disruption and ensures the job is completed as quickly as possible.

Before we begin cleaning a building, we carry out a thorough survey of the property. This gives us the chance to check for cracks, leaks, blocked pipes and other issues that can cause serious damage to a building. If we find any defects, we report them to the housing association or facilities manager to be properly dealt with.

3. Render needs to breathe

Last but definitely not least, silicone render needs to breathe. If it’s covered with impermeable paint, it can prevent air from passing between the inside and outside of the render and lead to serious issues. Moisture can build up in the render, causing the paint to bubble, crack and peel. This can have a big impact on the look of the building.  

Painting a rendered property can also cause damp to build up in the walls. Over time, this damp can enter the homes and offices inside the property and cause many aesthetic and structural issues.

If you manage a rendered building, or if you’re surveying property that’s been finished with silicone render, it’s important to seek out expert advice before having it painted or cleaned. Getting the help of experienced contractors will ensure your property is well cared for and unnecessary maintenance is kept to a minimum. We’re always happy to answer questions on the cleaning and maintenance of rendered buildings. Get in touch with a member of our expert team to find out more.

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