Delve into the latest company news, product information, technical advice and more

Starter Track – YouTube Series Episode 1

To run alongside our new YouTube series, we have a dedicated series of blogs detailing the processes described in the series. We will cover every single step of the installation process, from an unprepared substrate, all the way to the aftercare stage. This includes customer and system aftercare. The series is broken up into the following steps:

  1. Starter Track
  2. Priming
  3. Insulation, adhesive, and fixings
  4. Beading and verge trims
  5. Basecoat and mesh
  6. Topcoat (priming and rendering)
  7. Tips and aftercare
  8. Our other services

A starter track acts as a stable, protective ledge on which insulation boards are situated. This includes EPS, Mineral Wool, and Kingspan K5. Not only does the starter track provide an even base, but it also protects the insulation from rising moisture. Both aluminium and PVC versions are fine to use, with aluminium providing more durability.

How to install Starter Track?

The first step to installing the starter track is to assess and prepare the substrate. Starter tracks are compatible with every possible substrate, including existing brickwork, ICF, wood frame, SIPs panels, and others. Therefore, you just need to follow the approved preparatory steps. Ask yourself:

  • Is the wall capable of withstanding and supporting the weight of the insulation?
  • Is your wall uneven? If so, it can be difficult to install a starter track on it.

If your wall is uneven, there are a couple of solutions:

  • Shims and packers are great products to easily create a level surface.
  • If the wall is still too uneven, you likely need EWI-260 Levelling Mortar which can fill in imperfections up to a thickness of 50mm.

The next step in the process is to locate the DPC. The DPC is the damp-proof course and forms an important part of the damp protection of your walls. It is a layer of impermeable material running throughout the brickwork which protects the property from rising moisture.

  • The starter track is mounted just above the level of the DPC, which helps to protect the underside of the insulation boards from moisture further.
  • If you are insulating below the DPC, it is vital to use water-resistant boards such as XPS and a waterproof basecoat such as Aquabase. Lastly, Mosaic Render forms the outer layer which is also impermeable.

The penultimate step is to fix the starter track to the wall. We have several recommendations when it comes to this step:

  • Use dedicated starter track fixings available at the EWI Store to ensure correct installation.
  • Space the fixings at intervals of no more than 30cm to prevent any bending of the material.
  • Connector clips are used to bridge the gaps.
  • Use a spirit level throughout the process to ensure consistency and quality.
  • Cut the track at 45-degree angles to wrap the starter track around the corners of the building.

The clip-on profile

Specifically designed to work with our aluminium starter tracks, clip-on profile beads create a neat finish at the bottom of an external wall insulation system where the insulation finishes. The clip-on profile also has a ‘drip nose’ to ensure water running down the surface of the render cannot travel back towards the wall and create damp issues. The attached fibreglass mesh increases the durability of the starter track system.

This rounds out part 1 of the installation process! If you want to watch this process in the original video format, visit our YouTube site or watch below.

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *