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Case Study – Monocouche onto Brick

At EWI Pro, we specify many projects throughout the UK. They vary in size, scope, and system application. From large-scale commercial projects to small-scale residential, we cover every type of project. As we’ve discussed recently, we provide a comprehensive range of testing processes. These include wind-load tests, moisture testing, and pull-out tests. Our Technical Team also provides expert U-value calculations to ensure the system is suitable. In our new series of blogs, we will shine a light on specific projects and the build-ups they utilise.

Monocouche Scratch Render is an extremely popular visual solution. Due to the composition of the render mixed with aggregates, the resultant finish mimics natural stone. On this project, Smith Plastering installed Monocouche Scratch Render onto a brick property to produce a striking visual feature.

Project details

– Substrate: Brick
– U-Value change: N/A
– Basecoat: N/A
– Finish: Monocouche Scratch Render
– Colour: Bright White
– Location: Epsom
– Installer: Ronan Smith @ Smith Plastering

The build-up – Monocouche onto Brick

Before you begin applying monocouche scratch render onto a brick substrate, it’s crucial to ensure the bricks are well-prepared. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the brickwork to rid it of any dust, loose material, oil, paint, or other contaminants. If there are any damages or gaps, also address them at this stage; this might involve filling in or replacing bricks. To ensure a solid bond between the brick and the render, wet the bricks before application. This prevents the bricks from drawing out moisture too rapidly from the render, which could compromise the bond.

Some types of brick and render might require priming for better adhesion. If this is the case, apply the primer as directed. When you’re ready to mix the monocouche render, ensure you use the appropriate amount of water as recommended by the manufacturer. A forced action mixer or a drill with a paddle attachment is ideal for mixing.

The application process begins with the first layer. Using a steel trowel, apply a layer of about 10mm thickness, ensuring even coverage. It’s essential to use consistent pressure for an even layer. Once done, level the surface with a straight edge or darby. When this layer starts to set, scratch its surface with a scratch comb. This texture will also aid in the adhesion of the second layer.

After the first pass has adequately set, usually by the next day, it’s time for the second pass. Apply another layer of similar thickness, ensuring thorough coverage. As this layer begins to set, create your desired finish by scratching the surface with a scratch comb.

Once both layers are applied, it’s crucial to allow the render to cure under ideal conditions. Shield the wall from harsh conditions like direct sunlight, strong winds, or heavy rain for at least 24-48 hours. This protection prevents rapid drying, which might lead to cracks. Especially in hot climates, it’s beneficial to mist the surface with water over a few days to aid the curing process.

Benefits of using monocouche

  1. Durability: Monocouche render is robust and long-lasting. It can withstand harsh weather conditions, making it particularly suitable for external applications.
  2. Low Maintenance: Once applied, monocouche render requires minimal upkeep. Its durability means that it’s less prone to cracking or damage over time.
  3. Aesthetic Versatility: Available in a wide range of colours, monocouche render eliminates the need for painting. The through-coloured nature ensures a consistent finish, and any minor damage also won’t reveal a different colour underneath.
  4. Breathability: Many monocouche renders are designed to be breathable, which can help prevent the buildup of moisture within walls, thereby reducing the risk of damp and mould growth.
  5. Weather Resistance: The formulation of monocouche render often includes waterproofing agents, ensuring the rendered surface is water-resistant and can repel driving rain.
  6. Quick Drying: The render dries and sets relatively quickly, which can also be beneficial in reducing construction or renovation times.
  7. Cost-Efficiency: Given its single-application nature and the elimination of the need for painting, monocouche can be a cost-effective option in the long run.
  8. Environmental Benefits: Many monocouche renders are formulated to be environmentally friendly, with reduced CO2 emissions during production.
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