Ask the Inspector

Buying A House With Rendering – How Long Does Rendering Last?

Are you looking to buy a house with rendering? It’s such a hot trend with home exteriors right now, and it’s highly sought after on the property market. There’s so much you need to know about house rendering though before you make a final decision.

What You Need To Know When Buying A House With Rendering

House rendering is an effective way of changing the entire look of a house, and it’s a great way for home buyers to liven up their property prior to selling. So, if the house you’re looking to buy is rendered, what should you know about rendering? What do you need to look out for? With Action Property Inspections, we’ve done the dirty work for you. Read on to find out more about house rendering and why you should be keeping your eyes peeled!

Why choose rendering?

House rendering is generally done by an experienced plasterer, and refers to the process of covering walls with gradual layers of cement mortar or other types of render mixes. It can be one of the quickest and easiest ways of updating a home, and it can increase the market value of a property significantly.

Put simply, people choose to render their houses because it’s an easy way to refurbish an old property or give it a much-needed face-lift. A rendered finish to the walls of a home is elegant, cleaner, and more sophisticated than bare brick or bagged finishes. It can create a more uniform look if the walls are made of different materials. What’s more, modern technology has resulted in more varieties of render than the age-old lime-base or concrete base, so the sky is the limit when it comes to colour and finishes. You have a similar choice to the range of paints on the market, allowing you to go from classic, neutral finishes to bright contemporary colours depending on your taste or the era of your build.

There are also many practical benefits to rendering your house. It can add waterproofing to the walls of your home, as well as improve on your home’s overall fire-rating.

Unfortunately, not all rendering jobs are created equal. Just like any trade or skill, there are experts and there are ‘cowboys’. There are also many things that can go wrong with rendering – and if you’re thinking of buying a rendered house, you need to be aware of them.

Quality, not quantity

If you’re looking to buy a property that has been previously rendered, there are a few things you need to be on the lookout for prior to purchase.

Firstly, note the appearance of the render and look for any imperfections. Does it appear to be an even, smooth job throughout the wall? Can you see any obvious cracks or bumps in the render? Is there any separation of the render from the wall? What about hollow spots – can you notice any indentations where the render seems sunken? Finally, look for places where windows might overhang. If the render doesn’t have enough clearance from these overhanging places, it can be a massive red flag.

One of the biggest and most dangerous issues with home rendering is cracking. If the rendering on the property is cracked, it can result in the render falling from the wall in big sheets, which can be hazardous to anyone living in the house and potentially cost you thousands in repairs. This is something you’ll want to avoid!

If you notice any of these imperfections in the rendering job, on any walls of the property, it is worth thinking again about buying the property. You could be looking at potentially thousands of dollars in repairing the job, and hundreds of hours of labour. It could be a huge financial investment, and since they’re supposed to last decades, you need to be sure that it’s right for you and your home.

If you’re unsure about the rendering job on the property you’re interested in, Action Property Inspections offers pre-purchase property inspections. Our experienced inspectors can take a look at the exterior of the house and offer you an educated opinion on the quality of the rendering job.

How long does rendering last?

If the render was applied to a clean wall by a skilled professional, it should perform well and last for many years, if not decades. The type of render, as well as the underlying type of mortar used in making in the brickwork, plays a big role in how long rendering lasts. Any type of render can be vulnerable to cracking if water or salt crystallisation occurs. So how long does each type of render last?

With the modern acrylic or plastic-based renders, expect a job to last from anywhere between 20 to 40 years. This can depend on the smoothness of the job and how clean the walls were prior to its application.

With the more common cement-based renders, the lifespan can be significantly shorter, as the render is more liable to shrinkage or cracking. Cracking could occur anywhere from 7 to 15 years. A cement-based render will perform best in situations where the brickwork underneath was built using a cement-based mortar, since they’re fairly rigid. Softer lime-based mortars mean that the render has to cope with more movement, and the rigidity of the cement render makes this difficult, resulting in cracks, bumps, hollow spots, and even breakage.

Lime-based renders are well known for their longevity. In some cases, lime renders can still be seen on buildings dating back centuries. It all depends on which type works best for the particular house and the time period it belongs to.

Overall, if the home you’re looking to purchase has a quality rendering job, it will not only last you years – it’ll be so easy to maintain! Now that you have more information about house rendering, you’ll know more about what to look for. Action Property Inspections is happy to help with any pre-purchase inspections you need to make the right choice for your family.

For more advice or tips on home rendering and buying a rendered home, contact Action Property Inspections today on 07 3201 2666!

Andrew Mackintosh

About Andrew Mackintosh

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.