Restoring the Exterior Walls of an Older Home

Taking on the restoration of an older home can be a real challenge. Whether you purchased the home with the intention of restoring it – or inherited something that needed some TLC, you’ll find that there are quite a few methods of getting those walls looking great again.

Exactly how you restore the walls will depend on a few factors, including the material used and the state of the wall at this point in time. Provided it’s something that can be repaired and prepped for a coating, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting started.

Preparing Your Walls for Renovation

Before you get to the point of actually restoring your walls, you will need to see what you’re working with. Take the time to clear away any vines or moss that may be growing up the walls and then brush down the grime.

Depending on the type of wall you’re dealing with, you may wish to use a pressure washer to clean away peeling paint, dirt, smoke, and other contaminants that are ruining the look of the wall.

If you do use a pressure washer, be aware that it will knock out any loose concrete or pebbles and mortar in brick or stone walls. If the grime is particularly stubborn, you’ll need to use a cleaner to polish it up and remove the dirt.

However, these cleaners may be somewhat corrosive, so be sure to use heavy duty gloves and eye protection if you use them.

Once your walls are clean, you can see exactly what needs to be done and it’s time to get started.

Restoring and Repointing Brick Walls

For brick walls, you will need to look at the external mortar joints. Repointing is often necessary, but first, you’ll need to replace any loose bricks. Do this by chipping out the mortar until the brick comes out.

Brush the dirt from the cavity and the brick, then spray it all with water. You’ll need to add the mortar inside the cavity and replace the brick. If the brick is broken or worn, you may choose to replace it with a newer brick. Once the mortar has dried, you can remove the excess.

Repointing will require replacing the mortar anywhere it has come loose or is no longer looking its best. Then you will smooth in fresh mortar and blend it to look like the rest. The end result is an almost new looking wall.

With the repointing done, you can either leave the bricks exposed, or you can paint them. Many people opt to paint their brick walls with an exterior paint that will help prevent further damage. It’s also a good way to protect the mortar from coming loose due to wind and rain.

Restoring Stone Walls

These are similar to bricks, as they often used mortar to attach various sized stones to create the wall. Like brick, you’ll find loose stones and mortar and may need to repoint, too. Since stones are not as squared off as bricks, it can be a bit more complicated to fit them properly into the spaces. You’ll definitely want to note which way the stone went into the wall before replacing loose ones.

Stones are also likely to grow moss and will need to be cleaned off. While you can paint over them in some cases, the end result is seldom pleasant, so it’s best to leave them natural when possible. The exception would be if you plaster over the rocks to give a flat surface, but this requires quite a bit of work.

Restoring Wooden Walls

Wood walls are susceptible to rot, but they are also some of the most common types of walls you’ll find in the UK. Inspect the house very carefully and determine if any areas need to be replaced, due to excessive rot.

In most cases, you can add boards to help support the existing structure and make it more stable. You’ll also need to treat the wood for fungus, termites, or woodworm if you notice any of these potential issues.

One of the biggest problems however, is dampness, which can result in mould and other problems. You’ll need to seek out and fix the issue causing the damp, then consider putting up a covering. There are wall coatings available to help prevent further damage, once the original problem is resolved.

Using Wall Coatings

A very common issue with older walls is penetrating damp. Check the interior of the house for signs of water damage. If it is in the middle of the wall, it’s likely penetrating damp, particularly if you notice that the outside of the house in those areas is less than perfect.

Wall coatings can help in both cases, by preventing water from passing through the wall and causing issues inside the home. However, they do much more than that. They also add a lovely finish to the exterior of your home and increase the durability of your exterior wall coatings.

Unlike paint, exterior wall coatings are thick and offer protection from the elements. They can resist inclement weather and are designed to last a very long time.

Other benefits of wall coatings include:

Durability: These wall coatings will last at least a decade, but often far longer before you need to replace them. That entire time, they protect the walls from damp and any elemental damage. You can expect to find a guarantee for the wall coating, when applied by professionals, for at least 10 years. Don’t settle for less than this.

Insulation: While not a full on insulator, the coating can help keep the interior of the home a more stable temperature by preventing sun and rain from passing through. This helps reduce the amount of energy used by the home and makes it more energy efficient. You’ll spend less money, as well.

Covering: Due to the thickness of the treatment, it will cover up and smooth over any exterior scars or imperfections that the wall has. This makes the entire house look much better and it will appear newer, too.

Paint can only change the colour, but won’t create a home that looks as new and fresh as the covering will. Keep in mind that while a wall coating will cover a crack, it cannot repair the actual damage, so consider repairing the structure before covering it up. After all, if there is a significant crack or displacement, it could cause future issues in the stability of the home.

Colours: You can choose from several standard colours to give your home that special touch. While most colours are fairly neutral, you can also paint after the coating has been applied in some cases and some companies offer custom colours, as well. Having a neutral colour is best, as it will give you a clean look to the finished home. You’ll also find that light colours reflect the sun away, to prevent overheating the home.

Textures: How the coating is applied will help you determine the texture. There are also several textures available, but even using different applications will give you a unique look. Even simply swirling the coating onto the wall will give it a unique look that will stand out from the other homes.

Microporous: While the wall coatings prevent water from entering the home from the exterior, they do allow water vapour to escape from the interior so the house can ‘breathe’.

Wall coverings are quite beneficial when you are working to restore exterior walls and should be considered an essential part of the renovation process. They offer so much protection that it would be a shame to restore the wall without this extra step to keep it in excellent condition for years to come.

Choosing the Right Exterior Paint

Paint can be a simple way to add a little colour to your home and make it look even nicer than before. It’s also something that you can use to add a little extra protection. Exterior paint is designed to withstand the elements and is ideal for preventing damage to your walls.

If the wall coating or render that was used on the walls wasn’t the colour you prefer, you can add a layer or two of paint. You’ll get extra protection and give it a bit of zing.

Are you interested in having the experts handle your wall coatings? Contact Kingdom Coatings today to get a quote on your restoration project.


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Our expert services, dedication to bringing you the latest technology and efficient installation means Kingdom Roof and Wall Coatings should be your first choice of provider for wall coatings within Scotland. 

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