Blistering Paintwork

Understanding the Causes of Blistering Paintwork on a Plastered Wall

Blistering paint on a plastered wall
Blistering paint and other paint issues on plastered walls can be caused by various factors, from moisture to improper surface preparation.

Have you ever noticed those paint issues such as unsightly bubbles forming beneath the paint on your plastered walls? It’s a frustrating sight, especially after putting in the effort to paint them. Blistering paintwork can ruin the aesthetics of your walls and leave you wondering what went wrong.

Understanding What Causes Blistering Paint

Moisture Infiltration

One of the primary reasons for blistering paint is moisture seeping through the plaster. Whether it’s from cracks, leaks, high humidity, or inadequate waterproofing, moisture can wreak havoc on your paint job.

Poor Surface Preparation

Rushing through the surface preparation phase can lead to adhesion issues between the plaster and paint layers. Failure to clean, sand, or prime the surface adequately prevents the paint from bonding securely, resulting in blisters.

Low-Quality Paint or Primer

Using subpar paint or primer products might save you money upfront but could cost you dearly in the long run. Inferior formulations are more prone to blistering, especially when applied to plastered walls.

Paint Application in Extreme Conditions

Painting in extreme temperatures or direct sunlight can impact the paint’s ability to adhere properly to the plaster. Similarly, applying paint to damp surfaces or during high humidity levels can lead to blister formation.

Treating Blistered Paint on Walls

Painting over the Blistered Paint on Walls

While you can paint over blisters, addressing the underlying issues is crucial. Ignoring them may lead to recurring problems. Sand the affected areas, repair any damage, prime the surface, and repaint for a lasting solution.

Preventing Blistering Paint on Plastered Walls

Ensure proper surface preparation by cleaning and priming the walls before painting. Use high-quality paint and primer suitable for plaster surfaces. Additionally, address any moisture issues promptly to safeguard against future blistering.

Quick Fixes for Blistering Paint

Quick fixes such as puncturing the blisters and applying a new coat of paint may offer temporary relief but are not advisable. However, to prevent recurrence, it’s essential to identify and rectify the root cause of the blistering.

Address the issues to prevent blistering paint.

Blistering paint on plastered walls can be a frustrating setback, but understanding its causes is the first step toward effective resolution. By addressing issues such as moisture infiltration from cracks, rising damp, falling damp, penetrating damp, inadequate surface preparation, and using quality materials, you can achieve a flawless finish that stands the test of time. Remember, a well-executed paint job not only enhances the aesthetics of your house but also protects your walls from damage. Take the time to tackle the problem at its source and enjoy walls that exude beauty and durability for years to come.

A Maintenance Home Inspection will help solve many issues you may have in your home with cracking, paint issues and leaks. You get a comprehensive inspection and report with photos which will highlight the maintenance issues you should take care of.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Archives for Jurie Fourie

Cavity Walls In New Buildings In South Africa

SANS 10400-XA (Energy Usage in Buildings)

The 2021 SANS 10400-XA revision requires the construction of cavity walls in place of 230 mm solid brick external walls. This energy-saving change is applicable in all the energy zones in South Africa except in zones 3, 5 and 5H.

How wise this course of action is considering the lack of skills in the building trade will have to be seen!

What is a cavity wall?

A cavity wall consists of two skins separated by a hollow space (cavity). The advantage is that a cavity wall gives better thermal insulation than a solid wall. The space between the two leaves of cavity walls reduces heat transmission into the building from outside.

The following are the advantages of cavity walls when compared to solid walls.

  • This type of wall gives better thermal insulation than solid walls.
  • The hollow space between leaves prevents moisture penetration through the wall from the outside. This prevents dampness internally.
  • They also act as good sound insulators.
  • These walls also prevent efflorescence from occurring.

Construction of cavity walls

how to build a cavity wall using DPC and brickforce
window built in on a cavity wall with vertical DPC

The construction of these walls is technically more difficult than for solid 230 mm walls.

  • The cavity between the two masonry leaves should be a minimum of 50 mm. The gap must be consistent from the bottom of the wall to the top.
  • Below the DPC level, the bricklayer must fill up the wall cavity with concrete or mortar before installing the DPC.
  • The bricklayer then installs the DPC at slab level to step down from the slab-level interior wall across the cavity to the outer wall and weep holes. Its purpose is to drain away any water in the cavity towards the weep holes to discharge it outside.
  • Weep holes must be provided in the external leaf above the Damp Proof Course (DPC) at every 4th brick horizontally.
  • The bricklayer must build in wall ties at every 5th course of brickwork vertically and space them horizontally at every second brick to tie the two leaves of brickwork together.
  • Mortar dropping down in the cavity can stop water from draining away. The bricklayer should leave some bricks out temporarily at the DPC level to clear mortar droppings at the end of each day’s work.
  • The normal method of preventing mortar droppings from falling to the base of the cavity is to use a cloth-rapped batten (38 x 38 mm) or specially sized 50 x 38 mm planed to 45 mm. The bricklayer places the batten on the wall ties while building the wall. The bricklayer raises the batten, using wire tied to its ends and then positions it on the next row of ties.
  • Furthermore, the bricklayer should install a vertical DPC on the sides of doors and windows when closing off the cavity wall. This is to prevent water from driving to the inner face.
  • In addition, the bricklayer should install a layer of DPC and weep holes in the cavity above exposed doors and windows similar to the DPC at floor level. This is to prevent moisture from penetrating the inner leaf.
  • At the roof line, the bricklayer should fill or brick up the cavity for two or three courses below the roofline to stiffen and distribute the load over both leaves. He should also build in roof ties at this level to tie down the roof trusses or beams.
  • No wide brick force can be used to span both leaves and cavities of brickwork. A 90 mm width of brickforce will need to be used on every 5th layer of brickwork on both leaves up to window or door height and every course above that until the cavity is closed at roof height.

My Concerns with the new requirements

The Western Cape Province has already been following this practice for many years. Cavity walls are also better for damp prevention than solid walls. The introduction of cavity walls nationally is to satisfy regulatory requirements for building energy efficiency.

However, such sweeping changes to the construction of brick buildings in other areas of the country may have serious consequences because of skills shortages. They may lead or may have led to substandard work because of the lack of sufficient skills and training of bricklayers and their supervisors!

The newer generation of bricklayers and builders never adhered fully to the requirements of the building regulations before with the construction of solid 230 mm walls! Most of them have had no experience with building cavity walls either!

I have listed some of the issues I have seen on building sites below:

  • In my experience, the bricklayers in the building trade never used collar jointing of the solid brick walls leading to weakened wall structures.
  • The bricklayers seldom place the DPC on a half layer of mortar on the brickwork. Instead, they place the DPC directly on the brickwork. This often led to moisture intrusion in the structure at the DPC level.
  • Generally, no bricklayer has installed DPC on the sides or above the door and window openings to prevent moisture intrusion through the wall at the windows and doors inland from the coastal areas.
  • Few bricklayers build in the correct number of layers of brickforce reinforcing above windows and doors.
  • Often, the bricklayers tooth the brickwork of the internal walls to external walls and corners instead of stepping back the brickwork as required.
  • The mixing of large amounts of mortar resulting in the retempering (adding additional water) of mortar is a common practice. This causes weakened mortar and brickwork.

Most of the issues result from a lack of knowledge and training. This includes not only the bricklayers but also the supervisors!

So how do we get the bricklayers to build the more technical cavity walls correctly?

  • One way is to train the supervisors who in turn can train the bricklayers!
  • Various brick associations and training schools offer bricklaying training. The various training associations and schools may be open to do on-site training.
  • Both the supervisors and the bricklayers can learn from videos that show how to build cavity walls. They all have cellphones on which they can view the videos.
  • Articles by the Clay Brick Association can update supervisors and bricklayers with the technicalities of building a cavity wall.

Let us hope the above happens so that new homeowners will have properly constructed homes!

Conclusion

With the correct training, newly built cavity walls will provide the thermal benefit required by the new revision of SANS 10400-XA. In addition, the construction of cavity walls will minimise moisture intrusion into new buildings if constructed properly. They also provide sound insulation benefits.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Archives for Jurie Fourie

Don’t Skip Your Home Inspection

Why Skipping a Home Inspection Can Cost You Thousands

At some point, you may be considering purchasing a new home and the question of whether to get a home inspection might cross your mind. You might think that skipping a home inspection can save you money. In reality, it can cost you thousands in repairs in the long run. A home inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process! A home inspection can help you avoid potential pitfalls, identify hidden problems, and negotiate better terms with the seller. Read why skipping a home inspection can be a costly mistake, and how it can affect you and your investment.

The Risks of Skipping a Home Inspection

Skipping a home inspection can lead to several risks that can affect your investment. One of the most significant risks is the potential for hidden problems that can be expensive to repair. With the “Voetstoots” clause in most preowned house sales, you are at risk! Without a home inspection, you may not know about any defects, building regulation violations, or safety hazards. This may lead to costly repairs! Additionally, without a home inspection, you might miss out on important details about the home’s condition. This includes systems such as the age of the roof, plumbing and electrical systems or the foundation. These systems can also impact the value of the property.

Another risk of skipping a home inspection is the potential for legal and financial liabilities. If you purchase a home without a home inspection and later discover significant problems, you may be held liable for the costs of repair. Furthermore, if you decide to sell the property without disclosing the defects, you could face legal consequences and even lose your investment.

The Benefits of Getting a Home Inspection

On the other hand, getting a home inspection can help you avoid these risks and provide you with several benefits. One of the main benefits of a home inspection is that it can identify any defects or issues that you may not be aware of, which can help you negotiate with the seller for better terms. Additionally, a home inspection can help you plan for any future maintenance or repairs that may be necessary. Regular maintenance will save you money in the long run. A good reason for not skipping your home inspection!

Furthermore, a home inspection can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you have a home inspection report of the home’s condition. The report will include the property’s strong points and any suggestions for repairing the defects of the property. Regular maintenance is a feature of any property! The report will give you a good idea of the maintenance you may need to undertake. Additionally, a home inspection can help you avoid surprises after the purchase, reducing the stress and anxiety associated with buying a new home.

Conclusion

In conclusion, skipping a home inspection can be costly! It can lead to hidden problems, legal and financial liabilities, and reduced property value. Getting a home inspection, on the other hand, can provide you with several benefits. These include identifying defects, negotiating better terms with the seller, planning future repairs, and providing you with peace of mind. Therefore, I recommend that you always get a home inspection before buying a property to ensure that you are making a sound investment.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Archives for Jurie Fourie

Bathroom Mould – How To Get Rid it!

Bathroom Mould

bathroom mould
Don’t let mould take over your bathroom! Prevention is better and less costly than cure!

The source of moisture in bathrooms is mainly the steam from hot baths and showers condensing on the ceiling and walls making bathrooms the ideal breeding ground and bacteria. Mould on bathroom ceilings, walls and tiles is mainly the result of condensation and poor air circulation in the bathroom.

How to get rid of bathroom mould

The first step to cleaning mould from a bathroom ceiling and walls is to use a product that will kill the mould and remove the staining. Therefore, this means using products like Domestos, Jik or any other bleach you may have in your kitchen. However, there are also propriety products like Mould Buster which have been specially developed to get rid of mould. If you prefer to use one of them follow the instructions carefully!

Safety first when cleaning up bathroom mould

Always use PPE (personnel protection equipment) when using dangerous chemicals like bleach and even vinegar!

The PPE listed below is essential to protect yourself against the cleaners:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Breathing apparatus (not dust  or medical masks)
  • Coveralls

How to kill the mould

  • If you decide to use bleach, create a mixture of bleach and water, using a spray or sponge to apply it to the mould areas in your bathroom. The bleach removes the mould stains!
  • Wash down the area with water.
  • Apply white vinegar with a spray or sponge to the mould area. Vinegar will kill the mould!
  • Wait about an hour before cleaning the area with water again.
  • Let the area dry thoroughly.
  • Ventilate the bathroom to help remove fumes and to help the drying process. Use a fan or heater to speed up the process if required.

Safety Warning

Never mix any other cleaning ingredients with bleach as it could create a toxic gas. Therefore, wash your mouldy ceiling with bleach first, then apply the white vinegar solution separately.

How to prevent mould from forming in bathrooms

Ventilation is the key to preventing mould from forming:

  • Leave shower and bathroom doors and windows open to provide proper ventilation to the bathroom, particularly after hot showers or baths.
  • Wipe down your walls with white vinegar whenever you see mould starting to appear.
  • Consider installing a ceiling fan and ducting to the outside of the bathroom.

Now that you know how to keep bathroom mould from ceiling areas and walls for good, prevention is the key! Be proactive by wiping down the tiled walls in your bathroom and the floor in your shower with vinegar once a week, especially in showers, and you’ll never have problems with mould again.

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THE HOME DETECTIVE » Archives for Jurie Fourie

How to monitor cracks

Worried About Cracks In Your House? Having Sleepless Nights?

crack
Here the foundation on the corner of the domestic bathroom had subsidised! Disguising cracks with paint and Polyfilla won’t work! You need to find the cause first and fix that before you patch walls!
crack
The problem here was with the pooling of water on the paving and the level of the paving being close to or at the floor level of the bathroom. In addition, it appears the bath waste or water supply may be leaking.

How to monitor cracks in your walls and floors!

Often, home buyers and homeowners are worried by cracks in the house and boundary walls, especially plastered walls!

The good news is that, generally, concrete, stone, brick and masonry walls and concrete or screeded floors that have cracks less than 1 mm wide (the thickness of a credit card) are common and usually do not warrant any corrective action. Most of these small tight cracks are caused by normal shrinkage as the moisture in the walls and floors evaporates over time or settlement of the structure which usually occurs within the first few years after construction.

Be warned, however, that changes in condition around the structure may also cause settlement many years later! Examples are planting a new garden or tree or removing a garden or tree that is against or close to the house.

Crack Fillers

Note that all cracks should be sealed with paint, caulk (sealer) or mortar to prevent water from getting into the structure.

Moreover, if a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal masonry crack is filled with hard masonry patching compound, any substantial future movement is likely to show up as a new crack in the patched area or nearby.  Therefore, always use a non-shrinking grout to prevent stressing yourself!

Continued movement

Cracks that continue to move are a reason for concern! Continued movement in cracks should be evaluated as there may be a need for corrective action. Therefore, if you notice a crack has re-cracked or the crack has opened or gotten larger it should be monitored! However, first, make sure there is no shrinkage of the filler product.  All cracks that are 5 mm and greater should be carefully monitored to ensure there is no continued movement.

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