Parging is incredibly strong, but as with any other structure or construction material, it doesn’t last forever. When you see some cracks on your home’s parging, it’s understandable to worry, especially if it’s on your very home’s foundation. While you’re right to be concerned, there’s no reason to panic. In this guide, we’ll discuss why parging can fail and what you can do about it.
Why Does Parging Crack?
Parging is traditionally applied over a layer of concrete or masonry to help in a number of ways. It can help in protecting the foundation from harsh weather elements, such as wind and rain. It also works to insulate the interior of the building from the cold and heat.
Like all other materials, parging can crack and deteriorate over time. Parging is made of cement, which dries out over time and becomes brittle. The exposure to moisture and the sun can accelerate the drying process, causing the parging to crack. The cracks can be due to a number of causes, some of which are:
- Cracking due to settling of the foundation
- Mechanical damage (paving materials, equipment, foot traffic, etc.)
- Temperature fluctuations
- Foundation movement (due to settlement, frost heave, hydrostatic pressure, etc.)
- Dry rot
- Plumbing leak
Is It Normal for Parging to Crack?
Cracks or holes on parging are normal and are a common occurrence. However, it will depend on the cause of the cracks to decide if it is normal. If the cracks appear suddenly and out of the blue, it might be a sign of more serious damage and should be checked by a professional.
What Can I Do about Cracks in My Parging?
The first thing you should do when you notice cracks on your parging is to consult with a professional. Make sure to have a thorough inspection of your foundation and building to determine the cause of the cracks. This will further help you in determining what actions you can take to repair and restore your foundation. If you’d rather go for a DIY approach, you can fill them with a parging compound that you can buy in your local hardware store. Here’s how to do it:
1. Remove the Cracked Parging
If the parging is cracked and flaking, then you’ll only have to scrape it off using a scraper. Make sure that you’re using a scraper that’s comfortable and safe to use.
Be sure that you’re wearing protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and masks to prevent yourself from getting injured.
2. Sand Smooth the Surface of the Concrete
The next step is to sand the surface of the concrete until it is smooth to the touch. Use a stiff wire brush, but be careful not to damage the foundation.
3. Apply a Bonding Sealer
After sanding, use a bonding sealer to apply a protective layer over the concrete. It should go a long way to prevent future moisture and cracking.
4. Apply the Parging Compound
After the surface is sealed and it’s ready for a new layer of parging, you can begin the application. If you have any doubts about your skills, the best thing to do is to hire a professional handyman to do the job.
5. Let the Parging Cure
Allow the new layer of parging to cure for at least 24 hours before applying another layer. Be sure to apply a minimum of three layers to get a smooth and seamless surface.
6. Caulk Any Cracks and Holes
To finish up the repairs, apply silicone caulk to provide a tight seal around the cracks and holes.
Parging is a great way to protect and beautify your home, but it is not impenetrable. If you’re up for a DIY project, all you need is a little patience and a quality parging compound. If you’ve already worn out the patience, then you can always hire a professional to take care of the job. Either way, it is a wise decision to have your home inspected for any and all signs of foundation damage.
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