- Aesthetics and technical constraints
- Ventilated insulating clothing
- Veneer or cladding
- The conditions of implementation
- Use of siding slates
We can completely change the appearance of a home, and even improve its acoustic and thermal insulation, covering its walls with an outer coating of brick or stone chips (natural or imitation), or with a cladding.
The realization of a work with exposed stone or brick facings requires a serious know-how. Also it is easier to decorate the surface of a wall in blocks with cladding boards. These materials are also very useful for renovating a wall whose plaster disintegrates, while improving both the insulation and sealing.
Aesthetics and technical constraints
The decoration of an exterior wall is in principle more rough than an interior lining. However, it is possible to realize localized decorative effects by means of friezes enamelled stone tiles or mosaic of glass paste, for example belt band or under roof, or around the openings. Likewise, a personal aesthetic effect can be achieved by combining bricks and facing stones on all or part of the wall surface.
Technical requirements are more restrictive for an exterior cladding than for the interior. It must indeed suffer climatic aggressions (rain, snow, frost, wind) and environmental (air pollution, soot and acids contained in rainwater). When the wall opens directly onto a street open to heavy truck traffic, it is also necessary to rely on projections of gravel by the tires of the vehicles.
However, the waterproofing of the siding is not as critical as that of the roof covering, except perhaps for a wall exposed to prevailing seaside winds.
The aesthetic criteria are essentially based on a harmonization of the facing with the general style of the dwelling. In some regions, moreover, the authorities only accept certain styles. For example, exterior brick cladding is prohibited in certain regions (especially in Brittany).
Vegetation covering a wall (climbing plants or vines on support) must be cleared to carry out the work. But it is not advisable to let it survive if it is climbing plants that hide the beginnings of cracks and aggravate them by inserting their crampons and tendrils. Any plantation with twigs running on the wall is even proscribed if it is covered with a cladding, behind which the branches inevitably end up inserting.
Ventilated insulating clothing
During renovation work, the wall can be covered with an insulating cladding having the appearance of bricks. It consists of vetures that stick or screw directly on the wall between finishing profiles.
These elements are composed of an insulating plate laminated to the back of a layer of colored plastic coating of granite or sandblasted appearance, with integration of an air gap ensuring very good ventilation.
Veneer or cladding
There are two techniques for covering the outer face of a wall, each with its advantages and disadvantages, that the do-it-yourselfer must examine according to his objectives and his budget.
- Plating consists to stick a material presented in the form of platelets more or less large, by means of a mortar or a special thin-set mortar. The implementation of this technique, simple and relatively economical, must take into account certain peculiarities:
- it allows extremely varied decorative effects, by layering and / or the combination of facing plates of different materials, possibly with tiled parts or decorated with mosaic patterns;
- on the other hand, it requires a perfect quality and flatness of the surfaces to be covered, and does not allow to insert an insulating material between the wall and the veneer;
- only non-gel guaranteed products should be used, both for wafers and for mortar or glue, as well as for the grouting product, which must also guarantee a perfect seal;
- finally, the cladding is final, and any modification (extension of the building, drilling or modification of an opening) requires its prior destruction.
The cladding is done by doubling the wall with an additional wall, made of a material always very different from that of the wall. This technique has several features that make it more practical under certain conditions, although it is often more difficult to implement than veneer:
- the cladding is not directly glued to the surface of the wall, but more often fixed on a network of battens screwed into the wall;
- the flatness of the facing to be doubled is no longer an imperative, but the wall must remain healthy;
- if the cladding can completely restore the aesthetics such as the waterproofing and insulation of a wall whose cladding is in poor condition, it must never be placed on a structure impregnated with moisture and whose integrity is compromised by cracks in the heart;
- the space between the two elements may allow the passage of a blade of air (especially if the wall suffers from chronic humidity), or be filled with an insulating product (rockwool or polystyrene foam);
- the possibilities of decorative variations of the cladding are limited by the difficulty of associating very different materials and, as a rule, it is always better to associate the cladding material with that of the roof;
- however, some cladding materials (such as cement slabs or PVC cladding) can be repainted periodically;
- the cladding can be disassembled, more or less easily according to the technique used, for example to back an extension or pierce an opening, and in some cases the cladding material can be recovered.
The conditions of implementation
Before covering an exterior wall with tiling, veneer or cladding, carefully examine the work to be covered. If necessary, do the first few refurbishment work that this test finds. On the other hand, take into account the technical and regulatory requirements that limit the possibilities and can increase the cost of the operation.
Work authorization to be lodged at the town hall is essential whenever the operation substantially modifies the exterior aspect of the dwelling, in the same way as renovation work.
The climatological environment should not be neglected, even for the covering of a small surface facing, in order to avoid the subsequent appearance of disorders that could ruin the work:
- during frost, it is better to refrain from any work of veneer facing materials, even using a technical glue specific to the material used in veneer;
- the installation of a cladding on a frame attached to the wall can be done without temperature constraint;
- on a wall exposed to rainy winds, it is better to operate in dry weather, until the wall has dried sufficiently since the last precipitation.
Aid for financing the operation may be required under certain conditions, particularly in the case of insulating cladding on the entire surface of the exterior walls of a dwelling, which improves the thermal insulation in order to reduce energy consumption.
Use of siding slates
Wall cladding, which does not have to withstand the tightness of a roof, is achieved with less slates per square meter. Large rectangular slates (324 x 222 mm) assembled in reduced overlap (left) or squares (325 x 325 mm) placed diagonally (right) can be used. The pitch of the battens grid is 230 mm (half a diagonal) with the square slates and half a length with the rectangular ones.
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