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Facade restoration: the Complete Guide

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Are your exterior walls getting damaged and showing cracks, infiltration problems? Is your house looking too dated, are you planning to rejuvenate it? Perhaps now is the time to embark on a facelift.

Why and when to renovate a facade?

Facade renovation is a renovation of the exterior walls of a building. If it improves the aesthetic appearance of the construction, it is also a complete overhaul. It makes it possible to repair weakened points to improve the general good condition of the building, its insulation and resistance to humidity.
Holes and cracks are filled, and depending on its condition, the coating can be cleaned or replaced.
To improve its real estate value, to transform the exterior appearance, to improve the insulation… during its life, a house or a building will regularly need a facelift.
To detect the need for a facade renovation, take a good look at the outside face of your walls:
  • Plaster cracks
  • Paint peeling and scales
  • The deterioration of the seals,
  • Localized stains, comparing the appearance after heavy rains and in dry weather, or even the color changes of the whole
Apart from occasional needs, the facade facelift is compulsory every ten years, in Paris and in certain towns, at the owner's expense.

TIP: Good to know: the legal obligations of facelifting

A facelift may involve some mandatory administrative procedures. If it requires the installation of scaffolding on the street, it will be necessary to obtain a road authorization from the Town Hall. In a sector safeguarded or protected by the Bâtiments de France, a building permit will be required.

The stages of a facade renovation

Once the permits have been obtained and the scaffolding installed, we start by cleaning and / or stripping the existing coating. Proper cleaning ensures the durability of the future coating.
The work is carried out by spraying - sandblasting, exfoliation, peeling, hydrogommage… -, or by chemicals. The choice of technique depends on the nature of the coating and the type of degradation. The projection eliminates rust, pollution, dirt, while the use of chemicals will be preferred for the most difficult to remove varnishes and paints. The handling of the products remains dangerous, and the technique must be practiced by professionals.
Once the coating has been properly cleaned, it is possible to repair and treat the wall. Against rising water and infiltration, a water repellent treatment or a specific resin is applied. Against molds and fungus, a fungicide is applied, and, for wood coverings, an insecticide can be applied additionally against pests. The choice of treatment depends on the need and the material of the facade.
The wall is also repaired, the bricks changed, the cracks filled with putty or plastered.
It is also the moment for the possible installation of insulation from the outside: glass wool, rock wool, cork, polystyrene… the insulation is placed directly on the facade before the coating stage. This insulation technique is one of the most efficient, both thermally and acoustically.
The facelift ends with the finishes on the coating, or, if necessary, the break of a new coating. There is a large choice of materials for a variety of different renderings.
Conventionally, a plaster of the roughcast type is applied, the application techniques of which vary the appearance. He can be :
  • Projected
  • Crushed
  • Scratched
  • Float
There is also wood cladding, which is laid by strips, for a contemporary and warm rendering, or PVC cladding, which can imitate many materials and textures. Both wood and PVC can be painted with mineral or acrylic paints.
For a precise and subtle rendering, it is also possible to lay a facing, by glued plates. In natural stone, the facing takes the style of stone houses, to keep authenticity or give character. Less heavy, concrete slabs imitate natural stone. In terracotta, they imitate classic briquettes. The most economical facing remains PVC or composite.

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