Parge the Ugly Away

By April 30, 2015 June 24th, 2015 Home Improvement

There’s a real charm to older homes, one that’s hard to duplicate in a newer development. Whether it’s the mature trees that line the streets, or the real sense of community that comes with living in an area that has been around for generations, it’s easy to see why some people in Edmonton and the surrounding area prefer to live in an older home in an established neighbourhood.

Common Challenges of Older Homes

Usually when someone says “they don’t build them like they used to,” they’re complaining about modern construction techniques. The thing is that modern safety standards have gone a long way to make things better for all of us. Take, for instance, the mixture used in poured concrete foundations. 80-100 years ago, they used whatever they could find, and sometimes that included regular old dirt or sand.

It holds up OK over time and you probably don’t have to worry about your house falling down because it was built with old techniques, but these less durable building materials don’t look very pretty as time marches on. Add years and years of parging to help protect the old foundation and improve the appearance of the home, and you can end up with a pretty unattractive mishmash over time.

A Fresh Coat of Parging Changes the Appearance

No amount of parging could save this house.

No amount of parging could save this house.

Does this mean that older homes have to stay off your shopping list, or if you already own one that you have to live with the appearance of old, cracked parging? Absolutely not! The number one job of a professionally-applied coat of parging is protecting the foundation of the home from the harsh elements like snow, water and ice. However, there’s an added bonus. A fresh coat of parging goes a long way to improve the appearance of the home too.

Better still, if you’re planning to sell the house in the near future, a fresh parge coat helps cover up any gaps or cracks that can set off alarm bells with prospective purchasers. Parging won’t mask serious problems with the foundation, though, so you’ll still have to take care of necessary repairs that go beyond the parging.

If you have limited your search to newer homes because you’re afraid of the surprises that could lurk in an older home, know that there is virtually no problem that can’t be fixed. You may be pleasantly surprised by what exists just outside your current search area.

Like many of the important systems of the home, we might not necessarily think about them until they’re not working properly. To help keep on top of the types of home maintenance that you to pay attention to, including parging, join our online communities on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook today!

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