If you have been paying attention, you may have noticed that we talk about parging. A lot. That’s because it’s our specialty in our Edmonton, Alberta-based business. But you may find yourself wondering what parging is, and more importantly what it does. Let’s get that cleared up for you.
Parging uses a masonry-based mortar to cover interior and exterior masonry block and stone walls. When applying a fresh coat of parging it helps to protect masonry from the elements, like shielding the foundation from rain and snow. Because it looks better than the bare finished walls, parging also serves as “the icing on the cake” of a brand new house. See for yourself in one of our “Before and After” shots:
Though it can technically be used on any vertical surface, parging is most commonly seen on above grade foundation walls on the exterior, and on basement walls inside.
Is Parging the Same as Waterproofing?
No. But it can still help keep water from getting into your house. Though it’s not technically meant for waterproofing, a parge coat does make a water-resistant barrier. When done right, it helps the rest of the exterior finish do its job to keep the house dry. However, when not applied correctly, water can become trapped between the parge coat and the wall which can make the very problem you were hoping to prevent even worse. Badly done parging contributes to moisture damage and a type of deterioration of concrete known as spalling.
Ensuring a Good Parge Coat
A good parge coat starts with a good parging mix. We can’t share our specific “recipe” here because that’s a trade secret. We can tell you that it took us a long time to come up with the perfect “thin enough to spread nicely, but not *too* thin” mixture. It’s just the right consistency to provide a functional, attractive finish. You could spend a lot of time on coming up with the perfect parging mixture for your DIY repair job at home, but we strongly recommend hiring a professional for this one. Parging helps protect the foundation – the thing that is literally holding the house up. This is a job that shouldn’t be left to the instructions of some guy on YouTube.
Would you like to know more about exterior finishes for your home? General home maintenance tips? What you need to know before hiring a contractor? Learn the signs that a house has been well-maintained. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for all our latest news and before and after shots of the transformations we make possible every day.