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Archive: Mar 2022

  1. Cleaning and Sealing Driveways – What You Need To Know

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    In the UK, exterior surfaces have to withstand high levels of weathering almost all year round that can leave them looking a bit tired. One area particularly susceptible to dirt & discolouration is driveways, as they have to undergo a lot of traffic over time which can lead to dirt and debris gathering. In this guide we are going to cover everything you need to know about cleaning and sealing driveways so you can have your driveway looking brand-new again.

    Driveways

    Driveways are most commonly made from blocks such as brick, cement, sandstone & other mineral substrates. Each block or paver is separate, meaning they can be individually placed and removed. 

    The individual nature of each block means they are available in a series of patterns & in a range of colours to create any design, making them versatile enough to be used on both traditional and modern properties. 

    The Problem Driveways

    Any driveway, be it brick, stone or concrete. as a natural mineral substrate will absorb moisture. This is contrary to what many people believe, as we presume they are made to keep out water as an exterior surface. This is because natural mineral surfaces are porous, meaning water can transfer easily through the pores of the material. The more porous the driveway, the more water it can absorb. 

    Moisture is the single biggest cause of building material deterioration. For this reason, this water absorption is something that can cause a lot of problems to your driveway.

    For a start, it can actually crack from the moisture. This is because moisture that absorbs into the material through pores or through hairline cracks can undergo a freeze-thaw cycle. This is the process of water freezing, in turn expanding due to the liquid becoming a solid. That expansion results in cracks in the driveway to open up, allowing more moisture to enter the material and continuing a cycle of deterioration. This is particularly a problem with driveways as it is a horizontal surface, meaning it is even easier for moisture to absorb into the surface than it would be with a vertical surface such as exterior walls.

    Aside from damage to the integrity of the driveway itself, moisture can also create the ideal environment for moss, lichens & other green growth to develop on the face of the driveway. This is the main reason why homeowners may be looking to clean and seal their driveway, as once able to bloom, this natural growth can cause the driveway to lose significant visual appeal.

    As well as natural growth, driveways are very susceptible to dirt as they must endure high levels of traffic, from shoes to cars. This dirt attaches itself to the driveway & becomes ingrained in the natural substrate, making it very difficult to keep the surface clean.

    The Solution

    Simply cleaning the driveway will lead to the same damage, discolouration, dirt & green growth happening again after a matter of months. The regular maintenance cycle of the driveway will continue unless you protect the surface from moisture.

    This is where waterproofing treatments such as sealers come in, which prevent the water absorption of surface by creating a water repellent coating.

    In the UK today there is a lot of conflicting information regarding sealers. The problem with concrete sealers & other sealing products is that while they sealers prevent water absorption, they do this by creating a film on the surface of the driveway or other substrate. The film that they create impacts the breathability of the substrate, as any water vapour that previous could freely pass through the surface becomes trapped. Eventually, the moisture that builds-up causes damage to the substrate and will cause the film of the sealer to break under the pressure. 

    Sealed driveway

    This is why impregnator treatments were developed. These impregnators penetrate into the substrate rather than creating a film on the surface. This means they work below the surface, waterproofing the substrate itself.

    At ProPERLA we developed our super hydrophobic impregnators using the latest nano technology. Designed for driveways, patios & walkways, ProPERLA Paving Impregnator creates a super hydrophobic surface that repels water, preventing 95% of water absorption. This is achieved when water droplets are unable to stick to the treated substrate, instead simply forming beads on the surface of the driveway.

    While preventing water absorption, the impregnator also remains highly breathable, allowing water vapour to freely pass through the treated surface. By chemically bonding to the mineral surface, it lines the pores of paving rather than sealing them,

    Maintenance

    By keeping driveway surfaces dry & ProPERLA not protects paving  long-term, but also improves the appearance of them.

    Once applied to driveways, ProPERLA Paving Impregnator:

    • Deters the unsightly growth of moss, mildew and algae
    • Prevents stains
    • Protects against the damaging effects of rain and frost damage
    • Improves the long term appearance of driveways & patios by creating a self-cleaning surface

    Similarly to water not being able to attach itself to the driveway once it has been treated, dirt also cannot attach to driveways. This means that with any rainfall, dirt will simply wash away. This also helps to prevent the deep, ingrained dirt that can gather on high traffic surfaces such as driveways and other paving. 

    As a more natural form of waterproofing for driveways compared to a sealer. It is important to note that impregnators or sealers are generally clear, meaning they offer invisible treatment. In the case of sealers, as these are film forming, they can sometimes leave a sheen which can either be desired or not. An impregnator as it works below the surface will not form any sheen on the surface, leaving the paving completely natural looking.

    Cleaning Driveways

    Before any treatment is applied, driveways must be completely clean of any dirt, debris and other contaminants. This is usually done using a pressure washer to remove deep ingrained dirt from the natural mineral surface.

    Once all contaminants are removed, it is important to apply a fungicidal treatment to the paving in order to kill any fungal growth. If any moss, green growth or lichens are left on the driveway, this could bloom and prevent the subsequent treatment from performing to the best of its ability.

    Sealing Driveways

    What many people would refer to as sealing a driveway is the process of applying a waterproofing treatment. Whether you opt to use a sealer or an impregnator, it is important to seek the help of professionals as these treatments must be applied correctly to perform.

    ProPERLA Paving Impregnator in particular is a specialist technology that must be applied by experts in order to ensure maximum performance during the block paving restoration process.

    ProPERLA Paving Impregnator is available with a 10 year guarantee, which outperforms many sealers that will last 1-3 years. This guarantee can only be issued by approved applicators who have attended our rigorous training program to ensure they apply the treatments to the highest level. To find an approved ProPERLA applicator, simply type your postcode in our applicator finder tool and find your nearest applicator, who can carry out a full driveway cleaning & sealing for you.

    Driveway that has been cleaned and sealed

    Before apply ProPERLA Paving Impregnator (top) and after application (bottom).

    ProPERLA Paving Impregnator

    ProPERLA Paving Impregnator is a clear waterproofing treatment for any mineral surface such as patios, driveways and block paving.

    • Super hydrophobic - treated surfaces repel water & water absorption is reduced by up to 95%
    • Highly breathable
    • Does not alter the appearance of the surface
    • Manufactured in Germany using the very latest, superior nano-technology
    • Prevents discolouration, growth of moss, algae and lichens
    • 10 year manufactures guarantee
    • Proven performance

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. Will sealing driveways prevent staining?

    Stains from oil & other contaminants is a particular problem for driveways. As well as contaminants, moisture itself can cause staining and discolouration of the paving. By applying an impregnator, you significantly reduce the risk of staining.

    It is much easier to prevent staining than to remove it. That is why sealing driveways should be considered by those that have properties that do not offer from it, just as it should be by those who do. Protecting your exterior surfaces from deterioration as a preventative solution is a great way to invest in your property long-term.

    Q. How do I become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products?

    To ensure our products are only applied by trained experts, we ensure that applicators attend our training course in order to become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products. Why not read more about our training course if you would like to be able to offer ProPERLA technology to your clients?

    Q. How long does ProPERLA Paving Impregnator last?

    Due to the fact that sealers are not breathable, sealers are likely to fail after 1-3 years when moisture becomes trapped underneath the film. By maintaining full breathability & by not forming a film on the surface of driveways, ProPERLA Paving Impregnator comes with a 10 year manufacturers guarantee, ensuring its performance in all weather conditions.

    Q. Is this technology available for other surfaces?

    ProPERLA super hydrophobic technology is available in clear or coloured forms for a wide range of substrates including roof tiles, masonry & wood.


    Want to speak to one of our technical advisers for further advice on cleaning and sealing driveways? Send them an email to info@properla.co.uk & one of the team will be on hand to assist you with any questions you may have.


  2. Impregnator Vs Sealer – What Is The Difference?

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    'Impregnator', 'sealer', even 'impregnating sealer' are all terms you will see a lot when researching exterior waterproofing treatments & coatings. But what is the difference between them? In this guide we are going to answer all of the most common questions regarding impregnators & sealers so you can find the right waterproof treatment for you.

    The Background

    In the UK, our homes must endure large amounts of rain & weathering almost all year round. For this reason, protecting exterior surfaces is something that many homeowners want to do in order to protect their home.

    Contrary to popular belief, mineral building materials such as brick, concrete, stone, paving, roof tiles & wood are all porous, meaning they absorb moisture. The more porous a surface, the more liquid or gas can pass through voids & be held in the material.

    Moisture is the single biggest cause of building material deterioration. This is because when the temperature drops, any moisture that is present in building materials, whether it is masonry or roof tiles. can undergo a freeze-thaw cycle. 

    This is the process in which moisture freezes from a liquid into a solid, causing it to expand. The result of this is that the water within building material expands when it freezes. This movement causes cracks in the material to open up, allowing more moisture to enter and continuing a cycle of deterioration. With masonry surfaces particularly, the moisture within the material can also lead to the strength of the mortar within the brickwork to weaken.

    Moisture can also create the ideal environment for moss, lichens & other green growth to develop on & in-between building materials. In the case of roof tiles, by growing in the gaps between roof tiles, moss can compromise the ability for your roof to keep out moisture. If moss is allowed to grow on your roof, the moisture that the moss soaks up can cause roof tiles to rot due to the consistent exposure to moisture. Furthermore, the growth of the moss will fill the gaps between the roof tiles, which can move & damage the roof tiles. This is because the moss soaks up water & expands, which can compromise the bond between the adjoining materials that ensure the integrity of the roof. Eventually, roof tiles can crack under the movement.

    Lastly, exterior surfaces, especially in the wet conditions here in the UK, can be left discoloured from moisture stains. Furthermore, the moisture can provide the perfect conditions for moss, lichens & other green growth to thrive, causing a significant loss to the kerb appeal of paving, timber, masonry & roof tiles.

    In summary, there are a whole host of problems that are associated with water ingress on building materials, which is why preventing this moisture is crucial if you want dry, clean & protected exterior surfaces.

    Impregnator Vs Sealer

    This is where waterproofing treatments come in, which are designed to prevent this water ingress and keep exterior surfaces dry.

    Unfortunately, in the UK there is a lot of conflicting information regarding waterproofing treatments, with many people confusing sealers & impregnators. These both refer to clear waterproofing treatments that are used to prevent water absorption.

    Sealer

    Sealers refer to water repellent treatments that prevent water absorption. They achieve this by creating a waterproof film on the surface of the material.

    While preventing water absorption, these sealers do what the name would suggest, which is seal the surface. This sealing film that is created can impact the breathability of the material, preventing water vapour from freely passing through the surface. By preventing this breathability, any moisture that finds its way underneath the film from any hairline cracks becomes trapped. Eventually, the build-up of moisture will cause the film of the sealer to break under the pressure & leave the surface unprotected once again. Think of wrapping a surface in cling film. Yes, it will prevent water getting in, but it will trap anything inside from escaping.

    In the case of masonry, apply a sealer can be particularly detrimental to the health of the property. By sealing the surface and not allowing water vapour to escape, moisture that naturally occurs from condensation within the property will become trapped. The moisture will build-up within the property and cause significant damp problems, not to mention the breakdown of bricks and mortar from the high levels of moisture. Instead of preventing damage to bricks and damp, which is what they are designed to do, they accentuate these problems even more.

    While these products are often clear, invisible treatments, as they form a film on the substrate they can leave an unnatural sheen on the material which is undesirable for many.

    When they exist in a coloured system in the form of a waterproof masonry paint for example, the build-up of moisture will eventually cause the paintwork to peel & flake off the substrate, leaving an untidy finish on the property.

    A sealer should only be used if you are looking for a short-term waterproofing solution on a small area. Even in this scenario, they should be used with caution.

    Impregnator

    An impregnator is a waterproofing treatment just like a sealer, however it achieves this in a different way. In contrast to a sealer, an impregnator works below the surface of the building material, rather than creating a film.

    It does this by chemically bonding and penetrating into the material. Instead of sealing the pores of the material, it lines the pores. This means that while water cannot enter the substrate, any water vapour can still freely travel through the pores and breathe out.

    The best way to think about an impregnator vs a sealer is that an impregnator waterproofs the substrate itself, while a sealer creates a waterproof film on the substrate.

    Long-term, with no film to break and with the breathability of the building material maintained, the lifespan of an impregnator far exceeds that of a sealer.

    Impregnator:

    • Water Repellent
    • Highly Breathable
    • Lifespan of over 10 years
    • Self-cleaning
    • Penetrates into substrates
    • Does not alter the appearance

    Sealer:

    • Water Repellent
    • Not Breathable
    • Lifespan of over 1-3 years
    • Creates a film on the surface of substrates
    • Offers a clear treatment, although a sheen can be left on the surface
    Clean roof

    Containing the latest nano technology, ProPERLA impregnating treatments create a super hydrophobic surface that repels water, preventing up to 96% of water absorption. This is caused when water droplets are unable to stick to the treated surface, instead simply forming beads on the surface of the paving.

    While preventing water absorption, the impregnators also remain highly breathable, allowing water vapour to naturally pass through the substrate.

    By creating a super hydrophobic substrate that repels water, ProPERLA technology also has self-cleaning properties. This is because any dirt on the surface is simply cleaned off with any rainfall. The super hydrophobic technology also discourages the growth of moss, lichens & green growth, as well as preventing any staining or discolouration from moisture. This significantly reduces the maintenance of exterior surfaces, allowing them to stay looking clean & pristine for decades.

    ProPERLA icons

    ProPERLA super hydrophobic impregnating technology is available for a range of substrates, including roof tiles, brick, concrete, stone, paving & timber:

    • ProPERLA Water Repellent - an advanced clear roof waterproofing treatment for mineral building roof tiles such as clay, concrete, terracotta, natural stone and slate.
    • ProPERLA Masonry Creme - a masonry protection cream that keeps properties warm & dry by creating a super hydrophobic coating on a range of substrates, including brick, stone & concrete.
    • ProPERLA Wood Impregnator - a clear waterproof coating for wood that provides long lasting weather protection for timber, preventing rotting, green growth & discolouration.
    • ProPERLA Paving Impregnator - an advanced waterproof treatment for patios & driveways that provides protection against weathering & discolouration.

    In the case of ProPERLA Masonry Creme, this is our most popular impregnator. This is because of the nature of masonry surfaces. Roughly 35% of all heat loss in a home occurs through the walls which is caused by exterior walls becoming saturated with water. Tests have shown that a damp content of 5% in a plain brick wall can lower the insulation performance by up to 50%. By keeping walls dry, ProPERLA Masonry Creme helps to improve the thermal efficiency of a property.

    In independent testing, ProPERLA Masonry Creme was found to keep a masonry wall 6⁰C warmer on average in comparison to the uncoated walls. For this reason, ProPERLA Masonry Creme has been verified by the Energy Saving Trust following their independent review process.

    Testing conducted also found that both ProPERLA Masorny Creme & ProPERLA Water Repellent have a proven 25 year performance in the harsh weather conditions, ensuring their performance without failing for decades to come. This is in contrast to less advanced sealers that last between 1-3 years.


    How Do I Treat My Surfaces With ProPERLA Impregnators?

    ProPERLA impregnators contain a specialist technology that must be applied by experts in order to ensure maximum performance.

    We have a number of approved ProPERLA applicators up and down the UK who have attended our rigorous training program to ensure they apply the impregnators to the highest level. To find an approved ProPERLA applicator, simply type your postcode in our applicator finder tool and find your nearest applicator, who can carry out a full block paving restoration for you.

    ProPERLA waterproofing technology

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. How do I become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products?

    To ensure our products are only applied by trained experts, we ensure that applicators attend our training course in order to become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products. Why not read more about our training course if you would like to be able to offer ProPERLA technology to your clients?

    Q. Does an impregnator alter the appearance of paving?

    By penetrating into the substrate, an impregnator does not leave any finish or alter the appearance of the surface in any way. A sealer may potentially leave a sheen as it creates a film on the surface.

    Q. How long do impregnators last?

    In the case of ProPERLA impregnating products, these have not all been fully tested to their maximum lifespan. ProPERLA Water Repellent & ProPERLA Masonry Creme have both been tested in a 25 year accelerated weathering process that found at the end of 25 years of harsh weather conditions, there was no sign of deterioration in performance or appearance. 

    All ProPERLA products come with a manufacturer guarantee of between 10-20 years, which completely ensures the performance of the product & protects you from any product failure. Having said this, the lifespan of the products far exceed this guarantee.

    Q. Is this technology available in colours?

    ProPERLA super hydrophobic technology is available in coloured form for walls & roofs. While these products remain highly breathable, they must apply a film in order to create a coloured finish, which is why they are not considered impregnators. Having said this, they are not sealers as they still line the pores of substrates without sealing them, meaning full breathability is maintained. 

    Q. Should natural stone be waterproofed?

    We would recommend that you protect any natural mineral surface to ensure they last a long time looking their best. With natural stone being a very porous substrate, it can be particularly prone to water ingress, meaning waterproofing it can be highly beneficial for protecting the surface.


    Want to speak to one of our technical advisers for further advice on impregnator sealers? Send them an email to info@properla.co.uk & one of the team will be on hand to assist you with any questions you may have.


  3. Block Paving Restoration – Everything You Need To Know

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    In the UK, our homes have to withstand a barrage of weathering from the elements almost all year round, which can lead to areas of properties showing the effects. One area particularly susceptible to dirt & discolouration is block paving on our driveways & patios, which can leave them top of many peoples list of home improvement projects. In this guide we are going to cover everything you need to know about block paving restoration so you can have a beautiful patio this summer.

    What Is Block Paving?

    Block paving is a commonly used form of pavement that is used for driveways, walkways & patios across the UK. 

    Due to the individual block nature of block paving, each block can be lifted and replaced when they suffer damage or become worn, which is a key reason why block paving is commonly used domestically.

    Block paving generally is made from concrete, although other forms of patio & driveways are made from brick, sandstone & other mineral substrates.

    The Problem With Block Paving

    Block paving as a natural mineral substrate, contrary to popular belief amongst homeowners, will absorb moisture. This is because cement, stone & brick are all porous, meaning water can transfer easily through the pores of the material. The more porous the paving, the more water it can absorb. 

    Moisture is the single biggest cause of building material deterioration. For this reason, this water absorption can cause a real headache for block paving.

    When the temperature drops, any moisture that absorbs into the block paving through pores or through hairline cracks can undergo a freeze-thaw cycle that results in the moisture within paving expanding when it freezes. This movement causes cracks in the block paving to open up, allowing more moisture to enter the material and continuing a cycle of deterioration.

    Moisture can also create the ideal environment for moss, lichens & other green growth to develop on the face of the block paving. Once able to bloom, this will eventually engulf the paving and cause it to lose significant kerb-appeal.

    Lastly, like all exterior surfaces in the UK, block paving can be left discoloured from the dirt that wind-driven rain brings. This dirt attaches itself to the block paving & becomes ingrained in the natural substrate, making it very difficult to keep patios, walkways & driveways looking clean all year round.

    The Solution

    Simply cleaning the block paving will lead to the same discolouration, dirt & green growth that caused the problem in the first place coming back in a matter of time.

    This is where patio sealers & other treatments come in. Sealers & other similar treatments aim to prevent the water absorption of block paving that causes the deterioration.

    Unfortunately, in the UK there is a lot of conflicting information regarding sealers. While these sealers prevent water absorption, they do this by creating a film on the surface of the block paving. This film can impact the breathability of the paving, preventing water vapour from freely passing through the surface. By preventing this breathability, any moisture that finds its way underneath the film from any hairline cracks is trapped. Eventually, after the trapped moisture causes damage to the block paving, the film of the sealer will break under the pressure & leave the paving unprotected once again. 

    While these products are more often than not clear, invisible treatments, as they form a film on the substrate they can leave an unnatural sheen on the paving which is undesirable for many.

    Block paving restoration before
    Block paving restoration after

    This is why impregnating treatments such as ProPERLA Paving Impregnator were developed. Containing the latest nano technology, ProPERLA Paving Impregnator creates a super hydrophobic surface that repels water, preventing 95% of water absorption. This is caused when water droplets are unable to stick to the treated surface, instead simply forming beads on the surface of the paving.

    While preventing water absorption, the impregnator also remains highly breathable, which is what is unique for a waterproofing solution.

    This is achieved by the treatment impregnating into the block paving, rather than creating a film on the surface, that waterproofs the block paving itself. By chemically bonding to the mineral surface, it lines the pores of paving rather than sealing them, creating a one-way avenue for moisture.


    Block paving waterproofed

    By keeping block paving dry & by giving it a water repellent surface, not only protects paving stones & slabs long-term, but also improves the appearance of them.

    Once applied to paving, ProPERLA Paving Impregnator:

    • Deters the unsightly growth of moss, mildew and algae
    • Prevents stains
    • Protects against the damaging effects of rain and frost damage
    • Improves the long term appearance of block paving by creating a self-cleaning surface

    You may be wondering how a patio or driveway could be self-cleaning? In the same way that water cannot attach itself to the paving, dirt similarly cannot attach to paving once treated. This means that with any rainfall, dirt will simply wash away with the natural slant that all driveways are designed to have to avoid water pooling on the surface. This significantly reduces the maintenance of paving, allowing it to stay looking clean & pristine for decades.

    As a more natural form of waterproofing for paving and by impregnating the paving, it does not form any sheen on the surface, leaving the paving completely natural looking.

    How Do I Treat My Block Paving With ProPERLA?

    ProPERLA Paving Impregnator is a specialist technology that must be applied by experts in order to ensure maximum performance during the block paving restoration process.

    We have a number of approved ProPERLA applicators up and down the UK who have attended our rigorous training program to ensure they apply the treatments to the highest level. To find an approved ProPERLA applicator, simply type your postcode in our applicator finder tool and find your nearest applicator, who can carry out a full block paving restoration for you.

    ProPERLA Paving Impregnator

    ProPERLA Paving Impregnator is a clear waterproofing treatment for any mineral surface such as patios, driveways and block paving.

    • Super hydrophobic - treated surfaces repel water & water absorption is reduced by up to 95%
    • Highly breathable
    • Does not alter the appearance of the surface
    • Manufactured in Germany using the very latest, superior nano-technology
    • Prevents discolouration, growth of moss, algae and lichens
    • 10 year manufactures guarantee
    • Proven performance

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. How do I become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products?

    To ensure our products are only applied by trained experts, we ensure that applicators attend our training course in order to become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products. Why not read more about our training course if you would like to be able to offer ProPERLA technology to your clients?

    Q. Does ProPERLA Paving Impregnator alter the appearance of paving?

    Unlike paving sealers that can leave a 'sheen', ProPERLA Paving Impregnator does not alter the appearance of paving & has a completely natural finish. The only way Paving Impregnator changes the appearance of block paving is by reducing green growth & discolouration caused by water ingress.

    Q. How long does block paving sealer last?

    Due to the fact that block paving sealers are not breathable, they are likely to fail after 1-3 years when moisture becomes trapped underneath the film. By maintaining full breathability & by impregnating into paving, ProPERLA Paving Impregnator performs far longer than a less advanced treatments. For this reason, ProPERLA Paving Impregnator comes with a 10 year manufacturers guarantee, ensuring its performance in all weather conditions.

    Q. Is this technology available for other surfaces?

    ProPERLA super hydrophobic technology is available in clear or coloured forms for a wide range of substrates.

    Coloured coatings:

    • RENOTEC Roof Coating - a coloured roof coating that  improves resistance to weather influences & extends the life span of roof tiles.
    • ProPERLA Facade Coating - an advanced exterior wall coating for exterior mineral substrates, such as brickwork.

    Clear treatments:

    • ProPERLA Water Repellent - an advanced super hydrophobic clear roof waterproofing treatment for mineral building materials such as clay, concrete, terracotta, natural stone and slate.
    • ProPERLA Masonry Creme - a clear masonry protection cream that keeps properties warm & dry by creating a super hydrophobic coating on a range of substrates, including brick, stone & concrete.
    • ProPERLA Wood Impregnator - a clear waterproof coating for wood that provides long lasting weather protection.
    • ProPERLA Paving Impregnator - an advanced waterproof treatment for patios & driveways that provides protection against weathering & discolouration. Ideal for block paving restoration.


    Want to speak to one of our technical advisers for further advice on block paving restoration? Send them an email to info@properla.co.uk & one of the team will be on hand to assist you with any questions you may have.


  4. Sealing Masonry – Everything You Need To Know

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    Whether your home is of solid wall construction or has a cavity wall, the chances are it is vulnerable to water ingress. But what is water ingress & how does it impact the performance of your masonry walls? We have covered everything you need to know in this handy guide, so you can protect your masonry long-term.

    What Is Masonry Sealing?

    Masonry is a term that refers to exterior walled structures consisting of building materials bound together by mortar. Masonry is commonly made from brick, stone, concrete & limestone which all vary in terms of porosity & permeability. 

    Porosity

    You may be wondering, what do we mean by porosity? Well, in short, masonry substrates are not waterproof. Porosity refers to the amount of void space in a material, which is a key indicator of the materials ability to absorb & hold moisture. The more porous a masonry surface, the more water it can absorb. A conservative estimate for the amount of water a weathered brick (over 20 years old) could uptake is 20% its weight in water. This water makes its way through the pores of the material, hence the name porosity,

    Permeability

    Permeability refers to the the extent to which air or water can travel through a substrate. Where permeability comes in to the equation alongside porosity is in terms of 'breathability'. The breathability of a substrate, is a measure of how much water vapour can travel through a substrate. If a surface is not breathable, water vapour from inside the property will slowly build up as it has no escape outlet. Eventually, over time this will cause significant problems to a property that sometimes cannot be undone.

    It is important to note that while similar, permeability and porosity are not the same. Porosity is a measure of how well a material holds moisture, while permeability refers to the ability to transfer water or air through the material. A substrate can be porous while being impermeable if the pores of the substrate do not allow the moisture to transfer right through the wall.

    Brick sealer

    While masonry surfaces as a natural substrate are designed to uptake moisture, with ageing masonry there is a danger that they will hold this moisture over time. When the temperature drops, this moisture can undergo a freeze-thaw cycle that results in the moisture within masonry expanding when it freezes. This movement causes cracks in the masonry to open up & expand, allowing more moisture to enter the building and continuing a cycle of deterioration.

    As well as damage to masonry, water absorption can also lead to a variety of other side affects, including:

    • Heat loss - damp content of just 5% in a plain brick wall can lower the insulation by up to 50%. This is because wet walls transfer heat twice as quick as dry walls.
    • Damp problems - damp content in masonry walls can transfer into the internal wall of a property when the property is of solid wall construction or when it has poorly fitted cavity wall insulation. By filling a cavity wall with insulation, you can end up removing the space necessary for water to freely escape the building.
    • Discolouration - masonry that has been exposed to long-term water ingress can become discoloured by the moisture.
    • Green growth - moisture allows fungal growth such as moss & lichens to thrive on masonry surfaces.
    • Efflorescence - salt deposits caused by water dissolving salts within masonry & depositing them on the outside of the wall are a key indicator of water ingress. While not damaging, it can create a real eye-sore on masonry surfaces of all ages.
    Salt efflorescence on a brick wall

    Masonry Sealers

    This is where masonry sealers come in. Masonry sealers & other similar treatments aim to prevent the water absorption of masonry, preventing the moisture from being held in the brickwork. By preventing water absorption, the masonry is protected from all of the side effects that the moisture can have.

    Unfortunately, in the UK there is a lot of conflicting information regarding masonry sealing. While masonry sealers prevent water absorption, they do this by creating a clear film on the surface of the masonry. This film can impact the breathability of the masonry, preventing water vapour from freely passing through the surface. By preventing this breathability, any moisture that naturally builds up within the structure from condensation will become trapped, along with any moisture that finds its way underneath the paint film from any hairline cracks.

    Eventually, after the trapped moisture causes significant damage to the masonry & extensive internal damp problems, the film of the sealer will break under the pressure. This will leave the masonry unprotected and in a worse state than it started in. Imagine wrapping your exterior masonry walls in a plastic cling film. This would trap moisture in the exact same way as a masonry sealer.

    A masonry sealer should only be used if you are looking for a short-term solution to water ingress on a small section of masonry. Even in this scenario, it should be treated with caution.

    Masonry Creme

    When opting for a waterproofing treatment, you must ensure that it is highly breathable, as not to impact the natural breathability of the masonry.

    Breathability is measured by an SD rating, which is a calculation of how easily water vapour can travel through a surface. A surface or coating is breathable when it has an SD rating of 0.5 or below, as stated by industry standards.

    This requirement of high breathability & waterproof properties is why we developed our super hydrophobic nano-technology here at ProPERLA. Our technology was developed to chemically bond and impregnate into masonry surfaces, rather than create a film on the surface. This lines the pores of brick, concrete, stone & other mineral surfaces without sealing them, preventing water from absorbing into the surface but still allowing water vapour to travel through.

    We took our ProPERLA Masonry Creme to independent UKAS accredited laboratory Lucideon to ask them to test our Masonry Creme for durability, water resistance, heat retention & breathability. In a 25 year accelerated weather test, Lucideon found that after the 25 year period, there were no signs of deterioration in performance or appearance.

    The treatment was found to prevent 96% of water absorption, even after the 25 years. Furthermore, in breathability tests was found to have an SD rating of 0.03, demonstrating the treatment is highly breathable.

    In the test for heat retention, ProPERLA Masonry Creme was found to result in the treated wall being on average 6°C warmer when compared to an untreated masonry wall. For this reason, ProPERLA Masonry Creme was verified by the Energy Saving Trust for its ability to help reduce energy bills & maintain higher household temperatures.

    A demonstration of the heat that is transferred through exterior walls when left untreated.

    How Do I Treat My Masonry With ProPERLA?

    Both ProPERLA Masonry Creme and our coloured system ProPERLA Facade Coating are specialist technologies that must be applied by experts in order to ensure their performance.

    We have a number of approved ProPERLA applicators up and down the UK who have attended our rigorous training program to ensure they apply the treatments to the highest level. To find an approved ProPERLA applicator, simply type your postcode in our applicator finder tool and find your nearest applicator, who can carry out the treatment for you.

    ProPERLA Masonry Crème

    A surface treated with ProPERLA Masonry Crème will insulate mineral building materials by reducing water absorption by more than 95%. The product chemically bonds to the surface, penetrating up to 17mm to create an invisible insulation barrier.

    • Chemically reacts and actively bonds to a range of substrates including brick, stone, concrete and sandstone
    • Tests have demonstrated that when ProPERLA Masonry Crème is applied to clay bricks, it slows down thermal heat loss by up to 76.83% .
    • Manufacturers guarantee of 20 years & proven performance of 25 years
    • Dries clear-  it does not alter the exterior appearance of the property
    • Benefits from an SD (breathability rating) of 0.03- a coating is considered to be breathable if it has an SD value of 0.50.
    • Keeps properties clean and attractive - dirt particles are washed away with rainfall
    • Makes it difficult for the growth of moss, algae or lichens
    • Helps to prevent discolouration, efflorescence & frost damage
    • Unaffected by UV rays
    facade coating

    ProPERLA Facade Coating

    A highly technical two-coat coloured facade coating which mimics the self-cleaning capabilities of the lotus leaf and helps to maintain the freshly painted appearance of the property.

    • Chemically reacts and actively bonds to mineral substrates
    • Choice of colours available
    • Super hydrophobic
    • Manufacturers guarantee of 10 years but the product has a proven performance of 25 years
    • Benefits from an SD (breathability rating) of 0.06- a coating is considered to be breathable if it has an SD value of 0.50
    • Keeps walls clean and attractive - dirt particles are washed away with rainfall
    • Discourages discoloration and prevents salt efflorescence.
    • Discourages growth of moss, algae and lichens
    • Helps to prevent frost damage

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. How do I become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products?

    To ensure our products are only applied by trained experts, we ensure that applicators attend our training course in order to become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products. Why not read more about our training course if you would like to be able to offer ProPERLA technology to your clients?

    Q. Does ProPERLA Masonry Creme alter the apperance of masonry?

    Unlike masonry sealers that can leave a 'sheen' on brickwork, ProPERLA Masonry Creme does not alter the appearance of masonry in any way. This is because it does not form a film on the surface of the masonry, instead penetrating into the brickwork and waterproofing it from the inside.

    Q. Should you apply waterproofing treatments to new-build properties?

    While new bricks are not as porous as weathered bricks, after a period of time they will become weathered and will start to uptake more and more water. By applying Masonry Creme, you are protecting & investing in the long-term protection of the building. After all, prevention is much easier than restoration.

    Q. Do I need to seal brick & masonry before painting?

    A common misconception regarding penetrating damp prevention & waterproofing is that you have to seal the masonry before painting. By sealing the masonry, you are creating a water repellent layer that will prevent the paint from adhering to the masonry. If you want a waterproofing treatment but also want to then paint this, simply opt for a waterproofing wall coating like ProPERLA Facade Coating. This contains the same super hydrophobic technology but in a coloured form, removing the need to apply two separate coatings.


    Want to speak to one of our technical advisers for further advice on roof cleaning? Send them an email to info@properla.co.uk & one of the team will be on hand to assist you with any questions you may have.


  5. Roof Cleaning – Everything You Need To Know

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    Many homeowners in the UK will be familiar with the sight of moss & other unsightly growth on their roof tiles. This growth can be a real nuisance to prevent long-term, but what causes it & how can achieve a clean roof? In this article we are going to answer some of the most common questions regarding roof cleaning so you can find everything you need to know in one place.

    What Causes Growth On Roof Tiles?

    There are a number of types of unsightly growth on roof tiles which include:

    • Discolouration
    • Green growth & algae
    • Moss

    The root cause of this growth is moisture, which is absorbed by roof tiles from rainfall. This is because the moisture absorbs into the roof tiles, creating the conditions that are perfect for moss & other natural growth to thrive.

    This is contrary to what many believe, as a large proportion of homeowners do not realise how absorbent building materials such as roof tiles, brick & stone are.

    Is Roof Cleaning Necessary?

    Aside from the loss of aesthetic appeal that is caused by a weathered roof, there is a significant performance reason why roof cleaning is sometimes essential.

    When moisture creates the conditions required for spores of moss to bloom on roof tiles, moss can compromise the ability for your roof to keep out moisture. If the moss is allowed to grow on your roof, the moss will fill the gaps between the roof tiles. Gradually over time, this moss can move & damage the roof tiles as it absorbs further moisture and expands, compromising the bond between the adjoining materials that ensure the integrity of the roof.

    The moisture that is uptaken by the moss will also cause deterioration of the roof tiles, as moisture is the single biggest cause of damage to exterior building materials. Tiles can delaminate due to high moisture levels, plus in winter months, freeze thaw cycles can cause further movement of roof tiles.

    Ultimately, moss & green growth is a key indicator of high moisture levels of your roof tiles, which if left over time could lead to enhanced deterioration.

    Roof Cleaning

    While pressure washing was a typically used method of roof cleaning, today dedicated cleaning companies & roof companies use a 'soft wash' method to clean roof tiles. This involves steaming the roof tiles rather than creating a high pressure water stream that dislodges the moss. This is less damaging than pressure washing, ensuring no disruption to the tiles during the cleaning process. 

    While roof cleaning alone can remove large areas of moss growth from the tiles, it does not prevent the potential for further moss growth due to some spores that will remain on the roof. With high moisture levels, the conditions that caused the moss to grow in the first place are still present. Due to that, it is necessary to use a fungicidal cleaner that will kill any natural growth before it can bloom. 

    Due to the technical nature of roof cleaning, it is not advised to clean it yourself, as you can cause further damage by taking it upon yourself to complete the project. We highly recommend getting in touch with a company that offers roof cleaning services, we have access to the right equipment & are experienced with using fungicidal treatments on the roof. 

    As we have mentioned however, cleaning your roof is not the end of moss growth for good. New spores could make their way onto the roof, which can thrive in the high moisture conditions on your roof. For that reason, for long-term moss prevention, you must prevent this moisture.

    Clean roof

    Roof Waterproofing Treatments

    Roof waterproofing treatments are products that create a waterproof barrier on the surface of roof tiles, stopping this transfer of moisture from the external environment into the tile. While there are many of these products on the market that refer to themselves as 'sealers', this is a term that should be treated with caution.

    A sealer is a product that creates a waterproof seal on the surface of the material, that prevents any moisture from entering the material but also prevents any moisture from escaping. This can be terrible for the condition of your roof as moisture will simply continue to build up underneath the seal until either the treatment fails or the tiles becomes damaged, as the moisture attempts to escape.

    This is why any waterproofing treatment for exterior surfaces must be 'breathable'. A breathable treatment is one that has an SD value of under 1, meaning that water vapour can freely travel through the surface, By maintaining breathability, water vapour to escape and maintains a dry material.

    That is why we developed our ProPERLA super hydrophobic technology, which chemically bonds to building materials, lining the pores of the substrate without create a sealing film. While giving water repellent properties to materials, it maintains breathability as it allow water vapour to freely pass through the treatment. ProPERLA treatments have an SD value of 0.01-0.03, demonstrating exceptional breathability.

    We developed this technology for a range of surfaces, including walls, paving, timber & roof tiles. For roof tiles in particular we offer ProPERLA Water Repellent, which is a completely invisible waterproofing treatment and RENOTEC Roof Coating, which is a coloured roof paint.

    In independent tests conducted by UKAS accredited laboratory Lucideon, both RENOTEC Roof Coating & ProPERLA Water Repellent were found to perform for 25 years, ensuring their long-term ability to prevent water absorption and protect roof tiles from deterioration.

    The other huge benefit of ProPERLA super hydrophobic technology is that it creates self-cleaning roof tiles. As water cannot attach itself to the roof tile due to the water repellent properties, dirt & other contaminants are simply washed away with any rainfall. This self-cleaning cycle helps to keep roofs looking pristine for years to come.

    Cleaned roof with a roof coating applied

    RENOTEC Roof Coating

    ProPERLA Water Repellent (2)

    ProPERLA Water Repellent

    How Do I Treat My Roof With ProPERLA?

    As the most advanced nano-technology available in the UK, ProPERLA is a specialised product that must be applied by experts.

    We have a number of approved ProPERLA applicators up and down the UK who have attended our rigorous training program to ensure they apply the treatments to the highest level. To find an approved ProPERLA applicator, simply type your postcode in our applicator finder tool and find your nearest applicator, who can carry out the treatment for you.

    Alternatively, if you are a roof cleaning company, why not become an approved applicator of ProPERLA super hydrophobic treatments & be able to offer your clients the most advanced exterior waterproofing technology in the UK?

    water repellent

    Water Repellent

    A one-coat super hydrophobic advanced clear waterproofing coating that does not alter the appearance of roof tiles. Designed for all mineral substrates, including absorbent roof tiles. Comes with a manufacturers guarantee of 10 years.

    • Highly breathable system
    • Extends the lifespan of roof tiles by keeping them dry
    • Provides a self-cleaning, super hydrophobic surface
    • 25 year proven performance

    RENOTEC Roof Coating

    A two-coat super-hydrophobic coloured roof coating from ProPERLA's sister brand RENOTEC. It improves resistance to weather influences & extends the life span of the roof tiles, coming with a 25 year proven performance & a 10 year manufacturer's guarantee.

    • Highly breathable system
    • Extends the lifespan of roof tiles by keeping them dry
    • Provides a self-cleaning, super hydrophobic surface
    • 25 year proven performance

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. How do I become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products?

    To ensure our products are only applied by trained experts, we ensure that applicators attend our training course in order to become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products. Why not read more about our training course if you would like to be able to offer ProPERLA technology to your clients.

    Q. How do I find an approved applicator?

    If you are a homeowner and are looking to have your roof treated with ProPERLA super hydrophobic treatments, you can find an approved applicator to apply the treatments on our approved applicator finder tool. Simply type in your postcode and find the details of an approved company in your area who are qualified to apply our products and can issue a manufacturer guarantee of 10 years on our behalf.

    Our approved applicators commonly offer both roof cleaning & roof coating services, as the roof must be clean to able to apply ProPERLA products. For this reason, you are getting both roof cleaning & long-term protection in one service.


    Want to speak to one of our technical advisers for further advice on roof cleaning? Send them an email to info@properla.co.uk & one of the team will be on hand to assist you with any questions you may have.


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