We are proud that our products have been verified by the Energy Saving Trust

Author Archives: Lisa Smith

  1. What Temperature Should My Thermostat Be Set At?

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    As the weather starts to cool outside, inside homes across the UK things start to heat up with arguments about the thermostat. 

    The cost of heating a home during the cooler months is of concern to many. 

    Luckily the Energy Savings Trust have done the calculations and come up with an answer that should ensure people stay comfortably warm whilst helping to keep the costs down -it turns out every degree helps! 

    When speaking to This Money, Caitlin Bent, home energy expert at the Energy Saving Trust recommended to heat the home to the lowest comfortable temperature, between 18°C and 21°C. 

    Ms Bent explained that by ‘Turning your room thermostat down by just one degree will save around £80 on your energy bill for a typical, gas-heated three-bedroom semi, so it’s worth testing a lower temperature to see if you’re still comfortable.'

    This goes to show how every degree counts when it comes to your energy bills but how can you help to keep your home at this optimum temperature and prevent heat from escaping?

    ProPERLA exterior wall coatings, as verified by the Energy Saving Trust, help to reduce heat loss by keeping the walls of your home dry.

    ProPERLA Energy Saving Trust

    Independent tests have demonstrated that brickwork treated with ProPERLA were signifcantly more energy efficient than untreated ones. The thermal image above, was taken during independent scientific testing and shows a 6⁰C  difference in temperature between sections of the wall treated with ProPERLA and the untreated centre section.

    When the walls of your home get wet from wind driven rain, it decreases the thermal resistance of the walls and can result in increased heat loss, contributing to higher energy bills. Water acts as a thermal bridge causing heat to transfer away from the property, reducing the energy efficiency of your home.

    ProPERLA's highly breathable exterior coatings help to keep your home warm and dry by creating a water repellent surface and reducing water absorption of the walls by up to 96.3%.

    You save in the long term too - ProPERLA exterior wall coatings have been proven to perform for 25 years.

  2. Providing a Solution For Salt Efflorescence

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    Many homeowners and builders in the UK will be familiar with the sight of a white powdery substance appearing on the walls of their properties. This is known as ‘salt efflorescence’ and is a sign that there is moisture within the building materials of the property. It spoils the look of brickwork and painted masonry walls and attempting to paint over the affected area is pointless until the source of the moisture has been identified and eliminated. Although harmless in itself, it needs to be dealt with in the correct way to avoid further moisture-related problems in the future which can cause more serious structural damage. It is therefore considered good practice within the building trade to deal with salt efflorescence as soon as it is noticed.

    What is ‘salt efflorescence’ ?

    Three conditions must be present for this white substance to appear:

    • There must be water soluble salts present somewhere in the materials used in the construction the property.
    • There must be sufficient moisture in the wall to render the salts into a soluble solution.
    • There must be a path for the soluble salts to travel through to the surface of the walls, where the moisture will then evaporate, leaving behind the salts. The salts crystallise and cause the sparkly, white residue which is a familiar sight to many

    Research suggests that mineral salts are contained naturally within many of the building materials used in the construction of homes and properties and on their own, they are not a cause for concern. It is when they come into contact with moisture that the problems arise. For efflorescence to appear, the salts must be dissolved into a solution by water.

    The weather provides the primary source of moisture in buildings in the UK, although condensation, groundwater wicking and interior activities may also impact on the moisture content of a building. If no water reaches the salts, they cannot themselves become soluble and migrate to the surface.

    All three of these conditions must exist before salt efflorescence appears so the key to dealing with it is to stop water from infiltrating the masonry walls. Efflorescence will only stop forming when moisture is prevented from interacting with the naturally occurring salts and turning them into liquid form. Unless the source of the moisture is eliminated, it is highly likely that the cycle will continue and the efflorescence will continue to appear, despite efforts to stay on top of removing it.

    Although it is possible to brush and clean the affected areas of an external wall, this only gets rid of the visual signs of salt efflorescence and does not unfortunately cure the problem – it simply removes the symptoms. After cleaning, the salt efflorescence will reappear unless the ‘cycle’ that created it in the first place is broken. The very fact that salt efflorescence has appeared shows that mineral salts are present within the construction materials so the most effective way to stop them dissolving and travelling to the surface of the walls is to prevent further moisture from penetrating the masonry.

    The answer is NOT to seal the walls however. Applying sealants onto areas that show signs of underlying moisture or salt efflorescence problems is NOT recommended as any kind of sealing product is likely to either intensify, relocate or spread the problem. This is because such products prevent the moisture within the building materials from breathing out or escaping and this leads to the salt crystals forming beneath the surface of the substrate. As this builds up over time, you can end up with a much more destructive process known as ‘spalling’ whereby the masonry crumbles and disintegrates. This then becomes more difficult and expensive to fix.

    How can ProPERLA exterior coatings prevent the appearance of salt efflorescence?

    Salt efflorescence on brick wall

    The panels treated with ProPERLA (right and left) had substantially less salt effloresence than the untreated middle panel, following accelerated weathering testing.

    The ProPERLA range of exterior coatings can assist with the appearance of salt efflorescence by keeping the walls of buildings and properties dry. The coatings create a super hydrophobic surface without sealing it so that any moisture that already exists within the building can breathe out naturally and not get trapped under the surface. When it rains, coated building surfaces will repel water – similar in nature to the way a lotus leaf forms beads of rain water. Independent testing on our products have shown that they reduce water absorption by 93.4%, meeting British Standard for Water Vapour Resistance : BS EN ISO 7783:2011.

    By diminishing water absorption, ProPERLA exterior coatings have been proven to reduce the cycle whereby soluble salts within bricks and mortar migrate to the surface where the moisture evaporates leaving behind the crystals. As a result, the products slow down the ageing or breakdown of the surface of the building by helping to protect it from the worst of the weather, including wind driven rain, frost and sea salt penetrated air. Any property coated with one of our exterior coatings will be weather protected for up to 25 years.

    Our website contains full details of the technology that underpins these coatings and the independent testing that was carried out to demonstrate specifically the high breathability of the products, their 25 year performance and their highly water repellent features.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. Is efflorescence harmful?

    Efflorescence does not pose a threat to your health or the health of your property, however it is an indicator of a larger problem of water ingress. The other symptoms caused by water ingress include damp, which can be harmful to your health, and the decay of your properties building materials, which can be harmful to your home.

    Q. Will efflorescence go away on its own?

    The visible salt deposits caused by efflorescence may disappear due to the weather cleaning it off, in small causes of salt efflorescence. The water ingress that causes the salt efflorescence will not be solved without dealing with the issue. Furthermore, large deposits will not be washed off completely by rain alone.

    Q. How long does efflorescence last for?

    The visible salt deposits will continue to occur until the source of the water movement is solved. If brick or concrete is treated using a super hydrophobic coating, the efflorescence will gradually reduce as it self-cleans over a 6-month period or longer.

    Q. Can efflorescence grow on wood?

    There are no soluble salts in wood, which is why it does not grow efllorescence. Nevertheless, wood is particularly prone to water ingress, which is why ProPERLA Wood Impregnator was developed in order to provide a water repellent protective barrier to exterior wood. 

    Want to speak to one of our technical advisers for further advice on our range of roof coating treatments? They are always on hand to answer any questions you may have. Send them an email - info@properla.co.uk
  3. ProPERLA Wall Coatings Verified By The Energy Saving Trust

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    ProPERLA UK Ltd has received verification from the Energy Saving Trust.

    We are very pleased to announce that two of our leading products – ProPERLA Masonry Crème and ProPERLA Facade Coating – have been verified by the Energy Saving Trust under their Product Verification Service.

    Their in-depth verification process reviewed a range of evidence including independent laboratory tests, European Certifications and our manufacturing and quality control procedures and concluded that there is sufficient evidence to support the claim that coating the exterior walls of properties with one of our range of super-hydrophobic wall coatings will result in improved thermal performance, enabling homeowers to benefit from reduced heating bills.

    The Energy Saving Trust is a leading and trusted organisation here in the UK introduced to help people save energy. They work with industry experts, liaise with householders and undertake pioneering world-renowned research to provide an independent and respected verification service so that consumers, householders and industry professionals searching for energy efficient products can trust the energy claims made by a product or service.

    We believe this is an important milestone for ProPERLA UK Ltd – it provides our customers with additional confidence in the integrity of our products and further enhances our reputation for providing a simple, cost effective and minimally disruptive way of improving the thermal performance of their property. Coating a property with one of our products provides savings on heating bills and thereby contributes to the lowering of carbon emissions.

    Take a look for yourself on the Energy Saving Trust website.

     

  4. Making sense of UK targets for increased energy efficiency in homes

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    There is no doubt that the public now accepts that our climate is changing and human actions are causing these changes.  Those actions mean that carbon dioxide levels are higher than any time in human history, impacting on all our lives in many different ways – from coastal erosion, increased flooding and water shortages.  There can be no further delays in implementing strategies to address these challenges.  The European Commission  states that energy efficiency needs to be considered as a ‘source of energy in its own right’.  It is one of the most cost-effective ways to support the transition to a low carbon economy, to prompt further investment opportunities and to create growth and employment.  Putting energy efficiency first will bring down costs for consumers, reduce import dependency and redirect investments towards the kind of infrastructure that are smart and sustainable.

    In the UK, the 2008 Climate Change Act requires the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by at least 80% by 2050.  To ensure steady progress towards this 2050 goal, the Climate Change Act requires the Government to set intermediate targets – ‘carbon budgets’.  These are caps on the GHG emissions that can be emitted across the UK during a five-year period.  Five carbon budgets have been set to date, putting in place caps on GHG emissions from 2008 to 2032.  In July 2016, the 5th Carbon Budget was set, which requires a 57% average reduction in emissions between 2028-32 across the UK compared to a 1990 baseline. (see image)

    The Fifth Carbon Budget

    The UK played a critical role in securing the 2015 Paris Agreement – the first ever international climate change agreement, where 195 countries made a commitment to reduce emissions within the long-term goal of limiting global temperature increases to ‘well below 2 degrees’.  The Agreement puts pressure on all countries to bring forward long-term emissions reduction strategies by 2020.  The Clean Growth Strategy is the UK’s long-term strategy in response to this requirement.

    The Clean Growth Strategy outlines progress that has been made to date in terms of meeting the Climate Change Act targets and in relation to UK homes, it reports that the average household’s energy consumption has fallen by over 17% since 1990, driven by a combination of:

    • Tighter building and products standards – e.g. better boilers
    • The uptake of insulation and other energy efficiency measures
    • Greater awareness of potential areas for energy saving

    But the Strategy goes on to commit to even further reductions in GHG emissions from homes and promises policies which will encourage homeowners to keep on improving their homes where it is cost effective and affordable to do so.  The Strategy acknowledges that to achieve targets set out for 2032 under the 5th Carbon Budget, there will be a need to ensure existing buildings waste even less energy.  It states its aspiration is that as many homes as possible are improved and upgraded to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of Band C by 2035, with those ‘fuel-poor’ homes meeting this requirement by 2030.

    The Strategy recognises that improved energy efficiency has other benefits for the homeowner including reduced heating bills and substantial health benefits.  There is a clear link between cold homes and ill-heath, where existing conditions (such as respiratory illness or mental health conditions) are exacerbated.  The Building Research Establishment (BRE) estimated, conservatively, that the cost of cold and damp homes to the NHS is approx. £760m a year.

    More recently however, the Government’s official adviser on climate change, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in its 2018 Progress Report to Parliament : Reducing UK Emissions states that there is much to be done by the Government if it is to meet its ambitious targets and deliver on the Clean Growth Strategy.  Current policy is failing to drive uptake of initiatives outlined in the strategy, including for highly cost effective measures such as home insulation.  It states that home insulation rates are now at their lowest in ten years, even though home insulation measures offer highly cost effective opportunities for carbon savings whilst providing comfort and health benefits and reducing energy bills.  The Progress Report is clear that what is needed as a matter of urgency from the Government now is the implementation of concrete policies for delivering against the commitment on retrofit and bringing all homes up to EPC Band C by 2035.

    energy efficiency in homes

    This 2018 Report is further reinforced by the Committee on Climate Change in its 2019 Report : Net-Zero : The UK’s Contribution to Stopping Global Warming.  The CCC now believe that the time is right for the UK to ‘set and vigorously pursue an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to ‘net-zero’ by 2050’.  By setting this target, the UK will end its contribution to global warming within 30 years and will deliver on the commitment that the UK made by signing the Paris Agreement.

    It once again notes that whilst many policy foundations are in place, a major ramp up on implementation and policy effort is now required and delivery must progress with far greater urgency.  Many current plans are insufficiently ambitious, with others proceeding too slowly.

    Energy efficiency homes

    The report acknowledges that it is impossible to predict the exact mix of technologies and behaviours that will best meet the challenge of reaching net-zero emissions, but included in their analysis are measures which reduce demand for household energy across the economy.  It also identifies actions that individuals in the UK can take to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the UK and global goals.  In the context of UK homes, the earlier recommendation that improving the energy efficiency of homes through measures such as draft-proofing, improved home insulation and the setting of thermostats no higher than 19 degrees is reaffirmed.  The Report notes that active engagement from households in this way to reduce their carbon footprint will be vital in meeting set targets.

    How can the range of ProPERLA Exterior Wall Coatings contribute to meeting these challenges?

    We believe at ProPERLA UK Ltd that the key benefit our exterior wall coatings can bring to these challenges is their ability to keep buildings dry.  Rain soaked buildings lead to damp exterior walls which act as thermal ‘bridges’ enabling heat from within the home to transfer to the outside of the property much quicker than it would if the walls remained dry.  Heat always flows from warmer to cooler and whilst the homeowner might not realise this is happening because they are turning up the thermostat to keep their home warm and comfortable, in reality heat loss through wet or damp exterior walls contributes to approximately 35% of heat lost in a typical family home.

    For this reason, we believe that coating UK homes and buildings with one of ProPERLA’s exterior wall coatings will help to reduce this heat loss.  Once coated, the walls of the building will become super-hydrophobic – in other words they will no longer be able to get wet.  Rain water will form beads and run off the surface of the building in the same way that a lotus-leaf repels water.  Independent testing of our products showed that water absorption following coating was reduced by 93.4%.   By keeping the walls dry in this way  means that less heat travels through them and the homeowner will benefit from a warmer, cosier home without having the thermostat turned up.

    Brick treated with clear waterproof paint

    ProPERLA Masonry Crème is a super hydrophobic coating specially designed for brick built buildings.  It is a clear, one-coat product which penetrates into the brickwork to provide an invisible insulation barrier and which does not change the external appearance of the building. ProPERLA Façade Coating is more appropriate for those buildings which require a coloured coating system.  These products are of particular benefit to solid wall properties where other insulation measures are not possible, but they also provide additional benefits to more modern buildings which have cavity walls. As well as keeping the external walls dry, the coated walls will help to keep any installed cavity wall insulation dry and prevent possible future problems associated with rain getting through to the insulation and the insulation itself subsequently acting as a bridge taking moisture through to internal walls.

    Additional benefits associated with ProPERLA exterior coating products include their long term performance – manufacturer’s guarantees are available for between 10-20 years depending on the coating used, although all products have a life-time expectancy of 25 years.  Once coated, homeowners face less costs and disruption associated with upkeep and maintenance. For example of roof coatings prevent moss on roofs, which can cause significant issues to the roof tiles.

    Our website fully explains how these products work and the technology that underpins them.  It also details the independent testing that has been done to verify the benefits relating to thermal insulation, water repellency and 25 year performance.

    In summary, we believe that ProPERLA exterior coating systems provide a cost-effective, minimally disruptive and long-term solution for UK homeowners to keep their properties dry…. And a dry building means a warmer building without the need to turn the thermostat up!

    References

    BEIS (2017) The Clean Growth Strategy

    Committee on Climate Change (2019) Net Zero : The UK’s contribution to global warming

    Committee on Climate Change (2018) Reducing UK emissions

    European Commission Decision C (2018)4708 of 24 July 2018

  5. Cavity Wall Insulation – Damp

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    Cavity walls were designed to prevent the ingress of water however penetrating damp can still occur. A bridge across the cavity can be formed, which allows rainwater to move through to the inner surface of the property. This occurs for example where;

    • the cavities have been incorrectly filled
    • the wall ties have been incorrectly installed
    • obstructions exist in the cavities
    • the insulation was not properly installed

    What are cavity walls & how do they work?

    Cavity walls were originally designed to be used only in coastal areas of Britain and Ireland to prevent wind driven rain from penetrating to the inside of homes. Cavity walls soon became the preferred practice in construction across the country and now over two-thirds of dwellings in England (70%) have them.

    Cavity walls consist of two walls known as 'skins' separated by a hollow space, the cavity. In driving rain the outside cavity wall becomes saturated and water (often in  quite large quantities) runs freely down the inside cavity and escapes at the bottom through weep holes. This process prevents water penetrating to the inside wall. The weep holes also allow air to flow and remove evaporated water from the cavity.

    Does cavity wall insulation cause damp?

    Research shows that cavity wall insulation (CWI) can cause damp but it depends when, where and how it was installed.

    From the 1980's onwards, the Building Regulations have required all new houses to be built with insulation material in the cavity. In most cases, the insulation material (normally in the form of rigid foam boards) are fixed to the inner wall leaving a small gap in the cavity to allow any rainwater to run down. If the insulation is properly installed during the construction phase then it should not hinder the cavity wall from protecting against rain penetration.

    When retrofitted, however, through the process of  injecting an insulating material (such as fibres, beads or a foam) into the cavity, cavity wall insulation has the potential to cause damp. The Building Research Establishment (BRE), a world leading, scientific research centre published their BRE Good Building Guide (44, Part 2) which provided the following guidance on cavity wall insulation;

     “There can be an increased risk of rain penetration if a cavity is fully filled with insulation, i.e. moisture is able to transfer from the outer to the inner leaves resulting in areas of dampness on internal finishes. Rainwater, under certain driving rain conditions, can penetrate the outer leaf of masonry leading to wetting of the cavity insulation, a reduced thermal performance and damage to internal finishes.”

    How can cavity wall insulation cause damp?

    There are a number of possible ways cavity wall insulation can cause damp, this article will focus on the following two ways;

    1. Wind driven rain
    2. Poorly fitted insulation

    Wind driven rain

    By filling a cavity wall with insulation, you can end up removing the space necessary for water to freely escape the building - the wall can then no longer function properly to protect the building from damp.

    Wind driven rain that causes cavity wall damp

    When the building is exposed to wind driven rain, the outer wall becomes saturated with water, the insulation then acts a bridge for this water to reach the inner wall and cause damp.

    Such is the potential for wind driven rain to penetrate cavity wall insulated walls that guidance exists to suggest some homes in the UK are simply not suitable for this type of retrofitted insulation.

    Despite a significant increase since 1996 in the prevalence of cavity wall insulation across the UK, the geographical location of your home and the amount of wind driven rain it is exposed are very important factors when it comes to the risk of damp. The Government’s Energy Saving Trust website states that homes are only suitable for cavity insulation if the walls are not exposed to driving rain.

    The BRE Guide divided the UK into levels of exposure zones which indicate the approximate amount of wind driven rain which a building may be subject to. The image below, featured in a Which? article, displays these exposure zones. 

    Wind Driven Rain Exposure Zones

    According to the BRE Guide, homes in Zones 3 and 4 which include Wales, West Scotland, Cornwall, Somerset, Devon and the North West Coast are not suitable for cavity wall insulation due to high levels of wind driven rain.

    Additionally any assessment into the property's suitability for cavity wall insulation also needs to take into account the local features and geographical terrain which may make a building more or less suitable for this type of insulation and the risk posed from wind driven rain.

    Poorly fitted insulation

    Proper installation of cavity wall insulation, which follows the industry's best practices, is essential for the long term performance of the insulation and the avoidance of damp.

    Unfortunately some companies do not always follow the rule book and the property owner has to deal with the resulting long term problems. Examples of poor company practices include;

    • Failure to perform a thorough survey to assess the property's suitability for cavity wall insulation
    • Ignoring factors which would deem cavity wall insulation unsuitable and installing it regardless
    • Failure to address and remedy existing building defects and obstructions in the cavity
    • Insufficient amounts of cavity wall insulation used
    • Uneven installation - leaving voids

    The cavity itself should be thoroughly inspected prior to installation to ensure the wall meets strict British Standards. Unfortunately a lot of cavity walls have unfilled mortar joints, debris and wall ties covered with mortar droppings These obstructions  can not only act like a bridge for water to pass through to the internal wall but they can also prevent the insulation from filling the cavity evenly. Gaps in the insulation can lead to temperature variations and  'cold spots' on the internal walls - when warm air touches these 'cold spots' it can result in condensation and mould.

    Voids in the insulation and the ensuing problems with 'cold spots' can also occur over time due to an insufficient amount of insulation material being installed in the cavity wall. As time passes, the insulation can sink to the bottom of the cavity leaving 'cold spots' at the top of the wall.

    It is also essential that the cavity wall ties (cavity wall ties join the two leaves of a cavity wall together and provide  structural stability) are inspected prior to the installation of insulation to ensure there is a sufficient number of them and that there is no evidence of corrosion. It is much more difficult and problematic for the homeowner to fix any issues with the wall ties once cavity wall insulation has been installed.

    It is also important to remember that buildings need to "breathe" and they rely on constant air circulation. In cases of poor cavity wall installation, essential air vents have been blocked with insulation which consequently impedes the flow of air through the home. If moisture is unable to escape or evaporate this can also lead to damp problems.

    What problems can damp cause?

    Damp can cause a host of problems not only for your home but for your health and your pocket too! It is therefore essential to address any signs of damp as soon as possible.

    Protect your health

    Damp creates an indoor environment that is detrimental to your health. The World Health Organisation consider excessive dampness and mould a "threat to health".  

    Damp becomes a breeding ground for fungi, bacteria and mould which subsequently emit spores, cells and volatile organic compounds into your home. 

    "[I}f you have damp and mould you're more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system."

    NHS website

    Protect your home

    Damp can not only cause damage to the decorative finishings, ruining paint and wallpaper, it can also cause structural problems.

    If the cavity wall insulation is damp it can accelerate the rusting of the wall ties, causing them to corrode much quicker. Failure to rectify these issues can, in extreme cases, lead to the external wall collapsing.

    Protect your wallet

    save money cavity wall insulation damp

    If the cavity wall insulation becomes saturated with water, it will reduce the thermal performance of the material. Damp insulation materials act as a thermal bridge (sometimes referred to as a cold bridge or a thermal bypass) causing heat to transfer away from the building. Damp cavity wall insulation can potentially increase heat loss (and therefore increase energy consumption) rather than reduce it.

    What can be done about damp caused by cavity wall insulation?

    If you believe your home is being affected by damp caused by cavity wall insulation there are a number of things you can do to take action to protect your home, health and your wallet.

    • Contact the company who installed the cavity wall insulation and ask them to inspect the damp and what they can do to resolve it
    • If you or the previous owner were given a 25 year guarantee for the cavity wall insulation, you can contact the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA)
    • Rectify any building defects which could be affecting the cavity wall insulation and contributing to the damp
    • Remove the cavity wall insulation

    If your home is exposed to a lot of wind driven rain, there is another way to protect your home from damp. Apply one of our highly water repellent coatings and keep your walls dry, whilst still allowing them to breathe.

    How can a wall coating help with damp?

    Wind driven rain causes the outer wall to become saturated with water and as discussed above, the insulation can then act as a bridge for this water to reach the inner wall and cause damp. However, if you apply one of our highly water repellent and highly breathable coatings, you can keep the outer walls dry and thereby prevent water from moving through the cavity to the inner surface. 

    Surfaces treated with ProPERLA super hydrophobic coatings reduce water absorption by more than 95%. When it rains, the rain water forms beads and simply rolls off the treated surface leaving it dry, very similar to the super hydrophobic capabilites of the lotus leaf.

    To be considered super hydrophobic, a coating needs to create a high water contact angle- most water repellent coatings create a contact angle of only 40-50 degrees, ProPERLA creates an angle of 140 degrees.

    It's important to note that ProPERLA is not a sealant- it does not trap moisture or impede water vapour from escaping from inside the building and evaporating naturally. 

    The video demonstrates the ease in which air (trapped in bubbles in this case) is able to permeate and escape a masonry block treated with ProPERLA Facade Coating.

    ProPERLA Facade Coating benefits from an SD rating (breathability rating) of 0.06 whilst ProPERLA Masonry Creme has an SD rating of 0.03  - these are both much lower ratings (and therefore more breathable) than an SD rating of 0.5 which is considered breathable by industry standards.

    Keeping walls dry not only helps to protect against damp it also helps you to reduce heat loss and contributes to lower energy bills. 

    The heat retention of houses coated with ProPERLA

    ProPERLA uses the latest silicone resin based nanotechnology to create coatings that can give you long term peace of mind- they come with a manufacturer's guarantee of between 10-20 years. 

    ProPERLA is suitable for a range of substrates and with the option to maintain the natural appearance of the walls or select a coloured finish, there's a ProPERLA coating for everyone.

    Masonry Creme

    ProPERLA Masonry Creme

    A highly advanced clear masonry cream.

    • For use on a bare brick, stone, concrete & sandstone
    • Water repellent
    • Verified by the Energy Saving Trust
    • Penetrates up to 17mm into the substrate to provide a clear insulation barrier
    • Dries clear, it does not alter the appearance of the substrate
    • Creates a self-cleaning surface
    • Highly breathable
    • Comes with a 20 year manufacturers guarantee and a 25 year life expectancy
    ProPERLA Facade Exterior Wall Coating

    ProPERLA Facade Coating

    A highly advanced coloured exterior wall coating.

    • For use on a brick, stone, concrete or render
    • Water repellent
    • Verified by the Energy Saving Trust
    • Available in a range of popular colours
    • Creates a self-cleaning surface
    • Highly breathable
    • Discourages growth of moss, algae and lichens
    • Creates an attractive, matt finish on exterior walls
    • Comes with a 10 year manufacturers guarantee and a 25 year life expectancy

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. How can I have my property treated with a ProPERLA product?

    Due to the highly advanced nature of ProPERLA super hydrophobic coatings, they must be applied by a professional.

    We have a number of approved applicators across the UK who have attended our rigorous training course in order to be able to apply ProPERLA coatings to the highest possible standards.

    If you would like your home treated using either ProPERLA Masonry Creme or ProPERLA Facade Coating in order to prevent further moisture ingress on your exterior walls, you can find your nearest approved applicator on our applicator finder tool. Simply input your postcode and you will be able to find applicators in your area.

    Q. What is the difference between ProPERLA Masonry Creme & ProPERLA Facade Coating?

    Both coatings contain the same super hydrophobic technology that repels water, remains highly breathable and have a 25 year life expectancy.

    The difference between the two treatments is that one is a clear coating, while the other is a coloured coating. As a clear masonry cream, ProPERLA Masonry Creme penetrates into bare brick, stone or concrete in order to chemically bond to the substrate. The difference with ProPERLA Facade Coating is that in order to create a coloured finish it cannot penetrate into the substrate. It instead creates a paint film, while still remaining completely breathable. 

    Q. What testing has been carried out on ProPERLA wall coatings?

    ProPERLA wall coatings have been independently tested by a UKAS accredited laboratory that carried out a 25 year accelerated weathering test. The test aimed to:

    • determine performance after 25 years of accelerated weathering
    • test and analyse thermal insulating properties
    • test and analyse breathability
    • test and analyse the super hydrophobic (highly water repellent) properties of the coatings

    The results of the test showed that ProPERLA wall coatings passed each aspect, demonstrating:

    • BS EN ISO 12572 - Water vapour resistance - water absorption was reduced by 96.3% for ProPERLA Masonry Crème and 93.4% for ProPERLA Facade Coating.
    • BS EN ISO 7783:2011 -  Water vapour diffusion - ProPERLA Masonry Crème had an SD value of 0.56 while  ProPERLA Facade Coating had an SD value of 0.60, showing they had little effect on the breathability of the brick substrate.
    • EAD 040083-00-0404 – External thermal insulation composite - there was an increase of 6⁰C of heat loss of a non-treated wall in comparison to the coated walls, demonstrating heat retaining properties of the coatings.
    • EAD 090062-00-0404 – after the 25 year test, there were no signs of deterioration in performance or appearance, demonstrating a 25 year lifespan for both coatings.

    Following the results of the independent testing, ProPERLA wall coatings were verified by the Energy Saving Trust following their review process.

    Call 0161 763 7074 to speak to one of our technical advisers for further advice on our range of ProPERLA coatings and how they can help with damp.
  6. The Lotus Effect

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    ProPERLA exterior coatings have been designed to mimic the Lotus effect and help keep your property clean and dry.

     

    What is the Lotus effect?

    The Lotus effect refers to the self-cleaning and extreme water-repellency abilities of the Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) a semi-aquatic plant.

    When water comes into contact with the Lotus leaf, the water droplet forms a spherical bead and simply rolls off, leaving the surface dry. As the water beads roll off, they pick up contaminants such as solid particles, organism liquids and biological contaminants and remove them from the surface of the leaf. This process helps to keep the Lotus leaves clean and dry even in muddy and dirty ponds. The self-cleaning capabilities of the Lotus is the reason it has been considered a symbol of purity in Asian culture for over 2,000 years.

     

    What makes the Lotus leaf water repellent and self-cleaning?

    Scientific exploration of the surface micro/nanostructure and chemical composition of the Lotus leaves has been undertaken over many years in an attempt to understand the functions, structures and processes by which the Lotus is able to repel water and subsequently self-clean.

     

    Water Contact Angle

    Research has revealed that in order for a surface to be self-cleaning it must be super hydrophobic, with a very high static water contact angle greater than 160°, and a very low roll-off angle (the minimum inclination angle necessary for a droplet to roll off the surface.)

    How a water droplet interacts with a solid surface determines if it is categorised as super hydrophobic, hydrophobic or hydrophilic. The higher the contact angle the higher the hydrophobicity of a surface. The surface is known to be hydrophilic when the water contact angle is less than 90° (Figure 1a), hydrophobic when the water contact angle is greater than 90° (Figure 1b) and superhydrophobic when the water contact angle is larger than 150° (Figure 1c).

     

    Lotus Effect

    Figure 1. A schematic showing (a) hydrophilic surface with water contact angle less than 90°; (b) hydrophobic surface with water contact angle greater than 90° and (c) superhydrophobic surface with water contact angle larger than 150°. Latthe, Terashima, Nakata & Fujishima (2014)

     

    The Lotus leaf is considered super hydrophobic as it has a water contact angle higher than 160° and a roll-off angle lower than 5°.

     

    Lotus Leaf Surface Structure

    The surface morphology of the Lotus leaf also has an important role. Whilst the Lotus leaf might visually appear to have a smooth surface it is actually quite rough at the nanoscale. Scientific studies have discovered that Lotus leaves have nanostructures on the surface which are coated with hydrophobic epicuticular, low surface energy wax crystals approximately 1 mm in diameter. It is this double structure of the surface that is responsible for the super hydrophobic and self cleaning properties of the leaf.

     

    ProPERLA and the Lotus Effect

    Over the course of millions of years of evolution, nature has perfected the design of the Lotus leaf. Using advanced technology science is precisely mimicking the chemical components and surface micro/nanostructures of the Lotus leaf in order to achieve the same super hydrophobic and self-cleaning capabilities for real-life applications.

    ProPERLA uses the latest silicone resin based nanotechnology to create super hydrophobic and self-cleaning coatings for a range of substrates.

     

     

    Keep your property warm & dry

    Just like the Lotus leaf, surfaces coated in ProPERLA will stay dry. When it rains the water forms beads and simply rolls off preventing the associated problems caused by rain penetration and damp.  By reducing the water absorption, ProPERLA has even been found to lower the thermal conductivity on mineral masonry building materials (thermal conductivity was measured according to the principles of EN ISO 15148) By lowering the water absorption, ProPERLA improves insulation and reduces energy loss.

     

    Ensure your property is clean & attractive

    Mimicking the Lotus leaf’s self-cleaning abilities, ProPERLA helps to keep your property clean. When the water rolls off the treated surface it collects any particles of dirt or dust and washes them away.

    By keeping your property clean and dry you will also be discouraging the unsightly growth of moss, algae and lichens and will even prevent salt efflorescence.

     

    Allow your building to breathe

    Not only does ProPERLA help to keep your property dry and clean, it also allows the building to breathe. It does not prevent the ability of water and moisture to escape.

     

    ProPERLA Masonry Crème, ProPERLA Coloured Facade Coating and ProPERLA Water Repellent all share the same super hydrophobic and self-cleaning properties of the Lotus leaf, all you need to do is choose the right product for your needs. Our technical support team can advise you on the most suitable product for your requirements, we even offer training.

     

    Call 0161 763 7074 to find out how ProPERLA can benefit your property

     

     

    References

     

    Ensikat HJ, Ditsche-Kuru P, Neinhuis C, Barthlott W. Superhydrophobicity in perfection: the outstanding properties of the lotus leaf. Barthlott W, Koch K, eds. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology. 2011;2:152-161. doi:10.3762/bjnano.2.19.

     

    Latthe, S.S.; Terashima, C.; Nakata, K.; Fujishima, A. Superhydrophobic Surfaces Developed by Mimicking Hierarchical Surface Morphology of Lotus Leaf. Molecules 2014;19, 4256-4283.

     

    Zhang, Mingqian & Feng, Shile & Wang, Lei & Zheng, Yongmei,  Lotus effect in wetting and self-cleaning. Biotribology. 2015;10.1016/j.biotri.2015.08.002.

  7. Publication of Solid Wall Insulation Report

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    A report to the Green Construction Board and Government by the Chief Construction Adviser, Peter Hansford, FREng, notes that of the existing 26 million homes in the UK, over 8 million of them have solid walls. It reports that Solid Wall Insulation (SWI) is an important measure to be deployed for improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions with these properties.

    Benefits of treating such properties with SWI include

    • Improving comfort, health and wellbeing for occupants
    • Reducing overall energy demand
    • Addressing fuel poverty
    • Improving fabric and reducing maintenance costs

    Whilst this Report focuses on external ‘cladding’ type insulation systems, we believe at ProPERLA we can provide an alternative route to achieving these benefits. Coating a building – from the roof down – with our range of super hydrophobic coating systems will keep the building dry and a dry building means a more energy efficient, warm and comfortable living environment for occupants. Additional benefits include improved fabric condition, lower maintenance costs and improvements generally to the streetscape and estate regeneration, making homes more desirable.

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