james hunter

  • Energy Efficient Coatings
    The most effective way to reduce your energy bills is to limit the amount of energy that escapes your home. Roofs, windows, and walls love to let out energy.
    One of the best ways to reduce heat loss from your home is to apply energy-efficient coatings to the external walls.
    On the surface, energy efficient coatings don’t require much explanation; they are energy efficient! With warmer homes, lower heating bills, and fewer layers of clothing needed during the colder months, these words are appealing to most people.
    For external insulation, you might need advice from exterior wall coating companies, even though loft insulation can be a do-it-yourself project (and a messy, unpleasant one at that).
    Is it a daylight robbery?
    We’ve all heard about the heat that is lost through the roof and attic space of our homes – 30% or more of it is lost through poorly insulated loft spaces. You’re losing a lot of money when you lose 30% of your heat. The average domestic energy bill for a medium-sized house is £2060, so that’s a considerable amount.
    Many people do not realize that other parts of the building are also dipping their sticky (or damp) fingers into your household budget. At least 30% of heat is lost through doors and windows, and possibly even 35% through walls as well.
    Usually, exterior wall coating companies can offer you a survey to determine the best solution for your home – and solutions and savings will vary depending on the type, style, and age of your home.

    Construction, Construction, Construction
    Depending on the type of construction and age of your house, the amount of heat lost through the walls can vary. A brick or stone wall can lose a great deal of heat due to certain characteristics.
    Due to their porous nature, water can gather in the small air pockets within the material itself.
    There are two side effects – damp can penetrate the internal walls, causing mould and damp patches, while water conducts heat out of the building rapidly.

    Wall Insulation
    The obvious advantage of applying coatings to your walls is a price cap on your bills. Furthermore, modern exterior wall coating companies use the latest products that can be applied quickly.
    Since time is money, energy efficient wall coatings are highly competitive compared to more traditional methods, as we all know.
    Additionally, energy-efficient wall coatings like this protect the home from external damp patches. As water slides down the walls, dirt, grime, and pollution are washed away with it.
    In addition to self-cleaning your walls, this feature also protects them from environmental pollutants. It creates a long-lasting, attractive and low-maintenance exterior finish for your house.

    Exterior Wall Coating Companies
    Here at Pinnacle, our experience in exterior wall coatings allows us to provide you with the most energy efficient coatings.

    REQUEST A FREE QUOTE

  • We should never judge a book by its cover, but the exterior of a house or an office has a significant impact on its overall aesthetics. However, beauty is more than just skin deep. Modern exterior wall coatings offer a number of interesting benefits, some of which are more obvious than others. What are the main benefits, and what impact can they have on your property?

    Moisture management
    As well as providing a powerful barrier against moisture, damp proof exterior wall coatings are an excellent way to reduce indoor moisture levels. If this dampness is allowed to penetrate, it could cause quite a bit of damage. A cost-effective way to prevent such incidents is to apply these coatings.

    They also allow moisture from the interior of a structure to escape through their exterior surface coatings. Having this unique feature prevents moisture from entering your home while keeping the outside environment at bay.

    Getting rid of mould, bacteria, and algae
    Aside from being resistant to mould and bacteria, exterior coatings can also help prevent algae growth. There are several reasons why this is important. The first problem is that such organisms are unsightly, and the second problem is that they are sometimes quite difficult to remove without using harsh chemicals. It is also important to mention the health aspect. By preventing mould from growing, airborne illnesses are drastically reduced. It is especially important if there are young children or pets present.

    A low-maintenance solution
    It is sometimes necessary to perform regular maintenance on low-grade exterior wall coatings. Aside from being an inconvenient situation, the need to apply additional layers might prove rather costly over time. Our cutting-edge formulations are formulated to last. This helps to ensure longevity alongside a beauty that will last for years at a time. It is not always possible to obtain such benefits from generic products and services.

    Flexible Design Options
    Whenever decorating a home or office, it is important to match the existing decor. In addition to their availability in a variety of hues, colours, and textures, this line of exterior coatings also offers an interesting advantage. Thus, any property can achieve a seamless appearance while simultaneously enhancing its visual ambience. Alternatively, custom formulations may be possible in order to achieve an exact match in a short amount of time.

    Filling in cracks and imperfections
    The thinness of some wall coatings makes them ineffective at addressing imperfections or cracks within walls. Water will inevitably penetrate, requiring expensive repairs over time. Professional-grade wall coatings from Pinnacle are specifically designed for such situations. You will not only get superior levels of protection, but your walls will also be restored to their former splendor.

    House value increase
    One of the lesser-known advantages of damp proof exterior wall coatings is their ability to add value to existing properties. Its functionalism partially explains this. By keeping your possessions safe, and by preventing damp from causing structural damage, you will not have to pay for expensive repairs. Additionally, these coatings are a great way to increase the value of your property due to their aesthetic appeal. It is therefore much easier than you think to get a healthy return on investment (ROI). It is an excellent way to attract buyers if you plan on selling the property in the future. No matter what your intentions are, damp-proof exterior wall coatings will pay for themselves over time.

  • As well as reducing your energy bills through improved insulation following use of exterior wall coatings there are lots of additional ways to make further reductions. In the second blog in our ‘Tips for reducing your home’s energy bill” series we look at ways to reduce how much money you spend on your electricity bill.

    Electricity savings tips

    Make sure you don’t waste electricity

    Don’t let items sit on standby.Even when an appliance is on standby, it still consumes a small amount of electricity. You can prevent this by turning off items at the plug and connecting them to a multisocket or power strip.
    Using timers and smart plugs is a popular way to switch off electrical items when you’re not using them.
    Invest in LED light bulbs
    You can save money and reduce electricity consumption by using LED light bulbs.
    The savings are actually quite noticeable compared to their halogen counterparts. According to the Energy Saving Trust, swapping a 60-watt halogen bulb for an LED can save you £6 per bulb per year; a 100-watt bulb can save you £13. In a 10-room house, that would equal £130 per year; a remarkable saving.
    Replace your old appliances with new ones
    Washing machines, dishwashers, and televisions are all rated for their energy efficiency. Purchasers of new appliances can find this information online and in stores.
    If your existing appliance needs to be upgraded or isn’t working well, replace it with one with a lower efficiency rating since they will use less energy. In spite of the high upfront cost, you could save on considerable amounts of your future bills.
    Utilize appliances efficiently
    Reduce the length of your showers
    Although short showers are more energy-efficient than long baths, they still consume a fair amount of energy. By reducing a 10-minute shower to eight minutes, you can save up to £43 per year (per person).
    Set the washing machine to a lower temperature
    Using the washing machine on a cold setting helps save energy because heating the water to higher temperatures consumes large amounts of electricity.
    Make sure the kettle is not overfilled
    Every day, people waste electricity by overfilling the kettle.
    The kettle should only be filled with water you need for your drink or whatever else you are using it for. Any more is simply more work for the kettle, and the more work it has to do, the more energy it consumes.

    Appliance maintenance
    Regularly service your electrical appliances
    Regularly servicing your electric appliances will ensure they are functioning correctly and efficiently. An appliance that is well-maintained will consume less energy than one that is not.
    Any problems with your appliances can be identified and repaired or adjusted by a qualified electrician. The result will be less energy consumption and a longer lifespan for them.
    Ensure that your electrical appliances are clean
    You can lower your energy bills by cleaning your electrical appliances.
    For example, cleaning the coils located on the back of the fridge helps it run more efficiently and keeps it from working harder than necessary to keep food cold.
    It is also a good idea to defrost the freezer. A freezer that accumulates ice has to work harder to maintain its temperature, consuming more energy.
    Cleaning out your oven is another way to reduce your energy consumption. It ensures that heat circulates properly and that the oven does not have to work harder than it needs to.
    Be mindful of your energy consumption
    Smart meters
    By using smart meters, you can see exactly how much energy you use and when, allowing you to make energy consumption changes like turning off lights when you leave a room or turning off items at the plug instead of leaving them on standby. Also, you can see how your energy use changes over time, so you know whether the changes are making a difference.
    Contact your energy supplier about installing a smart meter as you may be able to request one from them for free.

    Smart plugs

    With a smart plug socket, devices can communicate with the outlet to determine if they are being used. When a device is plugged into a smart outlet, the outlet can automatically switch to energy-saving mode when the device is off. For example, if a lamp is plugged into a smart outlet, the outlet can automatically shut off the lamp when the lamp is off.

    Home energy monitors

    The use of home energy monitors is similar to that of smart meters, allowing you to gain insight into your home’s energy usage and adjust your energy-usage habits, such as turning off appliances when not in use or using energy during off-peak hours. Instead of just giving you an overview of your overall daily energy consumption, these specialised energy monitors can also help identify areas and specific appliances that are consuming the most energy.
    Save money on your energy bills

    Just a few of these changes will reduce your electricity bills, particularly during the winter months.

  • How to clean your driveway in 5 easy steps

    it is important to make a good first impression. It’s possible to ruin a clean, inviting house with a dirty driveway. Driveways can look dingy due to things like moss, lichen, and oil stains. In this article, we’ll look at five easy steps to keep your driveway clean and off your to-do list.

    Step 1 – Remove the oil stains
    The spillage of oil, brake fluid, or petrol on your driveway can leave unsightly stains. Be sure to remove spills from your driveway as soon as you notice them because once they dry, they are harder to remove. You can use natural absorbents such as cat litter, baking soda, or sawdust for this purpose. Your chosen absorbent should be applied to the stain and left to act while the oil absorbs. 

    Step 2 – Prepare the area by sweeping it
    The area should be swept of any absorbents and debris using a stiff bristled outdoor broom. To achieve the best finished look, remove large weeds and trim back any plants, grass or vegetation. Whenever moss and lichen accumulate, they cause large discolored areas. To clean them off, you’ll need more than just a sweep. 

    Step 3 – Use a stain remover 
    Stain removers will help you remove old oil stains, paint spills, or rusty marks. Stain removers that contain acid might damage your driveway or surrounding plants if you don’t use them carefully. It is recommended to dilute most household stain removers before using them, but some can be used at full strength for the toughest stains. The handling of chemicals of this kind requires care, so consider getting expert assistance to avoid any accidents.

    Step 4 – Clean with a pressure washer
    If your driveway is covered with moss, mildew, or lichen, pressure washing can help remove them. To ensure you’re using the right pressure, detergent, and nozzle for your pressure washer, always check its manual. To avoid messy splashes, protect nearby plants, wear waterproof clothing, and wash downhill and away from your house and cars. 

    Step 5 – Sealant application 
    Over time, British weather can corrode and discolour a driveway. By applying a sealant, you can prevent weather damage, weed growth, and staining on your driveway. A sealant will extend your driveway’s life and keep it looking good. It is very similar to redecorating a room – sealants must be mixed well, edges should be ‘cut in’, and a paint tray and long pile roller will be needed.
    You don’t have to put off driveway cleaning because it’s just a big job. Keeping on top of weeding, sweeping often and cleaning spills as they happen will help to maintain a driveway you can be proud of.

  • Smoothing off Pebbledash with render?

    In the postwar years, pebbledash was very popular for exterior surfaces. It was often used to conceal unsightly repairs or as a cheap alternative to repointing. Today, pebbledash homes appear very dated and drab, and people want to know how to improve the appearance.

    They want a smooth finish or to reduce the texture of their pebbledash, spar dash, or rough cast surfaces. These surfaces can be rendered over, but the existing render must be strongly adhered. First, the condition of the existing pebbledash must be assessed, and if there are areas that are not adequately adhered, they must be hacked off and repaired. This would require a lot of cleaning and preparation work to ensure that any render applied will bond properly. Currently, if at least a quarter of a wall needs to be hacked off, then the insulation of the wall needs to be upgraded.

    It is possible to damage the brickwork underneath when hacking off soundly adhered existing render. We recommend the render be removed as sympathetically as possible but there is always a risk of damage occurring, and the better adhered the render is and the softer the underlying brickwork, the greater the risk. Bricks can be replaced by individually cutting them out and putting in new ones, but that can be time-consuming and expensive.

    If the property has two or more stories, scaffolding would be required in order to carry out any repairs and prepare the surface properly for the new render. There are a range of different renders and finishes that we can be applied in a vast range of colours.

  • Do you have cracked or damaged render? Do you want to improve the appearance and condition of your property? Re-rendering is one option, but wall coatings have developed significantly in recent years. Render is now being replaced with modern alternatives that provide similar benefits but with a wide range of additional advantages.

    Benefits of long-life wall coatings include:

    • Value for money
    • A quick and easy application process
    • A long life expectancy
    • A versatile surface texture

    Wall coatings add added protection to your property and provide a new, attractive look over existing renders.

    A comparison of long-life wall coatings and renders

    Long-life wall coatings and render have many similarities – in addition, wall coatings also have a number of advantages. For a better understanding of the benefits, here is a direct comparison:

    It is more cost-effective to apply long-life wall coatings. Re-rendering a property is labor-intensive and expensive.
    Preparing wall coatings is cleaner and easier. Re-rendering is a messy, dusty job – coating your walls is less impactful.
    With a wall coating, there is less waste. In order to remove all the rubble from the site after re-rendering, a skip must be brought on site. The waste will be taken away by a professional company when we apply long-life wall coatings. Skips are not needed.
    Wall coatings require less scaffolding. It is often necessary to use scaffolding when applying render, which can increase the cost of the project. Scaffolding is only required to reach elevations that are difficult to access, so scaffolding costs are lower with long-life wall coatings.
    The application of wall coatings is quick and easy. During re-rendering, the old render will need to be removed, then the walls will need to be prepared and beaded before the new render top coat is applied. It is much easier and quicker to apply wall coatings, requiring less work on your property.

    What are the advantages of wall coatings over render?

    In order to avoid water ingress, YOU must ensure that the property is sealed before the wall coating is applied. Before applying the textured top coat, the surfac must be prepared thoroughly, to create a waterproof barrier. These are some of the main reasons for choosing a long-life wall coating over re-rendering:
    Using wall coatings will protect your property from adverse weather conditions by creating a water-resistant barrier.
    The exterior of the property won’t need to be painted frequently with a wall coating because it is thicker than paint. You can choose from a range of colours when choosing wall coatings.
    Wall coatings with textured surfaces have a long shelf life. As a result, the wall coating will last longer as it conceals imperfections – you won’t have to carry out frequent repairs and your property will look great for longer.
    Unlike some types of render, wall coatings are highly breathable, so you won’t have damp issues.
    It is easy and quick to apply. A wall coating can be applied at any time of the year, as it dries quickly after application.
    It is extremely durable. A new wall coating will last you for many years and will stand up to harsh weather conditions.

    REQUEST A FREE QUOTATION

  • Exterior Wall Coatings: What Are They?

    Exterior wall coatings are decorative treatments formulated for exterior masonry surfaces. Their main functions are twofold. The first benefit is that they provide an attractive finish to the exterior of a building (internal wall coatings are also available). Their second main function is to provide low maintenance and long life spans, so they are usually quite durable and hardwearing. As a result, exterior wall coatings are usually quite high-end systems with expensive and high-quality ingredients.

    In contrast to traditional exterior paint, exterior coatings are typically applied at a much thicker thickness (up to 40 times the thickness). The coatings are therefore very weather resistant and are able to last longer due to this. Moreover, the extra thickness helps cover any imperfections on a wall, whereas traditional paint is very thin, allowing any scarring to be clearly seen underneath.

    There are several manufacturers offering different systems, some of which have different features, like elastomeric or anti-carbonation, so it’s crucial to specify the right system for the given situation and wall surface. Hence, it is crucial to discuss this in detail with the installation company or project manager.

    Surface coatings for exterior walls tend to have a high resin content, giving them great elasticity, flexibility, and adhesion. There are many resin types used in coating systems, including Pliolite, Alkyd, Polyester, and Acrylic.

    In most cases, manufacturers produce coating products in a variety of standard colours, but if none of those colours are suitable, a special order can normally be placed to have a coating produced to any colour (a minimum quantity is usually required for this though).

    There are also a variety of textures available for exterior wall coatings. From smooth (untextured) coatings that look like normal paint to fine textures, coarse textures, and heavy high build textures. Therefore, it is crucial to see samples before choosing a system. There are many advantages to using a texture. You may have, for example, a rendered wall that is well adhered to the underlying surface, but has been repaired many times and has a variety of surface appearances, texture differences and crack scars. In addition to covering unsightly scars and imperfections, exterior wall coating systems with textures can also create an attractive, uniform finish that will cover unsightly scarring and imperfections.

    The term “microporous” is often used by manufacturers to describe their coating systems. In other words, although the coatings resist water penetration very well, they also allow the passage of water vapour, so they are breathable. As a result, exterior coating systems are highly effective in situations where penetrating damp occurs.
    If you are interested in receiving a free quotation for an exterior wall coating system for your property, please contact us.

  • When it comes to getting a new roof, you may hear the term ‘flashing’. Every roof needs flashing, but many homeowners don’t know what it is or why it is necessary. This article explains what flashing is and answers the question: should flashing be replaced with a new roof?

    Roof flashing: what is it?
    Look closely at your roof and you’ll see that it’s not entirely tiled. The roof will have thin metal materials where it joins the walls and chimney, as well as in roof valleys. Roofing flashing is one of the most important elements of a roof. It is used by roof installers to reduce the risk of water pooling or seeping into joins, or causing damage to homes. There are many types of metal that can be used, such as aluminium, copper, or steel, but steel is the most common due to its neat appearance and affordable price. If you’re willing to spend more, copper looks beautiful and lasts longer, but it is more expensive.

    Is it necessary to replace flashing with a new roof?
    In an ideal world, yes. It is vital that your roof flashing is in good shape since it protects the vulnerable areas of your roof from leaks. Unless you’ve lived in a property long enough to have the roof checked before, you may not know when the flashing was installed and whether it was done correctly. There is no way to tell if repairs have been made, or who performed them. How many times has the flashing been reused? Approximately how many times?

    Is it okay if I don’t replace the flashing?
    If you are unsure whether your flashing needs to be replaced, it is crucial that you consult with an expert first. The flashing can be reinstalled if it can be removed without causing damage and is deemed fit for reuse. In order to maintain its integrity, it needs to be checked for rust and for any damage caused by corrosion. The flashing must also be compatible with the new roof tiles, since each tile requires a different style of flashing.
    Even if you decide not to replace the flashing, you should have it checked every year. Keeping your roof in good condition will protect you from potentially costly roof repairs and leaky homes. Maintaining your roof is a prudent preventative measure that protects your house from damage and extends its life.