Parging is the application of a thin layer of cement, usually to a foundation or basement wall. This common construction practice is somewhat similar to creating a stucco finish but uses a masonry based mortar. It’s also used to seal walls against moistureParging can be applied over new or existing walls depending on your requirements.
Parging is often applied to bare concrete blocks or bricks to improve the look of the property. The smooth appearance of the applied concrete is attractive to the eye and smooths out any uneven joints in the mortar between the blocks. However, as a building ages, cracks in the existing parging may appear, requiring repair. Parging can also be an important weapon in the fight against water intrusion into the foundation or basement.
These are the steps involved with parging:
- Remove all loose mortar from the wall
- Dampen the affected area with a soft spray of water
- Mix the cement in a wheelbarrow the using a trowel, spread the cement mixture onto the wall
- Using a broom, sweep over the area and allow 24 hours to dry
- Spray the area until damp again, then apply a second coat
If you already have parging but it’s damaged, not all is lost. In most cases, parging can be repaired. Inspect your parging periodically; if superficial cracks appear, seal them quickly to prevent water infiltration, which is likely to cause more significant damage. Limited damage, such as minor cracks, small areas of detached material or nicked corners, are easily repaired by a professional, who will use quick-setting cement to complete the job of resurfacing in one day. Resurfacing involves applying a thin parging coat to restore a uniform surface. If there are severe breaks, the old parging should be removed and a completely new coat applied. A damaged or uneven area can also be covered in a metal armature, with parging applied over top to even out the surface.