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Published on 12 August 2019 12:46

How to Secure Façade Plinths

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Key Learning outcomes
  • Variants of plinth thermal insulation
  • Examples of design details for plinth area
  • How to protect plinth area against dampness?
  • How to apply ceramic cladding to the plinth area?
A plinth should be designed and used in order to facilitate efficiently protection of the façade and walls above the ground against dampness, dirt and damage. At the same time it should constitute a decorative element in the building. Both functions of the plinth (protective and decorative) complicates its designing and execution in comparison to the other parts of façade. Moreover, the materials used for execution of a plinth (e.g. tiles, special renders, stone, and waterproofing) have to have improved resistance parameters.

1.0 Variant 1: Insulated Inset Plinth

The most popular type of finishing of the plinth, so called inset plinth is placed under and partially covered with the layer of insulation of the wall. The advantage of such solution is visible separation of two areas, which enables to use different materials and enables to form the drainage of water flowing over the surface of wall and plinth area. Two insulation systems can be applied on damp proofed wall. First one on XPS or EPS slab, which forms insulation of foundation wall and second one – forming classic external thermal insulation system.

In order to finish the plinth it is recommended to use ETICS insulation system with use of reinforced elements, taking into consideration obtaining optimum durability of insulation system for external conditions, especially for thermal deformations resulting from alternate heating and cooling of the surface. Reinforced layer should made of dispersive bonding mass and reinforcing net. This set absorbs tensions and deformations, which can affect on façade insulation in plinth area. Dispersive masses are more elastic than cement adhesives, ensures higher resistance to microcracks of the render, higher resistance for mechanical damage and resistance to the acts of vandalism.

Use of this system in combination with standard reinforcing mesh and additional armoured mesh allows for obtaining even higher toughness. For the top coat of façade in this system and area of application, the silicone render is recommended. This render contains tailored aggregate size which ensures structural tightness of the finishing coat and special capsuled biocides which improves resistance to the growth of algae, fungi or mosses. High content of resins in adhesive as well as the silicone render allows for use a lot darker colours of render and paint in plinth area than on the other parts of façade. That system ensures durability with standard finishing appearance, there are also available systems which allows for original finishing with maintaining of high durability. Investors can find renders with pattern of timber, sandstone or mosaic, stone or brick.
Inset plinth is placed under and partially covered with the layer of insulation of the wall.
Inset plinth is placed under and partially covered with the layer of insulation of the wall.
 
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