Pros And Cons Of Applying A Parge Coat To Your Yard's Concrete Wall

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Do you have a plain-looking concrete wall along your property line or flanking your driveway? Do you wish that wall had a smoother, more attractive surface? Parge coating can deliver that outcome.

Parge is a thin, cementitious substance that is trowel-pressed over the surface of the wall in a technique similar to applying stucco to a house. The practice is common among masonry and concrete and asphalt repair companies and might be the solution to your unsightly wall problem.

But every home improvement decision has its own pros and cons. Here are a few you should consider before going with a parge coating.

Pro: Easier Painting, Staining, and Waterproofing

The obvious main selling point of parge is the fact that the substance creates a smoother appearance to the concrete wall. Concrete alone is a naturally porous material, which means the surface is uneven and full of tiny air holes. Parge fills in the uneven spots and air holes for a more streamlined appearance.

Parge can make the wall far easier to paint or stain since the concrete wall won't absorb so much of the liquid and waste your time and materials. The use of marble-like painting techniques is also more convincing on parge, which has the similarly smooth appearance of stone.  

Parge's smoothness and impermeability combine to make the material far better for the application of a waterproofing material than straight concrete alone. A waterproofing sealant is important in protecting any paint or stain work and for promoting the longevity of your wall.

Con: Can Crack Over Time

Parge can crack over time if exposed to frequent freeze-thaw cycles. The material slightly contracts and expands with those wide swings in temperature. Eventually, the contracting and expanding can cause the parge to weaken and crack and reveal the solid concrete wall underneath.

If the parge is painted or stained, the crack will be more noticeable due to the color difference between the parge and interior wall. Parge cracks in general are more noticeable than concrete cracks due to the contrast between the crack and the pristine smoothness of the rest of the parge.

Patching the parge will also require the steady hand of a concrete contractor as the patchwork isn't as easy as a concrete crack. If you want to fix any patches yourself with a quick trip to the hardware store, you might want to stick with the solid concrete wall.

Not sure if parge is the right choice for your concrete wall? Make an appointment with a concrete paving contractor to see example photos and to discuss any concerns.

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