Expansion joints are there to separate different materials such as brick, cement render, window frames, etc.
All the materials which go into forming a structure will heat and cool at slightly different temperatures and this means they expand and contract at different rates.
Without proper expansion joints concrete render separates from the brick or concrete wall it covers. Cracks appear on the surface or the render becomes 'drummy' as an air pocket grows between it and the wall. Drummy patches are normally visible and they can be dangerous when the render finally decides to let go if it falls on people below.
The problems usually occur at the top corners or edges of windows. I can re- render affected sections to make them look new, but the problem is likely to recur if an expansion joint is not cut in to allow for movement through changes of temperature.
Of course, even with expansion joints, render can become unstable after some decades. Small repairs can keep the surface intact for years ahead and extend its life.
Repair jobs always give me satisfaction, but render repairs are particularly satisfying because a house looks so good after they are done!
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