How Long Does Render Last?

By Chris Heaton
Date 21/06/2023
how long does render last?

Photo credit: Evolve Plastering & Cork Coatings

Could your property’s exterior do with a face-lift? Many homeowners choose to render their property as it’s an effective way to refurbish or update the exterior. If you’re thinking of selling your home, changing the render can give an appealing fresh look for prospective buyers. Or you might have an old property that is crying out for a modern update.

If you go ahead with changing your render, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how long-lasting it will be. It’s a valid question. With strong weather, the threat of cracking and other risks to the exterior – it’s essential to know how durable the render is before you choose the type you want.

Read on as we look at the factors affecting how long render should last then discuss how long the different types of render will last on your walls.

What factors affect your render’s lifespan?


With the good old British weather, your render can be relied on to take a battering. Year after year, wet and windy weather, along with cold temperatures, can threaten your rendering and leave it needing attention.

This is typically worse along the west coast of Scotland, England and Wales, where wind-driven rain is prevalent. When rain is given a horizontal velocity by the wind, it’s capable of soaking building materials through, which really tests the strength of a render.

Alongside winter weather, fluctuating temperatures can cause materials to expand and contract, which can lead to hairline cracks developing. These small cracks can fast develop into large cracks, especially when rain gets in and enlarges the crack as it freezes.

Don’t think your render gets a break in the summer either. Hot temperatures can cause your render to fade in colour, drying it out and leading to flaking.

Salt-based damage

Any properties close to the coast can be affected by a further risk. The salt from the sea spray can stain and corrode exterior walls over time. Add in high winds and there is a likelihood that the salt can strip paint and cement-based coatings. You can remove any salt stains with an acid wash but are likely to consistently encounter the same problem.

There isn’t just a corrosion risk on your wall’s exterior. Efflorescence can occur – the process of water reacting with salt in building materials – causing damage internally. You can usually spot it when white or grey marks appear on walls or floors. It gets worse in winter with the heavier, more frequent rainfall.  Above all else, efflorescence indicates a moisture problem which could affect a building’s structure – so it’s important to get it looked at.

Building materials

Older buildings are likely to need more upkeep as they won’t have the benefits of new building materials. Things like fibre cement siding and aluminium cladding boards can help render last longer as they are low-maintenance and absorb less moisture than other materials.


The level of workmanship used when applying render is important to note. If the wall wasn’t prepared and cleaned beforehand, it won’t last as long. Cracks, breaks and the risk of the exterior peeling off will shorten the expected lifespan.

The quality of the render chosen for your home is extremely important, but you also need to choose a reputable professional to apply it. Make sure you do your research on local tradespeople in your area and pay attention to word-of-mouth recommendations.

Regular maintenance

Obviously, some renders have longer lifespans than others, but you should keep in mind that it needs to be maintained in line with manufacturer guidelines. This will ensure that the life span is increased and you are keeping your warranty valid. For example, getting hairline cracks filled in will prevent them growing over time.

That said, you can end up throwing good money after bad. If your render continues to crack or starts to come away from the wall (blowing), it’s usually beyond maintenance and will need to be replaced. You can read more about these issues in our guide to patching render.

How long does render last?

It depends on what it’s made from. Some last longer than others, so knowing the difference between the types will let you know if your render is the long-lasting type. You could also find out if your render is nearing the end of its life, by checking for rebound. Simply give it a hard knock with your knuckle and see how easily it bounces back. If there is no rebound, then your render will need re-application.

Cement render

Widely thought of as durable and strong, cement render is made from mixing sand, cement and water. This may be seen as a good thing as it can battle against the elements easily. But being strong also means inflexibility and it’s important that render has the space to breathe or cracking will occur. Because of this, cement render typically needs replacing after 7-15 years, depending on underlying conditions.

Lime render

How long does lime render last? Many prefer it to cement, as it is particularly reliable and known to last anywhere from 20-30 years. It is a breathable option and more eco-friendly than some other types of render.

Made from sand, lime and water, it has great flexibility which decreases the risk of cracking. However, it does cost more than the alternatives with a lengthier, more complex application process – the mixture and technique has to be just right.

Wet plaster render

Similar in longevity to lime render, wet plaster render should last anywhere from 20-30 years. Giving a smooth finish, wet plaster render offers breathability. But there is a danger of hairline cracks developing before it has time to dry.

Silicone render

Lightweight and water-repellent, silicone render offers low maintenance and durability and is resistant to cracks. Its rubbery properties give it extra protection from high temperatures. Combined with an adhesive base coat, the average lifespan of a silicone coating is between 25-30 years. The main drawback here is that it’s far from eco-friendly. Silicone isn’t biodegradable and releases toxins throughout its lifespan.

Sustainable sprayed cork render

One of the main issues with the renders outlined above is that – even though they ‘last’ for a certain amount of time – cracks can still develop in your render. This is due to weathering, changing temperatures and the natural movement of buildings. Once render is cracked, it no longer looks the part or performs as required.

When you’re asking “how long does render last”, the real question is – how long does render continue to look the part and do its job properly? That significantly reduces the 20+ year lifespans of many of the options above.

To keep your render looking good and working at its best, CorkSol’s innovative SprayCork is naturally flexible and crack-resistant. The durable, robust render is made from eco-friendly cork particles, which also gives it impressive insulation qualities and salt-resistance.

How long does the render last? With a 25-year guarantee, you can expect it to keep your walls protected and look great long into the future.

4 benefits of long-lasting render

If you’re in two minds about choosing a cheaper render or one that’s truly long-lasting, we’ve listed some of the benefits of render that stands the test of time.

Long-term savings

Firstly, a durable render will save you money over time. While it seems like you spend less on cheaper renders, it’s a false economy when you have to fork out for repairs or complete replacements.

Less hassle

A low-quality render with a short lifespan just adds to the long list of jobs you have on your plate as a property owner. From checking the roof for leaks to replacing doors, windows, carpets and more – you already have plenty of maintenance to stay on top of. Investing in a quality render will make your life easier.

Better for the environment

Short-lived renders aren’t just an annoyance for homeowners. They add to the long list of examples of our throw-away society. When render fails, it eventually has to be stripped off, put in a skip and sent to landfill. In many cases, those materials don’t break down for a long time. Some also continue to release toxic chemicals in landfill, creating a lasting problem for the environment.

Improved appearance

Investing in a render that’s truly long-lasting means you get your home looking better for longer. Many people will be familiar with that fresh, just-rendered look – but assume it always fades after a few months or years. With a flexible, durable render, you can enjoy a stylish, modern appearance for longer.

Find an approved applicator near you

Need to replace your old, cracked render? Or want to add render to your property’s walls? SprayCork is a long-lasting and high-performing exterior wall coating for both domestic and commercial properties.

It’s available exclusively through our network of approved applicators, so you can rest assured it will be applied to the highest standard. Want to find out more? Contact our team on 01484 442420, email [email protected] or find an approved applicator online.

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