Graphical Construction Glossary >> masonry. >> stonework >> Parging, Pargeting

Parging Pargeting
i.)A coat, or the application of a coat, of cement render to the surface of stone masonry or brickwork, to improve the appearance or to waterproof it, damp- proofing.
2.) Traditional lime based plaster, so called plaster of Venice used since the end of the middle ages for highly decorative internal and external plasterwork.
lath and Plaster
An old method of plastering internal walls and ceilings using a lime putty and closely spaced timber laths.

A house with a pargeted exterior wall.

1.)Parging as seen in the photo above is almost unheard of now. It was used for outside plastering over timber framed building in an attempt to reduce the horendous fire risks of the day. It took on this decorative aspect but few example remain. When it was and I guess still is used for interior decoration it is different in name only to normal ornamental plaster work using lime based plasters using lime putties that are fixed to traditional laths and reinforced with sisal etc.

lath and  plaster ceiling
Tradition lath and plaster ceiling

A lime putty based plaster is laid over closely spaced battens of about 1/2" thickness. The photo shows the base that is sometimes called the brown coat and the white top coat or skim coat of typical two coat work. Typically lime plaster takes up to a couple of months to fully set , but the use of small amounts of plaster of Paris (gypsum) would make it set faster. The plaster stays there for remarkably long periods, 50 years would not be unusual, by virtue of the fact that the plaster is forced between the laths and bulges on the inside so that when dry it is locked in solid.

The laths being quite thin are cut and fixed with one tool. A lath hammer which has an axe like blade for cutting the laths and a hammer head for fixing the galvanised nails. Old plaster showing rust at the nail holes is a sure sign that the wrong nails were used.

2.) Parging or Pargeting with cement mortar is the masonry application of the term and it is basically another name for cement render. It does what stucco does but with modern materials and additives. It can be used to render the inside of masonry walls to fill up voids, waterproof and vermin proof them. It can also be used for the lining of stone chimneys.

All of the buildings on the next page will have pargeting (even if they called it by another name) on the inside faces of the exterior walls.

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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