Rendering basement walls or an exposed foundation refers to adding a coat of a cement-like mixture over them, in order to fill in cracks and crevices and help keep the home dry and comfortable. You can render your own basement walls and the outside of the foundation yourself, as rendering mix is easily found at many home improvement stores. However, this doesn't mean the job is always as easy as you assume! Note a few common mistakes made by many homeowners when it comes to rendering their own basement walls or foundation so you can avoid these yourself, or consider hiring a professional to manage the job.
Mixing up too much rendering material at once
The rendering material you use will need to dry and harden once it's applied to the wall. It can also dry and harden in your wheelbarrow while waiting to be applied! It's never good to mix up more than one bag of rendering material and even less than one bag if you are working alone and need time to apply the substance. Otherwise, the mixture may get dry and stiff and won't adhere to the wall or fill in those cracks and crevices. When in doubt as to how much to mix at once, mix up a very small batch and apply that to start, and then you can note how long it takes you to add the rendering mixture. You can then keep mixing the batches, or make a larger batch if you find you work very quickly.
Starting at the top
You always want to start at the bottom of a wall or foundation and work your way up; this will help the rendering mixture to get pushed into those cracks and crevices. If you start at the top and work your way down, you are just pushing the mixture to the bottom of the wall and not into cracks in the wall. Always start at the bottom and take your time to fill in broken concrete or even small chips so your rendering mixture actually works as a patching material and not just another layer of covering over your basement walls.
Not finishing the look
Adding a layer of rendering to your basement walls or exposed foundation can be very functional, but it may not look very attractive. You can finish the look with a sponge to add texture or a swirl design, or an aggregate to improve its appearance. Rendering might also be stamped to look like stone so that your home doesn't look so industrial, and the space looks attractive while still being watertight.