Frequently Asked Questions

Render
  1. How long have EIFS been used in Australia?
  2. Where do I use the Unitex Base Board* system?
  3. Why would I use the Unitex Base Board system?
  4. How is the Unitex Base Board system installed?
  5. Does the system need experienced trades people to install it?
  6. How do I know if the applicator has done it to the Unitex specifications?
  7. What is the cost of the Unitex Base Board System compared to other building solutions (such as brick veneer and rendered block etc)?
  8. Does my builder have on-site technical support from Unitex?
  9. Does it burn and will it leak?
  10. What is the impact strength?
  11. Will the council approve it?
  12. Can I get insurance?
  13. Is it warranted and how long will it last (is it maintenance free)?
  14. What if my building moves, and cracks – can it be repaired?
  15. Where can I find the Unitex Base Board Technical Manual for the Installation process?
  16. Where can I get the Unitex Base Board System from?
  17. How do I order the Unitex Base Board System and how much do I need?
  18. What is the lead-time from order to delivery?
  19. Why should I use pre-coated sheets instead of raw polystyrene?
  20. Can I render over painted brickwork?
  21. How long after I apply a Unitex base coat render should I begin floating?
  22. What is the R Value of the Unitex Base Board System?
  23. What is the weight of the completed Unitex Base Board System per m2?
  24. Does the Unitex Base Board System have a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating?
  25. What type of float do I use for Unitex renders?
  26. Can I roll on the Unitex texture?
  27. What type of float do I use for Unitex texture?
  28. What happens to the underside of the Unitex Base Board Panels where they meet the ground and or a roofline?
  29. How many coats of Unitex render do I need to apply prior to applying Unitex texture?
  30. How long after I have applied the Unitex render base coat can I apply the Unitex texture?
  31. How long after I apply texture should I start to float it?
  32. What are Unitex Uni-Shape Profiles & Columns made out of?
  33. What are the accoustic ratings on Base Board?
  34. How do I design the slab to suit Unitex Base Board systems?
  35. What thicknesses of Base Board are accredited?

How long have EIFS been used in Australia?

The first External Insulation Finishing System (EIFS) project by Unitex was built in 1984. These were for Victorian Housing Commission blocks of 4-6 units and single concrete houses in Jordanville (Chadstone) and Preston. The then Unitex EIFS system proved successful in solving internal wall condensation issues (that had up until that time been unsolvable) and internal living comfort. Unitex were the first in its field to have successfully manufactured the EIFS system, in Australia, and were also the first Australian EIFS projects to be monitored scientifically by The Melbourne University Building Energy Research Group.

Where do I use the Unitex Base Board* system?

The Unitex Base Board system can be used on external walls of Class 1 to 10 Housing and Commercial Projects. It can be installed by direct fix to the timber or steel frame or via cavity battens. It can also be installed on battens for older walls (brick, block, weatherboard, compressed cement fibreboard sheeting etc).

*Unitex Base Board is part of the Unitex EIFS range

Why would I use the Unitex Base Board system?

Primarily to have a strong insulating walling system that both protects the building from the weather and decorates with colour, and gives a textured masonry effect of your choice. Around the world similar systems are seen as providing the highest insulating walls whilst measurably reducing on-going energy bills.

How is the Unitex Base Board system installed?

With a specified number and array of mechanical fasteners screwed (minimum of 30 mm) into the timber or steel frame. There are fastners to suit all thicknesses of Unitex EIFS and conditions (ie coastal, inland, near breaking surf etc, wind classification areas).

Does the system need experienced trades people to install it?

Yes, Unitex recommends that Uni-EIFS systems are only installed by an experienced Trades person. Unitex can arrange for a local recommended Trades person to quote and carry out the installation or Unitex also offers a plan and on site quoting service for the customer’s peace of mind. Unitex installation manuals and Guidelines are also available on our website for your own understanding of the process. Unitex Technical Sales Representatives are also available for technical support and site inspections.

How do I know if the applicator has done it to the Unitex specifications?

The Unitex EIFS Technical manual and all instructions required is on the Unitex website, or please contact Unitex and our experienced Technical Sales Rep will check the purchase records and if needed will attend an onsite inspection.

What is the cost of the Unitex Base Board System compared to other building solutions (such as brick veneer and rendered block etc)?

The Unitex Base Board System generally costs similar or less than rendered brick veneer etc, however in R-value (insulating value) offered the Uni-EIFS is approximately 400% more energy efficient than equivalent cost for rendered brick veneer.

Does my builder have on-site technical support from Unitex?

Most certainly! The Unitex Technical Sales Force will spend time on site with our valued customers to achieve the best from our products for your project.

Does it burn and will it leak?

When your Unitex EIFS system wall is installed in accordance with the technical manual it will not allow water into your building structure. Uni-EIFS have been tested under Australian Standards for Building Materials flammability and like timber are suitable for use up to 3 floors or 8.5 meters above ground slab based on flammability test standard AS 1530 (part 3). Such systems are not suitable where a 1 hour and greater fire rating is required (i.e. on neighbour or party walls).

 

What is the impact strength?

The coating thickness is to be at least 6mm above the fixing buttons and insulating sheet (IB Board) providing a SB impact strength of >20 joules.
The findings concluded by the CSIRO testing were submitted to the Building Commission as part of the evidence that the Unitex Base Board System is a viable building material able to withstand many different weather and man-made abuses.

Will the council approve it?

The Unitex EIFS system has a BRAC Accreditation from The Building Commission of Victoria and as such is acceptable to all Victorian (as well as National) Building Surveyors and will be approved by Local Councils (along with their Building Surveyors).

Can I get insurance?

Accredited EIFS systems are a Worldwide Recognised Building method  and as such are insured in all user countries. As Unitex has a history of over 15 years of EIFS Accreditations and is currently Accredited our systems have never in that time faced any negative insurance issues. Non accredited systems may be refused.

Is it warranted and how long will it last (is it maintenance free)?

Unitex has been manufacturing defect free EIFS products/systems for approximately 27 years defect free. Andrew Concannon, MD of Unitex states ‘because of this, we know Unitex EIFS systems are still ‘good as gold’ after 27 years. I know from my training in Europe 37 years ago that EIFS in Europe and America are now over 48 years in continual use for externally insulating and protecting building structures.’ The Unitex Speciality Render and Surface Applied Coating System when applied as per manual is maintenance free. However, for a decorative look, or for a fresh look (if so desired) it can be touched up (repainted) if required after 7-8 years.

What if my building moves, and cracks – can it be repaired?

Yes, and Unitex will advise on best method of repair. Good building practice and regular installation of expansion joints around the perimeter will in general negate most minor frame movement issues.

Where can I find the Unitex Base Board Technical Manual for the Installation process?

From your local Unitex office and /or Local Stockist. Also on line. » click here

Where can I get the Unitex Base Board System from?

You can contact the Unitex office on 03 9768 4900 or our NSW office on 02 9838 0911. You can also send us your plan online (free plan quote service) via our website.

How do I order the Unitex Base Board System and how much do I need?

You can do this via the Unitex website, and we can base our quote on your plan or you can contact us direct (HO 03 9768 4900 or NSW 02 9838 0911) or via your local Unitex Stockist.

What is the lead-time from order to delivery?

Orders within Victoria are generally filled and delivered within 48 hours. NSW and other states (including local Unitex Stockists) are generally within 5 working days.

Why should I use pre-coated sheets instead of raw polystyrene?

There are several reasons:

1) Immediate protection from the elements. Raw polystyrene, if left un-coated will surface degrade and reduce adhesion of base coat renders, causing possible delamination of renders.

2) The first coat of render applied to polystyrene panels is crucial.  This render must have superior adhesion and flexibility than standard renders for brickwork for instance. In the Unitex factory, EPS sheets are transformed into Unitex Base Board sheets by applying alkali resistant fibreglass mesh and a strongly adhering and flexible polymer modified cement coating with a consistent film build with a toothed profile. The special toothed profile makes it easy for the applicator to trowel on the base coat levelling render, (Uni-Dry Cote BBR 8.5 kg), at the recommended film build once the Unitex Base Board sheets have been fixed to the frame, ensuring that only  the most flexible render on the market with the greatest adhesion has been applied on your project.

3) Raw polystyrene sheets should not be coated whilst wet as this prevents renders from adhering to the surface. This can cause major delays during winter months. Unitex Baseboard is manufactured inside under controlled conditions.

4) System warranty’s for your peace of mind, Unitex Baseboard is a risk free proven surface.

5) Speed. Unitex Baseboard saves time as the first coat of render is already completed.

Can I render over painted brickwork?

Yes. If the paint is well bound and not flaking, peeling, bubbling etc. The recommended key coat is Unitex Polymer Render as it is a render designed to adhere to difficult substrates such as strongly adhering paint. As always, ensure the surface is dry, clean and free of oils, dust, dirt etc before applying. Test with a sharp knife, using the “Cross-hatch Method” (see Unitex.)  If greater than 15% pull off and remove all loose and poorly adhering paint prior to coating.

How long after I apply a Unitex base coat render should I begin floating?

Drying times of renders varies enormously depending on weather, wind, the substrate being applied over and how thick the render is applied. There is therefore no simple answer to this question. After applying a small section of render to a wall, attempt floating as rapidly as possible before render dries. If the render sticks to your float and or peels off from the wall, it is too wet and not ready for floating. Continue applying render and checking as you go.  

What is the R Value of the Unitex Base Board System?

The R value is a measure of the insulation value of a complete wall from internal plaster to exterior surface.  Brick veneer is typically less than 0.8.

For Unitex Base Board 50mm, the R value is: 2.08 (including sisalation)

For Unitex Base Board 75mm, the R value is: 2.62 (including sisalation)

For Unitex Base Board 100mm, the R value is: 3.2 (including sisalation)

What is the weight of the completed Unitex Base Board System per m2?

Approx. 8kg m2

Does the Unitex Base Board System have a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Rating?

Yes, the standard Unitex Base Board System achieves BAL29 and a modified Unitex Base Board System achieves BAL40. Please contact your Unitex representative for further details.

What type of float do I use for Unitex renders?

Base coat renders are floated with either a blue polystyrene float or a black plastic diamond float. Both floats are suitable and are used according to personal preference. Generally the bigger the better, as the bigger surface area of the float makes it easier to achieve a true and level surface.

Can I roll on the Unitex texture?

Roll on textures are available from Unitex. These textures will give a different finish to standard trowel on textures. Samples are available from Unitex and URW.

What type of float do I use for Unitex texture?

Texture should be floated with a plastic texture float (typically red) available from Unitex and URW.

What happens to the underside of the Unitex Base Board Panels where they meet the ground and or a roofline?

A Unitex Base Block is installed around the permitter at slab (base plate/stud/noggins) and at floor roof line to the first floor base plate (stud/noggin) below the base of the sheets, ensuring the system is completely sealed and no polystyrene is left uncoated preventing degradation. Under no circumstance should raw polystyrene be left exposed.

How many coats of Unitex render do I need to apply prior to applying Unitex texture?

This depends on the substrate. But you need to apply as many coats of render as needed to achieve a true and level and smooth sponged surface acceptable for the final surface applied finish and paint coats. 

Note: keying coats are generally 1 to 3 millimetres thick.  Build levelling coats are generally 5 to 10 millimetres. And sponge float finishes are generally 1 to 2 millimetres.

How long after I have applied the Unitex render base coat can I apply the Unitex texture?

A minimum of 72 hours between these coats in average dry temperatures, however this can be up to 7 days in cold, wet, and wintery conditions, and is obviously weather and render thickness dependant. Render will obviously take longer to dry the thicker it is applied, and the cooler the conditions. Unitex recommends a substrate must be dried to a minimum WME 12% (Wood Moisture Equivalent – moisture meter) prior to applying the Unitex texture coats. 

How long after I apply texture should I start to float it?

Drying times of texture varies enormously depending on weather, wind and the substrate being applied over. There is no simple answer to this question, except to say in most instances of broad wall application the ‘Finisher Applicator’ (2nd or 3rd Applicator) is following closely behind the ‘Texture Applicator’. Customers require a consistent uniform finish and it is advisable that the experienced applicator time his/her trowelling to deliver a consistent tear free surface.

When applying texture there should always be a minimum of two people, one person applying and another floating. Texture can dry quickly and care must be taken to avoid having to re-coat.

What are Unitex Uni-Shape Profiles & Columns made out of?

Lightweight GRC.

What are the accoustic ratings on Base Board?

Unitex Base Board 75mm has been tested with various plasterboard situations.  The results of these tests are downloadable below.

640-11311-op01-20160606

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How do I design the slab to suit Unitex Base Board systems?

Typically the slab can be installed with or without a rebate, as for other cladding options.

Layouts shown here:

Baseboard Slab Rebate Cavity

Baseboard Slab Cavity

 

What thicknesses of Base Board are accredited?

Only 50mm and thicker Base Board sheets comply with Unitex's Codemark accreditation.