external filler or caulk? advice please

10 Jul 2010
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United Kingdom
Hello. I am seeking some advice please.
I have an oldish house 1900's. It does not have the regular 'foundations' as was the way in those days. It is a brick built house but with a cement rendered exterior. Due to seasonal movement, and heat from a real fire/ chimney, there are several narrow but long cracks in various places. Having done a bit of research I am torn between using external polyfilla filler (powder), and a flexible paintable caulk. I have done some trials on a few cracks and angle grinding them a bit wider- the polyfilla fills ok and was easy to sand and paint over with sandtex. I feel though that a caulk may be better as I feel it may offer more 'flex', before recracking in the seasonal movement. The few test patches I did with acrylic caulk though shrunk very badly and left a noticeable depression where the crack was, even after painting. My question I suppose is filler or caulk? would polyurethane be the best for not shrinking if I go the caulk route? Any advice on best way and best products, gratefully received. Lastly with regards to quickest/safest way, is there a paint fed extending roller that works with masonry paint, or is scaffold, cherry picker only way? thanks a lot in advance
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