Most of my readers are already probably aware, but the greatest danger to earthbags and earthbag structures, is UV exposure. They can handle moisture, impacts, even friggin gunshots and explosions (hence their use in military fortifications) but too much sunlight is their kryptonite. Some folks cover their structures with tarps or plastic to protect them but I also came up with another easy, quick approach that really works.
During our October workshop, we built an earthbag tiny house/play house. During our next series of workshops, coming up next month, we will plaster the outside. Since the bags have been exposed to direct sunlight for around 6 months, I made some “sunscreen” for them.
The process is very simple. You mix one part cement with two parts clay heavy earth and add water until you have a thick paint consistency. The clay makes the mix stick to the polypropylene bags and the cement gives it some rain resistance.
I apply the mix with a 4″ chip brush.
All earthbags have some amount of UV resistance but better safe than sorry when it comes to protecting the integrity of your bags and wall!
I look forward to seeing some of y’all next month and we’re also working on planning a September earthbag workshop in Colorado.
Thanks for reading! Morgan.