Moisture Control: 5 Keys to Success
Controlling moisture in any concrete structure requires thoughtful design, quality materials, and competent assembly. Fortunately, concrete masonry is a very mature building material and one that has benefited from a continuing level of improvement and innovation over the past many decades, and masonry technology today offers a very favorable building solution for controlling and minimizing the effects of moisture.
“Moisture”, in any form, includes anything higher than zero percent humidity. Rather than only thinking about “driving rain” conditions, it is important to understand that moisture is a constant element in the environment, and a complete or holistic strategy for moisture management will ensure a successful masonry project, long into the future.
Here are the 5 keys to a successful moisture control strategy:
1. Integral Water Repellant (IWR), and Post Applied Water Repellant. When it comes to moisture protection, you can specify an IWR block and a pre-blended IWR mortar. The IWR increases resistance to wind-driven rain and moisture penetration, and reduces efflorescence. In addition to IWR, you may wish to specify a Post-Applied Water Repellant, which is particularly effective at bringing out the best visual impact of ground face CMU, and allows facilities teams to more easily maintain the long-term performance of CMU under harsh weather conditions. Post-applied coatings are prevalent, but some perform better than others. Integral Graffiti Repellant is also commonly used. More information is available in the Specifications section of this website.
2. Properly Tooled Mortar Joints. ("thumb print hard" and "full face shell deep"). More information is available in the Specifications section of this website.
3. Properly Caulked Openings and Penetrations. (26' o.c. max. and 1/2 at corners). More information is available in the Specifications section of this website.
4. Adequate Use and Location of Control Joints. More information is available in the Specifications section of this website.
5. Proper Detailing and Cap Flashing at Top-of-Wall and Parapet Conditions. More information is available in the Specifications section of this website.
Several resources are available for properly understanding the essential components of a moisture control strategy.
You may also contact your Local Product Expert to review your Moisture Control Strategy at any time in the design of your project.
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New for REVIT® Users:
There is a fantastic new plug-in, called MasonryiQ™, which allows you to load color and texture options for concrete masonry into a design palette that is project-specific, unleashing you to create unique wall types and calculated blends, using ratios and parameters to better express your ideas. The plug-in also offers intelligent views of corner conditions, section cuts, window and door openings, as well as control joints and bond beams. You will be amazed at how easy it is to iterate your design ideas, inside of REVIT®, and with built-in BIM intelligence like never before.
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