Specifier's Library - Thermal & Moisture Protection

Exterior Walls and NFPA 285
What is driving all the discussion about NFPA 285 and exterior walls? Energy and safety! So what is making this such a complicated issue? Think complete wall assembly and all the materials and configurations possible. The entire assembly must pass the test. Here is the background and some current options to consider.

Exterior Sealant Joints
Designing, installing, and maintaining sealant joints correctly will prolong the life of any building. When joint sealants fail, the integrity of the entire building is in jeopardy.

Water Vapor Transmission
Water vapor transmission is confusing - three different properties, each with their own units of measure. Can you rely on manufacturer's data reporting product performance? Be careful. Check the values and the units of measure. Be sure the units are correct and the value consistent with what should be expected. Incorrect units make the reported data useless.

Air Barriers
Air barriers must be carefully selected to provide the expected performance. Carefully crafted details and specifications are required to ensure expectations are met by the installed assembly.

Fireblocking and Draftstopping
Combustible construction can provide perfect paths through concealed spaces to allow fires to spread quickly and undetected. Fireblocking and draftstopping combine to minimize these perfect paths to help protect the property and the occupants.

SFRM Types and Applications
What binder, density, and bond strength are required for sprayed fire-resistive materials? New building code requirements include additional considerations for bond strength in buildings greater than 75 feet high. Careful choices must be made when specifying SFRM to ensure comparable products and fair competitive bidding.

Single-Ply Roofing Membranes
What are the common single-ply roofing membranes? What are the major differences between them? Selecting roofing membranes is a complex decision based on may project conditions. Understanding the available choices may help the decision process.

Waterproofing Flashing
The project is a renovation of an existing office building originally constructed in the 1950s or 1960s. A new storefront framing and entrance system was installed on a new concrete curb. In addition new pavers were installed over an existing waterproofed plaza adjacent to the storefront system. The cold joint between the existing floor slab and the new concrete curb was reported to be leaking.

Wind Uplift Ratings
What does an FM 1-90 roof rating really mean? If you think it means the roof can resist a 90 mph wind speed or 90 psf uplift pressure, then read this month's Conspectus Tech Tips article that helps explain the mystery of those FM ratings.

Exterior Deck Coatings
Exterior deck coatings in residential construction are expected to perform as a waterproofing and traffic surface. The coating must prevent water intrusion to the occupied space below, and must withstand foot traffic and furniture used to enjoy the outdoors and the view. The dual purpose combined with wood framed construction is a tall order. What material choices exist?