Rain and moisture accumulation can create serious problems for any building cladding. With improperly applied stucco or EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems), water that finds its way under the exterior surfaces and remains can cause mold development, deterioration, or excessive cracking if the material remains damp for an extended period.
Some early EIFS applications suffered from moisture buildup beneath the surface in rainy or very humid climates and often began to show the symptoms over time. Stucco surfaces, while made from different material than EIFS, will also absorb moisture and certain measures must be adopted to prevent long-term damage.
Strategies to Mitigate Water Damage
In truth, all building claddings leak or absorb water. Builders and architects have adopted appropriate strategies to resist excessive water retention in all kinds of claddings including EIFS, stucco, stone, granite, wood, vinyl, brick, and precast concrete. Existing water management construction methods tend to fall into the certain categories or combinations that include creating perfect barriers with interior and exterior water-resistant materials, building internal reservoir systems, or devising drainage systems within the wall cavities.
EIFS Moisture Management
Once the moisture problem of early EIFS construction in high-humidity areas was identified, architects added additional protection from possible accumulated moisture. Inserted within the energy-saving insulating layers is an additional section with a drainage cavity bordered by a water-resistant material to prevent extended moisture retention. The cavity design allows the moisture to flow out at the bottom, keeping the rest of the system relatively dry.
Most importantly, edges, seams, and joints must be sealed as completely as possible to resist any further penetration from the rain.
Stucco Moisture Management
Properly applied stucco, a combination of Portland cement, sand, lime, and water also can have the water-resistant capability in a modified reservoir and drainage system The stucco is applied over two layers of building paper and metal lath that has been placed over a layer of water-resistant gypsum board. The paper creates a drainage plane by first absorbing moisture from the stucco, then drying and shrinking, thereby creating a cavity between the stucco and the gypsum board. The open space allows for evaporation and drainage of moisture that had penetrated the stucco.
Contact ProCoat Systems in Denver
For more information about cladding protection from rain or moisture problems, contact the experts at ProCoat Systems. Phone 303-322-9009.