Durability and waterproofing investigations of the building envelope

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Feero, Beth Anne

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Durability of the building envelope is an important characteristic to monitor and test on a structure to ensure it does not fail prematurely from water penetration. Due to the building envelop failures existing today, the described testing herein aims to evaluate different building components in an effort to express deficiencies in testing or products so as to better influence the building envelope product market and lessen the possibility of future failures. This thesis describes the background and protocol for testing water resistive barrier full-scale mockups for long-term durability. An auxiliary study of the product nail sealability testing was also conducted, providing supporting visibility into inconsistencies between manufacturer and test results. Elastomeric sealants were also tested according to a new standard, ASTM C1589, which evaluates products for the long term based on both movement and weathering--a much needed standardized testing scenario. Initial results show the need for primed, silicone, and SWR Institute validated products. The water penetration characteristics of concrete masonry units were also analyzed using both ASTM C90 and RILEM tube testing. The results emphasized the need for redundancy in water repellents for porous units and the significant leniency of ASTM C90. Lastly, masonry veneer anchor guidelines were discussed, and it was found that the prescriptive nature of the MSJC code does not provide adequate guidance on installation of anchors for unique architectural or structural details. Suggestions for placement in these instances are given. Much of the testing described in this thesis represents best practice suggestions and initial product evaluation. Since this testing has been developed as long-term experiments, the next few years will provide the needed information on failure mechanisms and methods to prevent these failures.



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