Moisture Management of Masonry Walls
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Moisture Management of Masonry Walls

Sustainable masonry building is not possible without moisture management.  When uncontrolled, moisture can weaken the building structure, cause growth of mold and other biological contaminants, reduce the thermal resistance of insulation materials, and more.

While tighter building codes mandate the design and implementation of waterproofing methods, absolute protection from the elements is unrealistic.  Moisture can enter from the outside via wind driven rain or snow and through cracks in the veneer.  Moisture can also enter from the inside in the form of condensation.

Weep Holes and Airmoisture management Vents

One of the most important aspects of a properly constructed building wall is a well-designed drainage system.  A key component of the drainage system is the “rainscreen drainage plane”.  This is the space between the backside of the rainscreen and the front surface of a moisture resistant coating or material. Utilizing a series of weep holes, water is removed from the rainscreen drainage plane at transition details (e.g, brick to stucco), projection details (e.g., windows at top and bottom), and wall terminations (e.g., bottom and top of wall). To be effective, weep holes must be frequently placed at the lowest point in the masonry wall (the bed joint of mortar). Of course, as part of an effective rainscreen design, proper installation of flashings is critical.

A well designed drainage system also helps maintain air pressure equalization through a series of vents. This reduces the chances that high pressure air laden with moisture will move deeper into the building envelope.  With venting at both the top and bottom of the wall, the resulting air flow may also assist in drying out the building envelope.

To address your brick sealing in Massachusetts needs, send us an email at info@abbotbuilding.com or call us at 617-445-0274.

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