Archive for April, 2012

Growing up, I spent many a summer here and south of here at Sandbridge. Mayflower Seaside Apartments, which recently had several hundred windows retrofitted with FastFlash products is just a short walk from these beautiful beaches. photo by Ben Schumin, courtesy Wikipedia.org.

As beautiful and fun as Virginia Beach, Va., is, it’s still a tough environment for a building — especially one that’s 60 years old, like 16-story Mayflower Seaside Apartments, within easy walking distance of water, sand and boardwalk.

Storms, up to hurricane force blow in from the Atlantic, humidity gets high, and the salt air can be quite corrosive. But wind-driven rain — and Virginia Beach gets more than its share — poses a particular problem as it hammers the building envelope.

Over the years, the venerable building developed major water infiltration problems. The problems grew bad enough that the owners hired Water Management Consultants & Testing, Destin, Fla., for remediation.

Mayflower Seaside Apartments, West elevation, July 2011, just before getting all its windows replaced, and rough openings waterproofed with FastFlash products.

Investigaton revealed, no surprise, that the building’s aging windows were major points for water ingress.

That meant taking out the old windows, and waterproofing — permanently, this time — the rough openings, before putting new windows back in. Product of choice — fluid-applied PROSOCO R-GUARD FastFlash, I’m proud to say. Certainly an appropriate choice, since it easily guns and spreads over the most irregular surfaces, whether they are wet or dry. Also, instantly waterproof, vapor-permeable, and tested to stop water getting into structural walls despite leaky windows, in conditions from a mild Spring shower to Category 5 hurricane wind-driven rain.

Shawn Derosier, BEI (Building Envelope Innovations), Clackamas, Ore., perhaps the leading the authority on FastFlash window retrofits came in to teach the retrofit procedure to the construction crew, and managed to take some great pics during the five-hour session. The windows in a vacant apartment served for the workshop.

This rough opening corner detail shows several interfaces where water gets into the walls. The surfaces are in pretty good shape here, Shawn said.

This photo shows where gaps that have permitted water ingress have begun to be filled with Joint & Seam Filler. Once all gaps, seams and holes are filled, it will all be covered by waterproof FastFlash.

Here's an upper corner of the rough opening. Everywhere you see pink Joint & Seam Filler, water was getting into the walls -- plus a lot of other places not yet (but soon to be) filled with Joint & Seam Filler.

The top of the rough opening gets its gaps and seams filled with pink Joint & Seam Filler. It's not Shawn's usual tightly edged job, because it's being done from inside the apartment, instead of from outside on scaffolding or a lift.

This lower corner is fully prepped for flashing. The Joint & Seam Filler is neater here than up top because it was easeir for Shawn to reach. Note the application tools on the sill.

Lower part of the rough opening is completely covered with red FastFlash - vapor permeable so water already in can evaporate out, but waterproof, so no more water can get in. Unlike peel and sticks, FastFlash will not delaminate - ever.

Here's the upper part of the rough opening, waterproofed with FastFlash. That's Shawn's hand holding on for balance, while the rest of him leans out the window to get the photo. That's kind of how he had to apply the products.

Here's a shot of the guys from the window retrofit crew putting into practice what Shawn showed them. Sealing these rough openigs will also help stop air leaks in and out of the building envelope, increasing Mayflower's energy efficiency. Photo by Guy Long, PROSOCO

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Demo Day

Matt Travis, our Design Verification Testing Specialist spreads R-GUARD Joint & Seam Filler on a mocked-up rough opening of DensGlass during an in-house demo he put on Friday. Amy Fick, sales strategy team leader, watches.

No, not “Demolition Day.” “Demo” as in “Demonstration” Day.

Matt Travis, our design verification testing specialist, gave us an in-house demonstration Friday, and again today, of the remarkable properties of our relatively new FastFlash products for waterproofing rough openings prior to window installation. He also demonstrated our absolutely new Design Verification Test Chamber that he and Ron Tatley, BEI, built specifically for trade shows.

As part of his demo, Matt switches on the new Design Verification Test Chamber he helped build.

The traditional way of detailing rough openings is to wrap them in peel and stick membranes. But their adhesive backing eventually fails, and lets water get into the walls through the seams of the rough openings. The wrapping itself can be difficult and time consuming, as most who have done it can attest.

Matt’s demo showed just how simple and effective waterproofing a rough opening can be.

Matt "guns" Joint & Seam Filler on to the mock-up everywhere water might be able to get in, including the seams between the wood and the Densglass, and even the nail penetrations. That's Melissa Hopkins, our trade show & event co-ordinator looking on.

This is one of the things that gets specifiers and contractors excited about FastFlash. After spreading the Joint & Seam Filler, Matt simulates an unexpected rain shower with a pump-up sprayer. Water does not harm or delay the installation.

Even though the Densglass and Joint & Seam Filler are still wet, Matt guns on R-GUARD FastFlash liquid flashing, which is also instantly waterproof. You'd have to wait for everything to dry out first, if you were applying peel and stick membranes. That's our Network Administrator Parker Byron (L) and Lab Manager Tom Stalnaker in the background.

Matt details the rough opening by spreading the FastFlash. It's a lot simpler than trying to wrap the opening in a peel and stick, which you couldn't do anyway, because everything is still wet from Matt's simulated rain shower.

After Matt has detailed a sample section of the rough opening, company President David W. Boyer talks to the group, and sprays more water on the mockup -- to show FastFlash's instant-waterproofing capability -- what David calls the "Wow Factor." FastFlash is also vapor-permeable, so wet wood and Densglass beneath it can still dry out.

In the next part of the demo, we go inside, where Matt shows us the brand new test chamber he built with Ron Tatley, of BEI. The chamber has rough-opening mock-up displays on each side, showing how the FastFlash system works, and video displays up top for application footage and presentations.

The real star of the show is the chamber itself, within which Matt can create weather conditions ranging from a mild Spring day to a Category 5 hurricane. Looking through the glass, you can see a mocked-up window getting the brunt of the chamber's water and air pressure.

The chamber's air speed indicator shows that the window is being bombarded with air pressure and water-column equivalent to 160 mph wind-driven rain.

At the back of the chamber, we see the window as it would appear on the inside of a house. Note that despite 160 mph wind-driven rain conditions on the other side, no water comes through. This mock-up was done with FastFlash products, but the chamber can accept mock-ups for testing made with any products. It's a good way to test your design before it has to face real-world conditions. That's why it's called a Design Verification Test Chamber.

Here's a peek into the "innards" of the test chamber.

Matt enjoys showing off the new test chamber he helped design and build.

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