I’m working on this great story about Xavier University’s new St. Katharine Drexel Chapel, designed by the imminent architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New Haven, conn.
The local architect overseeing construction, Waggoner-Ball Architects, New Orleans, specified our PROSOCO R-GUARD FastFlash air and waterproof barrier system to go over the chapel’s CMU back-up — after their original choice couldn’t stand up to real-world conditions.
I’ll start at the beginning, natch.
Architect Dave Coons, Pelli Clarke Pelli, asked our local rep Bob Holmes, R.K. Holmes Co., Maypearl, Texas, to consult on weatherproofing the chapel’s granite base.
Bob recommended Weather Seal Natural Stone Treatment to protect the stone against New Orleans’ rainy climate.
But rain was already inflicting headaches on the project in late summer/early fall 2011.
The CMU back-up needed its specified air and water-resistive barrier system installed before the beautiful cream-colored limestone cladding could go up. Unfortunately, almost daily rains kept the CMU back-up damp. Because the specified air and water-resistive barrier system — like nearly all of them — can only be applied to dry surfaces, the project incurred mounting costs as rain delays piled up.
“I normally don’t jump in this late in the project,” Bob said, “but I noticed a test-panel at the job site with a dry weather-only air barrier system. So I told Dave if he really gets behind, I’ve got a product that works in wet weather.
“About a month later, he called. The good news was that they didn’t have to remove any of the original air and water-resistive barrier system, since they never had a chance to apply any.”
Despite the damp CMU, waterproofing contractor APEX of Louisiana, Harahan, applied the FastFlash system. They filled the joints and seams in the CMU back-up with the appropriately named “Joint & Seam Filler,” and flashed the rough openings with FastFlash — both gun and spread applications.
Then they applied the primary air and waterproof barrier Cat 5 component of the FastFlash system over the whole thing. Cat 5 is so-named because it is tested to remain waterproof even in Category 5 hurricane conditions.
All three products are vapor-permeable, which is one reason they can go on damp surfaces. Even under the FastFlash air and waterproof barrier system, the damp CMU can dry out.
The continuing afternoon rain showers weren’t a problem either, since the FastFlash products are all instantly waterproof. In fact, the contact with moisture makes them cure even faster.
After all the rain delay, once the FastFlash system got the green light, it took two guys about two weeks to install the FastFlash products over the whole building — about 20,000 square feet, Bob said.
That’s one reason we call it FastFlash, he added.
And the metallic staining on the granite base? Bob recommended PROSOCO’s Enviro Klean Restoration Cleaner.
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