Multiple Issues Made Restoration Problematic
Quast Consulting and Testing, Inc. (QCT), a firm specializing in the design and testing of exterior building components, evaluated the window perimeters and balcony interfaces at the Point of France 14-story condominium built in 1976. Isolated testing was done at the window perimeters and balconies to determine the root cause of the leaks. Localized repairs had ben made over the years, creating a somewhat messy appearance. Additional issues contributing to the problem were improper joint sizing and joint design.
“The head-of-window had three different joints running parallel which needed to be sealed to be watertight - the flashing to stucco, the aluminum to flashing and the aluminum to aluminum at the window,” noted Jon Denton of Quast. “The joint design was creating problems. The metal flashing was lapping over the face of the headstarter and did not have a backer rod or bond breaker tape. This in turn did not allow for thermal movements and caused sealant failures. At the corners where the window meets the vertical break metal, the flashing was most vulnerable.”
In order to get a repair that could last 30 years or so, the job originally called for removal and replacement of the sealant. When looking at the conditions, though, the on-site foreman suggested Spectrem Simple Seal as a cost-effective alternative that would enable the three sealant joints at the head of the window to be covered with one seal; it would be aesthetically pleasing and blend in with the stucco façade. Simple Seal accommodates metal-to-metal joints that aren’t flush, is highly flexible and allows movement behind it.
“To properly cut out the caulking where the stucco met the window to get a clean surface would have been a challenge,” noted Jeff Carlson, project manager at American Masonry Restoration. “Using the Simple Seal, only a small amount of removal was required to get ½-inch of bite on the substrate.”
A key factor in the selection of Simple Seal for this project was the technical support provided by Tremco including product selection, pull tests, and job-site assistance. “On-site support is very important,” noted Carlson. “Other similar products are available, but it is important to know that our Tremco technical sales representative is only a phone call away. He comes to the site, follows through and always responds if we need help.”