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October 22 - October 28, 2012

When is it necessary to install sealant between the base of building walls and concrete sidewalks or pavement to prevent moisture from wicking up the wall? How does the climate affect this decision?

Selected Answers

From Philip Kabza of SpecGuy Specifications Consultants on October 22, 2012:
     Never, because it won't. Moisture wicking from subsoils will occur whether or not the joint between pavements and walls is sealed . The subsurface wall may benefit from moisture-resistant protection as well as flashing and cavity venting in order to reduce this path of moisture movement. The pavement to wall joint is typically a high movement location due to thermal changes and soil settlement; few joint sealants in that location last more than a few years. Proper slope of pavements is vital to direct surface water, as is proper soil compaction to reduce pavement settlement. But the "when in doubt, caulk" approach will do little to help here, and will result in an unsightly joint requiring ongoing maintenance.

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Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Moisture management; Sealers

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