Thursday, August 18, 2011

Understanding maintenance of monolithic type cladding

Traditionally cladding maintenance was a typical DIY job, consisting surface cleaning, minor repair and recoating, which builders and some traditional families can easily handle.  

Things come to monolithic cladding systems (including EIFS, texture coated fibre cement sheeting, stucco and the like), maintenance of them become very complicated due to the following factors:

  1. Cladding repair of this type of cladding is no longer the Builder’s job. In fact very hard to find out who is the right professional for its maintenance, could be either the carpenter, painter, exterior plasterer, waterproofer or combination of them. Depends on the condition of a particular cladding, it is not easy to work out who is the right person to refer. When you use a wrong person to do this type of cladding maintenance, the job can turn to be a disaster: The photo shows a subcontractor applied interior stopping compound onto the texture coated EIFS surface when trying to do repair for some surface scratches and minor damages.
  2. Once applied, coating and cladding material become one integrated system, therefore common re-coating process such as stripping-off the old paints for timber weatherboard becomes impossible. So the solution could be expensive if the application of the re-coating is wrong. Very common that a new coating system is not compatible with the old coating system, even though the new coating system itself is a very good product. But find out what is the original coating system sometimes can be a mission.
  3. Maintenance can be significant or minor depending on the condition of the cladding system. When the cladding system is systemically defective the maintenance can mean a total re-cladding. In other cases, when not much wrong with a cladding system, maintenance can be a simple washing-off. 
  4. There is no clear line when the re-coating is due. Due to the high possibility of defective recoating job, we do not recommend carry out any total re-coating work to any monolithic cladding without expert’s opinion. We have seen too much recoating disasters. Again who is the recoating expert? 
  5. How can you tell if your cladding is due for maintenance? No clear answer. But very common when somebody has realised that the cladding is due for maintenance, it is too late to realise that. So having your cladding checked every couple of years by an Expert is a wise way rather than decide yourself unless you is the Expert. 
Some clarifications useful when thinking about maintenance of monolithic type cladding:

  • Most of monolithic cladding coating systems are not “paints” normally applied on timber weatherboard, fence palings, garage doors and the like. 
  • Normally carpenters are not specialised on fixing a minor damage on monolithic cladding, nor painters. 
  • Interior plastering and exterior plastering are totally different trades. In fact from March 2012 exterior plasterer will need to be licensed. 
  • Based on the fact that most monolithically clad houses were built 10 years ago, today most of those houses’ wall claddings are due for total maintenance. There are very limited amount of companies are competent in doing that.
  • Significant amount of monolithic houses have wall cladding somehow integrated with roof parapet or even roof cladding and deck balustrade, which make maintenance more challenging. 
  • When there is no clear line between a leaky house and a non-leaker, further more the exterior wall cladding coating is regarded as a part of the whole weathertight system for this type of cladding, it will be hard to find any company specialised in maintenance of plaster system which can issue workmanship warranties.
  • When you see cracks on the monolithic cladding surface, simply squeeze a tube of silicon is not the solution and often can cause disaster. 

The following links may be useful for your further study regarding maintenance to monolithic cladding system. You may find some companies via those links which are experts in this type of cladding maintenance, but currently we do not have any particular name to recommend. We would like to hear from you, if you are competent in doing so and have some references to show.

http://www.duluxacratex.co.nz/assets/pdf/BRANZ/EIFS-BRANZ-approval.pdf

http://www.dryvit.com/fileshare/doc/us/description/ds498.pdf

http://www.resene.co.nz/homeown/h2pyhome/Painting_Concrete_&_Plaster.pdf

http://www.alliedexteriors.co.nz/
--------------specialised in monolithic cladding maintenance. 批灰外墙面维护公司

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like a worthwhile endeavor! Houselogic also offers a great site with lots of guides on DIY home improvement.

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  2. I really appreciate your work especially the research part of it which made the whole point very easy to understand. The issue that you have raised through this blog "Leaky homes in Auckland" is actually the one to think on.
    Leaky homes Auckland

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  3. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. The article is nice and it’s pleasant to read. I have known very important things related to the maintenance of them become very complicated due to the following factors.
    Building reports Auckland

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  4. Hey there, first of all thank you so much for this post and honestly I was searching for the same information from last few days. Keep posting and keep sharing. 

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