Moisture brings durability and air quality problems with it, and myriad green products are designed to manage it and keep it out. Given the variety of products available, we look for those that meet key performance standards and that make sense in a whole building assembly—such as vapor-permeable weather-resistive barriers that not only prevent moisture from entering the building envelope but also allow drying when the envelope gets wet.
Sure Cavity uses a series of vertical channels formed into sheets of pre-consumer recycled high-impact polystyrene and spun-bonded polypropylene fabric to provide a rainscreen drainage plane for exterior cladding. Sure Cavity keeps mortar or stucco from blocking the drainage plane, and the channels help with drainage, cross ventilation, and pressure equalization. It can be used with stucco, brick, stone, and other cladding. Sure Cavity is faster to install than furring strips and backer board, according to the company, and is available with channel depths of 3/16 or 3/8 inch (5 or 10 mm). Sure Cavity comes in 25-foot rolls in either 15-3/4 or 31-1/2 inch widths.
Forces affecting the durability and performance of masonry wall systems include bulk water penetration, wicking of moisture, and solar-driven moisture movement. GreenSpec lists products designed to improve the durability and performance of masonry wall systems.
Masonry accessories that improve the durability and performance of masonry wall systems can include two-piece adjustable brick ties, brick veneer venting and clear cavity components. Note that clear cavity components represent a product solution that should be considered along with techniques for keeping the cavity space clear, such as loose sand and mortar cleanouts in the first course of the veneer.
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