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RE: CMU sealing- architectural question

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"Typical" is in the eye of the beholder.  If it is a good idea and works, it is typcial.  If the result is bad and you are in court, it is not typical. 
I would refer you to the following NCMA TEK Notes:
TEK 6-17A, TEK 19-01, and TEK 19-2A
Those TEK notes will give you good guidance on the vapor barriers and the sealants. 
TEK notes are available at the NCMA web site.  It is a bit difficult to navigate, but you can get there quicker by putting the following in your address bar.
Click on the link to "TEK Technical Information" on the left and let them run you through the hoops to get to the on-line TEK notes.  While you are in, download all of the TEK Notes. 
Back on the topic,  I would advise against the silicones.  In freeze-thaw land, they can buy you a lot of problems and cause spalling of the surface.  It is ugly.  I like the silanes or siloxanes which allow the water vapor to leave, but keep the liquid water from penetrating. 

Harold Sprague

From: akester(--nospam--at)
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: CMU sealing- architectural question
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2008 16:52:19 -0400

Is it typical to chemically seal the face of split face block (obviously exposed) in the Midwestern USA (Iowa to be exact)?


Is this wall section typical for masonry:

Split face CMU

2-1/2” mtl stud with fiberglass insulation in between, paper side towards interior

Layer of plastic moisture barrier over top of that, followed by gyp board



Andrew Kester, PE

Orlando, FL





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