Moisture may be life-giving for plants, but it can cause serious damage to buildings as the owners of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens discovered. An exposed second-story walkway had allowed moisture to infiltrate behind the façade of the north and east wing of the Garden’s primary building for years, causing extensive damage to the stucco.
The architectural firm NHB Group was hired to address the moisture problems and quickly addressed the primary cause by redesigning the elevated walkways. However, areas of the stucco were badly damaged and required removal and replacement with fresh material. Architect and project manager Hugh Outzen needed to coat the stucco with a product that would both protect it from the wind-driven rains common to the region and also have good moisture vapor transmission (MVT) capabilities that would allow the substrate to “breathe.”
Mr. Outzen selected Tnemec’s Series 156 Enviro-Crete for its ability to protect the façade from water infiltration while allowing any trapped moisture to pass through the film. Series 156, a modified waterborne acrylate, is a high-performance exterior coating designed for masonry and concrete substrates. It is able to handle extreme thermal cycling, and has very good color and gloss retention, ensuring aesthetic appeal along with performance.
Howard Painting roller-applied two coats of Series 156 to new and existing stucco after it was prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP13. In all, over 100 gallons of Enviro-Crete were applied.
With the moisture problems addressed and the long-term protection afforded by Enviro-Crete, the Botanical Gardens can concentrate on keeping the water where it does the most good, on the plants.