I’m a huge fan of masonry facades on buildings. But, from a Building Science perspective there are a few things we need to know before we slap some brick, stucco, or rock on the outside of a building. First, these claddings are all capable of soaking up tons of water. This ability to sponge up water isn’t a problem if it can properly dry. But, as you’ll see in this video problems can occur. For more in-depth Building Science on this topic this article by Building Science Corporation will give you some greater insight.
But, the main point is that a ventilation space behind the masonry will let the cladding dry to the front OR back and reduce the possibility of damage to the house. I didn’t say eliminate the possibility because we still need a high quality waterproofing membrane that’s also air tight! Check out Dorken’s Delta Dry Stucco and Stone which can be used behind stucco or masonry installs to ensure an air gap behind those claddings. This air gap will give a ventilated space behind to ensure it can dry without driving moisture into the building.
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