Water Penetration of Debris-Impacted Residential Wall Cladding Systems


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by Warren Rohloff, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, rohlofw@clemson.edu,
Scott Schiff, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, scott.schiff@ces.clemson.edu,
Denis Brosnan, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, bdenis@clemson.edu,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structures Congress 2008: Crossing Borders

Abstract: This study focused on the impact damage causing or exacerbating water penetration through the exterior cladding material and through additional elements in typical light frame wall systems. The exterior cladding materials tested were brick veneer, vinyl siding, fiber-cement siding, concrete stucco and synthetic stucco. All wall segments were built according to the industry standards or the materials supplier's recommendations. Wall segments were eight feet in height by four feet in width. After any standard dwell period (as for curing of masonry), they were tested according to guidelines developed from the E 514 method of water penetration using driving pressures of two, six, and ten pounds per square foot. After the initial series of E 514 tests of the as-constructed wall, the wall was subjected to a missile impact, followed by another series of E 514 tests. Both four and nine pound missiles were used in the testing program. The missile impact velocity was 15.2 m/s (50 ft/s). The results of this study show the relative performance of wall systems in geographic areas where wind-borne objects may be expected. In particular, this simulated storm damage shows that water penetration can be appreciable, even in the absence of visible damage, suggesting damage to framing and accumulation of water within wall elements.

Subject Headings: Walls | Cladding | Damage (structural) | Impact tests | Light (artificial) | Frames | Damage (material) |

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