Architectural Precast Concrete
and Steel Stud Building Panels

Caulk leak detection

Architectural Concrete Panels Moisture ProtectionArchitectural Concrete Panels Moisture Protection

SlenderWall uses a face-seal double-caulking method and offers an optional proprietary sealant joint rainscreen and leak detection system, H2Out.

Water Penetration: There are four forces that move water through walls—gravity, capillary action, kinetic energy and air pressure differences. Gravity will move water through an opening that slopes downward; capillary action draws water into small cracks or pores in building materials; kinetic energy refers to water leakage through walls due to the force of wind-driven droplets impinging on openings in the wall; and differences in air pressure will move water from a high pressure area to a low pressure area in search of equilibrium.

SlenderWall resists water penetration by use of the face-seal method. This is accomplished by completely sealing the exposed face. The concrete mix is designed to a higher density (minimum 5,000 psi) and incorporates an integral concrete admixture, which has proven to significantly reduce water penetration. Additionally, all joints may use a single layer or double layer—of sealant applied from the exterior. A secondary sealant joint rainscreen and leak detection system exclusive to SlenderWall is H2Out, which also can be utilized if so designed. Dow Corning and other major manufacturers have warrantied the use of their sealants in H2Out applications. (Copies of approval letters are available upon request.)

Water Vapor Penetration: Water in its gaseous state (vapor) exists in practically all air. It is expressed as the percent of humidity. The higher the air temperature and percent humidity are, the higher its density and, thus, the higher its pressure. For instance, if the outside air is 90° Fahrenheit and 75% humidity and the inside air is 75° Fahrenheit and 20% humidity, then the outside air is higher pressure than the inside air and it flows toward the lower pressure area. Designing a true pressure-equalized wall system is cumbersome and expensive. The alternative is to recognize pressure differences and construct a vapor barrier in the wall system.

In hot, humid seasons, the vapor tends to migrate from the exterior to the interior. If the climatic conditions exist where this is a concern, then a closed-cell polyurethane insulation is put on the interior side of the 2-inch concrete skin of SlenderWall. (See Material and Component Section for Dow Corning).
In cold seasons, vapor tends to migrate from the interior to the exterior. In conditions where this is a concern, a layer of plastic is field-installed by others over the light-gauge steel studs on the interior before the drywall is attached.

Dew Point: A common concern when discussing vapor transmission is the dew point— that point in a wall assembly where a temperature change through the wall causes the vapor to condense. Since a vapor barrier for vapor moving in either direction can be applied with SlenderWall, the dew point is not a concern.

Thermal transferGreen buildings