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Work on Standards Continues

Here we are with a new year staring us in the face, so I thought I would bring you up-to-date on the ongoing efforts of AWCI’s Technical Services department and the plans for 2011.

C1063 IECC Task Group Chairman Mike Boyd and task group participant Michael Logue are deep into the revision of ASTM C1063 to bring the standard into compliance with the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code. This is a monumental undertaking. Mike and Michael are taking a performance specification approach to the development of the new standard. This approach will allow for the implementation of requirements that can address the regional differences found in the application of stucco. It also will encourage the development of new products and methods for the application of three-coat stucco. We will be establishing a collaboration area hosted by ASTM to help speed the approval process. The collaboration site will allow all interested parties to contribute to the development process and hopefully save time in the balloting. Mike Boyd plans on having a draft of the standard ready for the next meeting of the AWCI Stucco Energy Code Task Group in Las Vegas, which will be held in April.

Another area that is sparking interest especially on the West Coast is the development of an industry standard to further define the finishing of drywall and the application and definition of drywall primer. Currently ASTM C840, Standard Specification for Application and Finishing of Gypsum Board states as follows:

“23. Decoration

“23.1 Surfaces finished to Levels 3, 4, or 5 shall be covered with a drywall primer compatible with the final decoration prior to the application of the final decoration.

“NOTE 16—It is not the intent of this specification to assign responsibility for performance to specific trades.

“X3.3 Because the porosity and texture of the gypsum board differs from that of the joint treatment, the surface shall be primed and sealed as may be required for the subsequent finish coats.

“X3.4 In rooms where high humidity may be encountered, such as the kitchen, bath, or utility room, a flat or semigloss enamel finish is recommended.

“X3.5 Care should be exercised in the selection of primer and sealer paints to make sure they will perform satisfactorily, and fulfill the following functions:

“X3.5.1 Equalize variations of suction over the entire surface.

“X3.5.2 Provide a bonding surface or “tooth” for the paint to be applied.

“X3.5.3 Avoid nap raising.”

Note the items with an “X” are from the Appendix and are for information only.

The big problem with paint, and in particular drywall primers, comes from the elimination VOCs or solvents. Solvents are one of the four basic components of paint. The other three are pigments (color), binder (holds the paint together and carries the pigment) and additives (provides mildew resistance, defoaming and good flow and leveling). To our industry, solvents are the most important component of paint. The main purpose of the solvent or carrier is to provide the desired consistency and make it possible to apply pigment and binder to the surface. The solvent also allows the adjustment of the viscosity of the paint—very crucial to equalizing the drywall surface as required by C840. A high quality emulsion/latex paint will have 31 to 46 percent solids (binder and pigment) with the balance being carrier and additives.

Recent regulations from the EPA have restricted the types of solvents used in paint. Most paints used for interior decoration use what are known as aqueous solvents aka water. This requirement has resulted in the demise of what we used to know as oil-based paints. It has also resulted in primers that do not provide the equalization of the suction on a drywall surface. While high solids primers are available they are not clearly defined as such. Another problem that paint presents is that a standard for the manufacture of paint do not exist. The net result our industry is callbacks because the owner and architect do not like the resulting finish decoration on the drywall.

Darin Coats of Technical Services Information Bureau, which is the technical arm of the Western Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association, and Ben Duterte of the Drywall Information Trust Fund are undertaking the task of establishing an industry standard covering the application and inspection of the decoration of drywall. Included in this effort are members of the paint industry, the Painting and Decorating Contracting of America and the Master Painters Institute. The buy-in from these two organizations will be extremely important to the acceptance of an industry standard dealing with important issue. Once this industry standard takes hold, it will be put before ASTM to turn it into a standard. This will hopefully help us produce a higher quality product and eliminate callbacks on future jobs. The process is an open one, and if you have any desire to participate, please let me know.

Here’s hoping you and yours have a great 2011.

Donald E. Smith, CCS, is AWCI’s director of technical services. Send your questions to [email protected], or call him directly at (703) 538.1611.

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