July 2010: For The Record


For The Record

Well, folks, we made it half-way through 2010 and, for many of you, it hasn’t been easy. Remember 2009, when we were all trying to predict what the next year would bring? How accurate was your assessment? Good or bad, the next six months begin now.

To address survival during difficult times, we talked to three industry leaders to learn how they are operating their businesses successfully. From technologies used, to products created, different businesses will address vastly different needs, depending on their sizes, their customers, and their product offerings. Check out “Doing What it Takes” on p. 24, where we asked straightforward questions to get valuable information you can apply directly to your business model.

Also in this issue, we take a look at several seemingly simple tools that can actually deliver an abundance of value (see “Tools of the Trade” on p. 14). And, we learn a wealth of information regarding masonry cleaning. It may not seem so complicated, but Dan Leiss with Steam Jenny reminds us of the many intricacies that can make enormous differences in masonry cleaning. Get the full skinny in “Cleaning Power,” p. 20.

As Masonry prepares to attend the MCAA’s Mid-Year Meeting in late-July, we look forward to and remain positive about the second half of 2010. Let’s keep our chins up and continue to do what it takes.

Letter to the Editor

The following question was sent from a reader regarding the article, “Anchored Veneer: How Good is Your Fastener,” written by Stephen Getz in the May 2010 issue. Stephen Getz, BSCE, is president and owner of Construction Tie Products, a manufacturer and supplier of masonry ties, stone anchors, masonry restoration anchors and fasteners for the masonry industry.


“To what purpose does a sealant washer on a screw do to keep out air and water, when nothing is sealing around the anchor plate itself? It is the Air/Vapor Barrier that is certified to seal around penetrations. None of the ABAA certifications are tied into washers on the fasteners. They were designed to seal out water in applications such as metal siding or roofing. The only purpose they have in this application is the separation of dissimilar metals. Otherwise you are throwing good money away.”


Response from Stephen Getz:

“The use of the sealant washer on a self-drilling screw is not intended to be a substitute for, or an alternate means to, seal the base plate of the tie applied to an air/vapor barrier system. Current air and vapor barrier practices and products have been proven to be an excellent method to complement brick veneer tie applications. However, any breach in the air/vapor barrier system requires a repair that maintains the integrity of the air barrier system. Although sealant washers are not specifically mentioned in the ABAA, its exclusion should not imply that it is not needed. The standard does require all penetrations of the air barrier and paths of air infiltration/exfiltration shall be made air-tight. The sealant washer contributes to that effect.

The fastener becomes an integral part of the air barrier system, while maintaining its objective to secure a tie for the design life of the veneer. The sealant washer is assurance that the air and moisture migration at the connection interface does not compromise the air/vapor barrier intent, nor contribute to a corrosion event about the screw and the material around it. Without the sealant washer, asking the installers of self-drillers to be perfectly square to the face of a steel base plate is inefficient and impractical. The sealant washer is forgiving for those minor inaccuracies and provides the “added” security that air and moisture leakage through the connection point is not a concern regardless of the air/vapor barrier system utilized.”

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