View All Blog Postings
More and more synthetic materials are being used in the building trades. Vinyl siding, PVC pipes and their like have been around long enough that we know how they behave, but there are things about other products (cellular PVC trim boards, composite deck planks, etc.) that are not as widely known.
* Synthetic trim is not a direct replacement for wood. PVC (even cellular PVC) experiences far more thermal movement than wood and attachment provisions could differ from wood, depending upon a number of factors. Manufacturers could require extra fasteners and adhesives for certain configurations.
* Synthetic trim won’t rot, but it can degrade when exposed to the elements. Painting is recommended for some and required for others and there are considerations apart from adhesion and compatibility issues. Because of the elevated thermal expansion of plastics, certain colors are not recommended for exterior applications. Dark colors absorb more thermal energy from sunlight and the resulting rise in temperature will exacerbate movement problems. White is generally the best choice.
*Synthetic (composite) decking will not usually have the same strength as wood and its span rating is usually reduced. If you replace wood with composite, it may be necessary to add floor joists or other support.
These are just a few things to consider when dealing with synthetics. You should always consult with the material manufacturer before using, modifying or treating these products.
Well, as clients go…this one is particularly nosy (Pun Intended)! Daisy, of Court Yards at Green Tree, Baltimore, MD helps keep a close watchful eye on Kirk as he does a pre-design inspection for a common paver area. Unfortunately due to the heavy snow fall last year, this property experienced many displaced/heaved pavers caused by the plows and snow equipment. You may want to require your snow removel contacter to use rubber shoes on all equipment. This will help keep the blades/metal edges from dragging along and damaging the surface. Please see the previous posting for more information on this topic or call us and we’ll be happy to advise.
As for Daisy, I think Kirk impressed her with all his knowledge (or maybe it’s all the petting?). After 2 licks and countless tail wags, I’m confident we have her stamp of approval! We look forward to MORE visits from Daisy and her person, Amy Gur (Board Member). Stop by and check out the progress anytime!!
Before we know it the winter will be here and so will the snow. As you are negotiating your snow removal contracts for this season you should keep in mind the following guidelines compiled from leading deck coating manufacturers to protect your coating systems and avoid non-warrantable damage to coated parking decks:
1. Excessively piled snow can significantly load the deck surface beyond its design load capacity resulting in structural cracks and/or more serious structural damage. Therefore avoid piling snow on elevated parking decks.
2. The use of metal blades (on plows and shovels) should be avoided at all times to prevent physical damage to the coating system. Snow plow equipment blades must have shoes, rubber tips, or small skis to prevent tears in the deck coating system. The use of metal blades without protection is not recommended. Most snow plow manufacturers offer rubber tipped blades and skis to prevent damage to deck coatings.
3. Snow blowers (with rubber blades) and snow brooms are recommended, as opposed to heavy snow removal equipment.
4. Snow removal equipment must have rubber tires.
5. Ice buildup should be controlled and/or removed with deicing materials.
There is currently a significant controversy in the roofing industry regarding the proper design methods for resisting wind uplift for vegetative roof systems. It seems that the various organizations looking at this matter cannot come up with a standard that everyone can agree is technically correct and sound. Hopefully, continued discussions will end with an agreement but right now there is a wide difference of opinion regarding the approach and even the appropriate conclusions that can be made from various testing programs and data related to this issue.
If you have or are considering the installation of a vegetative roof, get good technical guidance and advise!
How fitting that I find the president/owner of ETC on the cover of TIME magazine, since today he celebrates a milestone birthday. Hard to believe Joe Shuffleton turns the big ?0 (I want to keep my job, so I think it’s best to leave you guessing). Besides, the number doesn’t really matter since none of us can keep up with this guy anyway.. He is STILL our number #1 biller and beats everyone into the office each morning. Don’t ya hate overachievers?
Joe, it’s your birthday…why don’t you take the day off? Go play golf?! Just give the rest of us a chance to catch up with you!
There is a potential issue with the nails commonly used to install roof shingles. The coil roofing nails currently being used by nearly all roofing contractors are Electro-Galvanized (EG). ETC specifies Hot Dipped Galvanized (HDG) or stainless nails. The manufacturers state that EG nails should not be used on treated lumber and Fire Retardant Treated (FRT) is one type of treated lumber. Multiple suppliers have stated that HDG coil nails are not a stock item and are not readily available for purchase. We are awaiting further information which we will post on our blog. This could be a significant problem, so please check your projects to see if the specified nails are being used, particularly if you have FRT. Please let us know if we can help!
Sending out a big “thank you”to Steve Wolf from WP&M Real Estate Group and Allan McLeod / Sid Katz from Village of Mill Run for supporting your local business partners at the Chesapeake Chapter CAI Expo. It was nice getting a chance to connect with several of our clients and also meet many new professionals. We always look forward to answering questions and offering some guidance to those having building concerns. Let’s talk again soon!
We have recently found a few buildings with EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems) intended to be a moisture drainage design, which were missing weeps. The manufacturers of these systems require weep elements (drainage tracks, holes, slots, etc.) along the base of the walls and at transitions to allow water that infiltrates behind the EIFS to discharge. Without weeps the water remains trapped in the wall and can lead to leaks inside the building, mold, damage to structural elements, and even falling pieces of EIFS cladding.
ETC will be exhibiting in the Chesapeake Chapter CAI Symposium/Expo on September 23rd. This event will be held at Martin’s West in Baltimore, MD from 8:00am – 2:00pm. Please come out and say hello. For more information on this event, visit www.caimdches.org
ETC will be at the University of Maryland – College Park Civil Engineering Career Fair sponsored by Chi Epsilon (Civil Engineering Honor Society) on November 4, 2010 to recruit new interns and full time staff for our structures department.
All 8 of the structural staff from ETC will be at the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute) dinner meeting on Thursday, September 16, 2010 . The topic of the presentation will be fire proofing requirements for carbon fiber. ETC is one of the few consultants in the area that design their own carbon fiber solutions for strengthening of existing structures.
It’s no secret that Buck Mann and Igor Conev(www.ocmannproperties.com ) are big supporters of Ocean City, Maryland and through their encouragement, we too have found a love for this community.
At the end of each beach season, DCMA (Delmarva Condominium Management Association) has a celebration to unite its owners, managers and business partners for the upcoming year. Whether it’s discussing local issues, planning for community projects or networking with fellow colleagues, this group provides its members with the latest information.
I encourage you (as Buck Mann did for me so many years ago) to get involved! This community is growing every year… don’t miss out on being a part of it. For more information visit www.dcmaoc.org . PS. How lucky am I to hang with such fine gentleman!
We have retrofitted the upper level of a concrete parking garage with post tension cable rails in lieu of masonry flower block walls. You can see that the parking level looks more clean and neat with the new rails. Also rain water drains off the parking deck much faster with the open cable design. The new rails are more safe as they are designed to resist vehicle impact per the Building Code, which was important to the Owner because on two separate occasions cars have crashed through the old block walls (when the gas was pressed and not the brake) and fell two stories to the ground below.
During these challenging economic times, we understand how fortunate we are to say “our company is growing!” Thanks to the hard work of our employees and the unfailing support of our clients, we have added to our remarkable team.
Ryan Lauenroth is our very first intern to become a permanent part of ETC. He graduated from University of Maryland in civil engineering and will sit for his EIT exam next month . We are so glad Ryan enjoyed his internship and has decided to become part of the team. We just couldn’t let this one go!
There’s no stopping this lady! Alicia Walker recently graduated from University of Maryland, accepted a position with ETC, passed the EIT exam and is planning a wedding for next month. She is definitely proving herself as a multi-tasker and we’re glad to have her as part of our group!
What a find in Alex Goldberg! With over 10 year of construction experience, he has become a valuable part of our team…so much, that both offices are trying to keep him! If we could just find a way to have him in two places at one time! I have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot of Alex!
The energizer bunny’s got nothin’ on this guy! Lukas Salo graduated from Portland State University, got married, took a job with ETC, moved across country, bought a car, found a place to live and is relocating his wife (all within 3 months). I sure hope he negotiated some vacation time! He’s an engineer that just keeps going..and going…