Strong exterior walls in commercial building are important to the long-term stability of the structure, and expanded metal lath plays a major role in this stability. As many construction specialists will tell you, improperly selecting and installing expanded metal lath before applying stucco can shorten the life of any structure. This is why following the codes that govern construction as they relate to expanded metal lath is so important.
The Building Codes
For any project, the respected authorities for materials and installation specification are the International Building Code (IBC), along with the International Residential Code (IRC). The standards used by these bodies for code compliance start with ASTM C847, Standard Specification for Metal Lath; and ASTM C1063, Standard Specification for Installation of Lathing and Furring to Receive Interior and Exterior Portland Cement-Based Plaster.
Expanded Metal Producers Must Follow Strict Manufacturing Guidelines
These codes require that expanded metal producers ensure that:
- The cutters they use to slit the metal must be sharp enough to guarantee clean cuts, so that the diamonds will property expand when the material is rolled.
- Lath strips that are self-furring and require no plywood strips underneath them must have a dimple or V-curve of 1/4″ (6.4 mm) to meet ASTM C1063.
- Alternatively, the base can be welded wire that may also be self-furred or woven wire like chicken wire, but this method is most often used for single story mass produced home.
- The expanded metal lath must be of the proper length, width, thickness, and weight to meet the code requirements after being manufactured under strictly controlled conditions and galvanized to meet additional codes.
Expanded Metal Lath Installers Must Install It Properly
Those who install the expanded metal lath must do it right, too:
- Installers must select corner pieces and other accessories that will withstand climatic conditions where installed.
- When furring is used, the installer must install water-resistant barriers to prevent the furring strips from delaminating or swelling to the detriment of the stucco.
- In fastening the lath to the building structure, the installer must follow code ASTM C1063 regarding the proper ways to safely attach paper-backed or metal lath to the building structure.
- The installer must also properly install expansion and control joints to allow for stucco, shrinking, drying, and thermal expansion as well as flashing or sealants to prevent leaks.
Adame Expanded Metal Solutions For Construction
To obtain machinery that will produce expanded metal lath that meets building codes, looked to Adame EM Solutions. We are happy to consult with you about the specifications you need in the building industry. Contact us today for turnkey solutions, equipment, and design service.
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