There are dozens of stucco systems available in North America. While doing your research to see which system is best, you may have come across something called Dryvit. Siding like Dryvit has become a more popular option throughout the U.S., because it increases durability and has multiple ways to customize stucco systems to meet your needs. But what is Dryvit? What does it do?
To help answer those questions and more, here is some in-depth information about Dryvit. Let’s get started.
What is Dryvit?
The name Dryvit is the name of the manufacturer who produces different stucco systems. However, a lot of people have starting referring to the materials used by the manufacturer as Dryvit as well, which has caused some confusion. The product called Dryvit is a type of synthetic stucco that is applied as a final coat to another stucco system, such as EIFS, to keep water from penetrating the other layers of the wall. Hence the usage of “dry.”
How Is Dryvit Different From Stucco?
Stucco has been part of construction since 1824, while the newer Dryvit has been around since 1969. Therefore, stucco has a reputation, while Dryvit is just now starting to gain some momentum. Traditional stucco can be used by itself as a system; Dryvit can be added as “outsulation,” or external insulation to an existing stucco system.
Dryvit offers a range of textured finishes for various systems (seen below). Their trademarked Outsulation goes on the outside of these systems to add a lightweight yet highly weather-resistant coating to prevent damages to the stucco. The notable kinds are the acrylic-based mixes with high mildew resistance known as Sandpebble and Sandblast.
During installation, Dryvit is mixed into Portland cement that is then spread on with a trowel. Contractors apply the Dryvit in 18-inch long strips over plywood, existing siding, or OSB substrate. Houses with ICF exteriors often receive Dryvit since the two work well together. ICF blocks have a high vulnerability to damages and UV radiation, so Dryvit acts as a shield.
Furthermore, the extra insulation is either polyisocyanurate or polystyrene insulation board. The material has an excellent R-value and will help you cut utility costs. The weather barrier reduces moisture from entering the household. Similarly, the system adds breathability so that same moisture can drain from the walls effectively, without damaging the paint or other sections of the internal structure.
Once your home has been coated with Dryvit, you never have to worry about painting the exterior ever again—unless you want to.
Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of Dryvit and still have dozens of colors and colors to choose from that can be used with decorative doorways, columns, arches, windows, and siding.
Dryvit offers six systems, each serving a different purpose. Some are better suited for commercial applications, but all of them can be used for residential projects as well.
• Continuous Insulation System: The continuous insulation system is an EIFS stucco system that utilizes foam insulation on the outside of the building to create an airtight barrier that prevents temperature fluctuation inside your household.
• Direct Applied System: A simple system that is placed over wood, masonry, and ICF substrates. This does not include an insulating barrier.
• Stucco System: The Dryvit stucco system is much like a traditional 3-coat application. You can choose a variety of enhancements, but all stucco systems come with a scratch and brown layer. Additions include air and water barriers and metal lath. The stucco system can be applied to masonry and wooden substrates.
• Panelization System: Dryvit panels are premade with an insulating foam layer, mesh, a base coat, and a finishing layer. The panelization system is popular with commercial buildings.
• NewBrick System: Dryvit NewBrick is not stucco. Rather, it is a system that imitates the look of brick but minimizes the disadvantages of traditional brick, including having a lower cost, less intensive installation, and a lower weight. You also get the layers beneath the brick-like finishing layer for added insulation and water resistance.
• ReVyvit System: Need to revive an older building? Then you should check out the ReVyvit system. There are plenty of options available to cover any kind of building with worn down, cracked and faded stucco, regardless of its condition.
Dryvit Maintenance Tips
Did you know that 1 in 11 buildings in the United States has Dryvit? Since Dryvit needs only a little maintenance, it has become a popular option for both commercial and residential structures. However, that doesn’t mean you can ignore the upkeep. Dryvit does require some occasional cleaning.
Since Dryvit is an insulation, the external coat is susceptible to damage. Although the outsulation can resist dirt and moisture to an extent, the company suggests cleaning the walls and inspecting for cracks every five years or so. You will want to check the areas where panels meet windows and doors to ensure the sealant has not cracked or rotted. Any worn sections or cracks could be allowing moisture into the building, increasing the risk of mold and other problems.
Replace any worn sealant that you find. Next, you can use a soft-bristled scrubber and environmentally-friendly detergent to clean the exterior. Never use anything acidic on the walls or solvents, because that could mar the surface and void the Dryvit warranty.
So, what is Dryvit? Rather than being a product, it is the name of a company that creates various siding and other construction materials, including outsulation, an external type of insulation, to increase the durability of commercial and residential buildings. There are dozens of systems to choose from, so you should have no problem finding the right choice for any exterior.
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