Stop Ruining Your Aluminum Trim (Part 2)
Last week I began by discussing how expensive aluminum trims can be ruined in a stucco wall system when proper installation techniques are overlooked. While our website, www.flannerytrim.com, outlines proper installation of trims, it is important that certain design techniques are followed in order to ensure the most aesthetically pleasing effect of an aluminum reveal.
1. Have the right tools for working with aluminum extrusions. A carbide tip blade with a 100-120 teeth ratio is preferred for cutting aluminum extrusions. I would also recommend spraying a blade lubricant on the blade between each cut. This will reduce your blade ware and will prevent the blade from melting the aluminum instead of cutting through it.
2. Try not to jamb one reveal into another when creating a horizontal and vertical intersection. It is much more appealing for aluminum trims to be mitered and pieced together rather than jammed and overlapped. Aluminum trims cut cleanly and allow the installer to create crisp intersections and joints. Always make sure your outside and inside corner miters line up and are tight together. You may want to consider ordering factory fabricated intersections and corners. They are cut and welded in the factory, which reduces your “in the field” labor costs. A clear silicon or sealant is preferable when sealing all butt joints.
3. If you do need to overlap and jamb horizontal and vertical reveals together in order to create an intersection, make sure you are consistent with which line continues and which one is broken off. Typically, many trade books prefer the vertical reveals on a plaster wall to be continuous while the horizontal trims stop and start as they come across the vertical reveal plane. If the installer is not paying attention they will alternate between the two and this creates a sloppy look that even someone outside the trade will recognize as an inconsistency.
4. Make sure to mask and protect all aluminum reveals from the stucco cement application process. A vinyl tape is preferable since they typically leave the least amount of glue residue when removed. Also, determine where your trowel man is going to trowel the stucco to, in relation to the aluminum reveals on the wall. If the reveals have the typical 3/16” plaster keys, then you have to determine whether or not you want to protect that little flange or cover it with stucco. Too often, half of the reveals’ stucco keys are covered with stucco while the others are not. This is another inconsistency that will need to be avoided.
These four practices are minor ways that every contractor that works with aluminum trims will want to consider following. Everyone at Flannery knows how expensive aluminum trims can be as well as just how beautiful they can make a wall appear. With the right planning and effort, the expense of aluminum plaster trims will be well worth it for the building owner as well as the contractor’s reputation.
Written By: Gary W. Jayne II, Sales Manager for Flannery, Inc.