Backer rod rots windows !!

Stucco shower floor in Washington, DC

This backer rod is a sponge like foam, that absorbs and traps water against windows, or wherever else it is used. We find this against windows on EIFS and one-coat stucco tear-offs we do and find rot on wooden windows. Even on metal windows, there is a line of black mildew where water is trapped against the wall.

I find backer rod specified on plans for stucco, leaving a small gap and filling with backer rod and caulk. This practice should stop immediately.

Foam backer rod was made to fll gaps too wide for caulking and putty. In the old days, people used rolled up newspaper, steel wool, or what have you.

This house is an EIFS tearoff we are working on. The window jambs are rotted or distorted so bad the windows don't open and shut. The jambs have been all reworked and all the windows have been replaced. In between the foam EIFS and the wooden window is a foam (closed cell) backer rod. What rotted the windows was the foam EIFS, or the foam backer rod, or both. Believe it or not they still put EIFS on houses. Also, backer rod is used frequently on one coat stucco applications. One coat "stucco" generally has EIFS window surrounds put on tight to the windows and backer rod. This is the road to rot and failure. If you don't believe me, I can prove it. I hope to change the world by continue to publish these defects n construction with the hope maybe someone out there in cyber land will read what I have to say and change their evil ways.

There is a hard rubber backer rod I have seen out west made to seal around commercial type windows for stucco applications. This is OK and is an accepted building practice. Foam backer rod shouldn't be an accepted practice.

Stucco shower floor in Alexandria, Virginia

I got this from an advertisment for EZ-Bead, which backs up what I am saying about foam backer rod.

Here is more info about EZ Bead.

You may wonder why we don't use EZ Bead. It looks like a good product. I am reluctant to use plastic accessories and trims because I don't think they stand up well to cold weather. I did a consulting job years ago in New Jersey where plastic expansion joints were used on a huge house. All the joints had split and failed over the years. Likewise, I have seen plastic trim fail here in Virginia. Plastic trim and beads probably perform well in Florida. The main concern in a warm humid climate is metal trims rust.