Unlike a number of other installation activities, fixing decorative profiles from EPS is considered a very easy and comfortable task, often proving to be possible even for non-professionals and amateurs. However, when it comes to work on the facade and at heights, the installation of profiles requires the intervention of a professional qualified in the installation of cladding and insulation systems. The installation of decorative profiles from EPS does not require work with expensive equipment or complex tasks.
In the following guide you will find detailed information on all the steps you need to follow to ensure that the architectural details of the EPS are securely fixed to the base.
Preparation of the base
As with all other construction and repair work, the installation of EPS profiles requires special attention to the preliminary preparation of the base. The requirements for the surface on which the architectural details will be fixed are that it be mineral-based, strong and with high load-bearing capacity. It must also be pre-dusted and not contain release substances such as bitumen, grease, layers, etc., which would adversely affect the adhesion.
If there are cracks or unstable areas, they must be removed. Before starting work, the substrate must be in a condition that is clean, stable and free of compromised areas. In the presence of dirt or remnants of old, vapor-tight paint, it is recommended to remove them with a high-pressure steam jet.
If salts are observed in the base, they must be thoroughly cleaned. All old coatings are dedusted with a brush and then washed with water and allowed to dry completely (it is essential that the base is dry before application).
Areas where mold and mildew are present are important to clean with a suitable detergent. After treatment, the residual mold must be scraped off mechanically. After its complete removal, the area must be re-treated with the product in order to disinfect the area and eliminate the risk of spreading its spores.
When working on crumbly and sandy surfaces, their preliminary (about 4 - 5 hours before the start of work) priming and hardening with NANOGRUND® - DEEP PENETRATING PRIMER WITH NANO PARTICLES. Substrates such as aerated concrete or gypsum walls and blocks, which are typically highly absorbent, need to be primed with POROGRUND® - PRIMER FOR POROUS BASIS.
It is especially important that the foundations are well aligned before starting work. Deviations are allowed within no more than 1 cm per linear meter. All irregularities above this limit are recommended to be corrected in advance (at least 3 days in advance) with the help of lining lime-cement plaster TERAFLEX® MASTER FIX.
It is recommended to install the profiles in dry weather at a substrate and ambient temperature between + 5 ° C and + 30 ° C. The recommended humidity is below 65%.
The process of installing the profiles must be carried out after applying the finish. If the facade needs to be painted, it must be done after the installation of the profiles. If the finish is a decorative plaster, before its application, on the facade should be outlined and glued guide strip with a size - 1 cm narrower in width compared to the width of the fixing profile. The installation of the profiles is done after removing the gluing, on the uncovered strip of plaster, overlapping the plaster about 1 cm from the top and bottom.
In order to ensure a perfectly straight line of arrangement of architectural details, it is recommended that their positioning be done with the help of a spirit level or a dusting line with string. In this way you can conveniently mark the position of each profile on the facade of the building. Then, along the bottom line, concrete nails are driven in at a distance of 1 m (they are designed to act as a bed for the profiles during installation and to stabilize them relative to the exact position). The nails in question are removed after the mounting adhesive has dried (usually within 24 hours).
If you need to shorten or trim at a certain angle (usually when installing around the outer and inner edges of facades), the use of a saw is recommended.
For the purposes of mounting the profiles on mineral bases, the product is recommended TEHNOCLAY® ADHESIVE FOR DECORATIVE ELEMENTS FROM EPS / XPS / PUR. In case the installation is done on mineral or organic bases, polyurethane glue is recommended THERMOFLEX® PU CONTACT (in this case, it is recommended to pre-test the strength of adhesion to the substrate).
TEHNOCLAY® ADHESIVE FOR DECORATIVE ELEMENTS EPS / XPS / PUR is first applied to the substrate in the marked areas using a notched trowel (4x4 mm). Subsequently, the adhesive must also be applied to the back of the profile (over its entire surface). After the adhesive is applied to the profile and the base, the part is fixed to the wall by lateral movements in order to optimize the adhesion. The average consumption of glue is about 8 kg / m2.
In case you notice an unevenness or incorrect placement of a profile, you can correct its position within 5 to 10 minutes. After fixing the profile, the residual glue can be removed with a spatula. It is especially important that no glue gets into the joints, between the profiles and on their front sides. If there is one, it should be removed while it is still fresh and has not started to tighten.
When working with the product THERMOFLEX® PU CONTACT, it is recommended that the adhesive be applied as a line measuring 2 x 2 cm on the periphery, about 2 cm from the edges of the part, and in their environment, in the form of the letter W. After applying the adhesive layer, wait 1 minute before the profile is fixed to the wall. After adhering to the base, the part must be well pressed in order to establish complete contact with the surface and not to move again.
The wedge-shaped area that remains in the joint should be filled after 5-6 hours TEHNOCOAT®, protective polymer coating for facade profiles. After drying, if necessary, the contact areas can be treated and smoothed with coarse sandpaper.
It is recommended to leave a deformation joint (width about 1 cm) between the profiles every 6 m. The joint in question aims to absorb linear extensions and minimize the risk of cracking of the connection between the individual parts. After mounting the profiles, the joint can be filled with a permanently elastic, polyurethane sealant TERAFLEX® PU 50 FC.
In order to prevent the penetration of water between the facade and the individual details, it is recommended to grout them (along the entire length) with TERAFLEX® PU 50 FC. The adhesive-sealant must be smoothed and should not break the layer in any area.
Although in most cases the fixing of the profiles is done only with the help of a suitable adhesive, there are situations in which their additional mechanical fastening is recommended. The situations in which additional mechanical fixing is required are as follows:
- When the profiles protrude from the plane of the facade by more than 7 cm (regardless of the base)
- When the parts are mounted on lime, lime-cement and gypsum plasters (regardless of the size of the profiles)
- When profiles act as a window sill (regardless of the base and size of the profile)
The process of mechanical fastening of the profiles starts only after the assembly glue has dried. For the purpose of additional fixing, dowels or studs with chemical dowels are required (in cases where the length of the dowels is not sufficient).
The profiles, which are about 1 m long, must be fixed with 1 dowel at a distance of 10 cm from their edges. For details with a length of 2 m, additional installation of a dowel in the middle is recommended. For profiles with longer lengths, the number of additional fasteners required is calculated proportionally.
The drilling of the holes for the dowels must be done directly through the profile and they must enter at least 40 mm in the base for solid surfaces and 55 mm for foundations with cavities. The hole that remains in the profile after its mechanical fixing must be filled with a durable elastic polyurethane adhesive sealant TERAFLEX® PU 50 FC or with the polymer coating with which the profiles have been treated.
Architectural details can also be fixed with studs made of galvanized (stainless) steel with a diameter of 12 mm. To do this, a hole with a diameter of 12 mm must be drilled along the entire length of the part to enter the base at a depth of 100 mm. The hole in the profile must be further widened. This is done by means of additional drilling with a drill, which is 8 mm larger than the first (20 mm in the specific situation). The opening in question must be made only in the profile, but not in the base! The beginning of the hole is widened once more by the size (at least 25 mm) of the washer and nut, which must be hidden in the profile.
The residual hole must be thoroughly cleaned and all residues and drilling dust must be removed. The (chemical) dowel is placed in the hole of the base. The stud is shortened to the required length (so that the end remains inside the profile without protruding from it) and hammered firmly into the base. The remaining space in the area around the stud is filled with THERMOFLEX® PU CONTACT. Carefully wind the washer and nut by hand. Their final tightening should be done only after 24 hours to avoid compromising the profile.
The hole that remains after the stud is installed is filled with TEHNOCOAT®, protective polymer coating for facade profiles, with which the profiles are treated.
The painting of the decorative details is done with each water-based facade paint. However, in order to ensure greater resistance to cracking of the joints between the profiles, it is recommended to paint (preferably in 3 coats) with plastic-elastic silicone paint THERMOFLEX® SUPER ELASTIC. The paint has extremely high elasticity and extensibility of up to 160% and withstands large linear extensions and movements of the base without cracking. It does not crack even when new cracks form in the base below it.
It is important to note that the paint should be applied only after the adhesive and the joints between the profiles are completely dry. The painting is done at least on 2 hands.
In case the project involves lining the profiles with stone or sheet metal visors, it should be borne in mind that the fastening of metal sheets and stones should be done directly to the base and not to the profile.
What to watch out for?
- Keep in mind that the decorative architectural details are designed and made for optical decoration. They are not load-bearing and cannot perform any constructive functions!
- The gluing of the details must be done only in dry weather at the temperature of the base and the environment between + 8ºC and + 30ºC, as well as at air humidity below 65%!
- The requirement when applying the adhesive layer is to be done along the entire length of the contact area - both on the back of the profile and on the base. When applying the adhesive, care must be taken not to dry it and not to form skin on its surface due to excessive delay.
- The time for complete hardening of the adhesive depends on the weather conditions (temperature and humidity), but not less than 72 hours, and can last up to 14 days!
- Only the materials described in the following instructions may be used. Deviations from these recommendations cannot be guaranteed for the entire system!
- The possible appearance of cracks in the contact areas of the individual parts does not affect the functionality and security of the profiles. No warranty claims can arise from this!
- When working with individual products, it is recommended to observe the technical information described in their technical data sheets!
- It must be borne in mind that architectural details that are exposed to running water or salt (lye) for thawing require additional special measures!
- It is very important that the profiles do not come into contact with the ground and are installed at least 1 cm above ground level. The lower side of the profile and at least 5 cm from the visible surface of the profiles must be waterproofed over the entire area before installation!