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Proper sealing techniques are critical to the successful installation and long-term performance of a storefront system. There should always be a minimum 3/8-inch to ½-inch gap at the perimeter of the storefront frame to allow the sealant to contract and expand for different weather conditions. A backer rod should be applied around the perimeter of the frame that is topped off with a high grade sealant. Do not seal the joint between the sill and the sill flashing.
As always, consult the sealant manufacturer for recommendations regarding primers for the different substrates involved. Have the sealant supplier perform a field pull test to ensure strong adhesion to the storefront and adjacent substrates.
At this point, a significant portion of the storefront framing has been installed, glazed and sealed. It is recommended that an AAMA 501.2 Field Water Hose Test be conducted to ensure proper protection from water infiltration. For large-scale projects, this test should be repeated as deemed necessary by job and environment conditions, and acceptable quality control standards.
Paying close attention to installation instructions, contract and construction documents, and taking it step-by-step will result in a beautiful, long-lasting storefront system. However, failing to adhere to the critical instructions of the installation process can result in significant damage, costly repairs and a disappointed client.
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