Split faced block must be sealed. ALL masonry wall systems allow for some water penetration. Flashing is very important. Also, many walls are porrly detailed and do not allow for a gap between the masonry and the framing insulation and drywall assembly. Providing a gap and including a vapor barrier will help keep moisture from transferring directly thru the wall. If you have any further questions feel free to contact me. As an architect, I can help you put together a set of details that will help to solve these kinds of issues. Good luck.
I wouldn't lump an all brick building into the "premium price" category as many are having just as many issues as split face block is, sometimes even worse. We've spent the past few years working with owners, associations, architects, the lot....to get a better handle on how to stop water penetration. Even in well designed walls and materials we are seeing massive intrusion due to brick selection and failed drainage planes or air gaps. Before my fingers get sore, I'll shut up. I'd like to go to sleep without visions of plastic vapor barriers and mold stained sheathing.
Another thing to take into consideration is all of the negative experiences people have had, plus the large expenses they have incurred shortly after buying an 'all-new' condo only to be hit with a special assessment to seal the block. Many buyers are not seeking 'not split faced block' in favor of all brick construction and definitive price premiums are arising in a number of markets for the superior construction of all brick developments.
No matter what you may elect to use on your next project, hopefully, are you or will be soon electing to construct again (or at least re-develop existing real estate)....as this market needs some jolts of positive energy on the way to a sustainable rebound!
PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy
I mean, drip wicks? Really? Have you ever seen an original vintage structure in Chicago with drip wicks?
The mere presence of drip wicks (and scaffolding within three years of new construction) is the prima facia evidence that this material is inferior and problem-laden.
No one really brings up the fact that most of the wall profiles and insulation choices for these buildings are wrong. It mostly starts with the architect designing an improper plan, the City stamps and says 'Thanks for the fees!', the builder poorly executes said plan and gets Cert of Occupancy and vanishes, untrained inspectors give thumbs up (for most part), consumer gets screwed.
Barb Van Stensel
Keller Williams Lincoln Square
2156 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618