External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS) have entered the Turkish market in late 1990s. However, there is no information regarding their durability. This study presents the field inspection results conducted to assess the durability of extruded polystyrene (XPS) based ETICS, when exposed to degradation agents originating from atmosphere, occupancy, design, and construction in Istanbul, Turkey. Initially, the exposure environment of Istanbul was determined. Subsequently, a survey form was prepared to be filled out by ETICS suppliers and contractors to determine the location of buildings with ETICS in Istanbul and to obtain data regarding ETICS installation. Data describing the state of the building facades with ETICS was gathered through field inspection. Observed defects were classified according to the origin of the degradation agents, i.e. external and internal degradation agents and the presence, type and intensity of the defects. Results of field inspection of the 44 buildings with XPS based ETICS indicated that when exposed to external degradation agents of Istanbul, the state of the facades having an exposure life of 1 to 7 years proved to be virtually without defects. However, when the effects of internal degradation agents, i.e. improper use of occupants, improper design and defective construction are considered, a quite number of defects such as delamination, drill holes were observed at the facades.
Keywords: Durability, degradation, defect, external thermal insulation composite systems, field inspection.
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