28
Jan
2021

5 Tips to Evaluate Your Buildings Envelope’s Performance

by Cynthia White January 28th, 2021 | in Building Envelopes
Building Envelope’s Performance

Performing an annual check-up to ensure your deck safety - step-by-step.
Cleaning Stage

Procedure

Air Flow Tests
  • Check windows and doors
  • Check sealing around the building.
 
Flood/Water Leakage Tests.
  • Check for loose panels.
  • Test the water flow.
  • Check for water stains inside.
  • Check for gutter blockages.
  • Check for visible roof damage.
 
Inspect Mechanical Performance.
  • Heating.
  • Electricity.
  • Ventilation.
  • Plumbing.
Past Maintenance and Building History. Collect:
  • Building’s repair history
  • Construction documents.
  • Design specifications
  • Material reports

A building envelope must be able to withstand the forces of the outdoors from coming indoors. The building envelope is the basis of any building and includes the windows, foundation, doors, and roof. These components have to be properly set up to prevent wind, dirt, moisture, and cold out from seeping in.

As buildings age, the performance of their envelopes can decline. To make sure that your building envelope is still holding up, here are five tips to evaluate its performance.

Air Flow Tests

Air leakage can commonly occur throughout the house due to worn out sealing and spacing issues. Excess air intake can lead to a home feeling much colder than it should. Replacing old windows and doors is an effective way to fix this.

Also, check for sealing issues around the building. Air can also flow in through baseboards and other tiny cracks.

Flood Testing / Water Leakage Tests

Water penetration from roofs is another sign of a poor, building-envelope performance. Poor water flow or gutter blockages can also lead to serious roof damage. Basic ways to perform a water penetration test is to check for loose panels and to bring a hose to test the water flow.

Noticing water stains anywhere inside is a surefire sign of a problem.

Inspect Mechanical Performance

Heating, electricity, ventilation, and plumbing can all affect the building’s envelope. If changes have been made to them or they have been compromised, that could lead to a poor envelope performance.

However, mechanical performance can also help you discover a problem. If your electricity bill has been rising consistently to deal with the cold, it might be time to do a full envelope inspection.

Check for Past Maintenance and Building History

Understanding a building’s history can help isolate areas of poor performance. Collecting construction documents, design specifications, and material reports can help locate areas that need updating.

If you are unable to find anything, knowing when the house was built and what the building’s practices were like at the time can help you get a general idea.

Professional Inspection

At the end of the day, there are not many ways for people to test their building envelope without the right equipment. Air and water penetration tests both require precise mechanical instruments that can test specific variables related to a building’s foundation.

Field testing is another service provided by envelope inspectors. This in-depth test surveys an entire building, locating defects, both big and small. It takes a skilled and experienced team to conduct these tests. That is why the best tip we can offer is to contact a local professional. They quickly find the chinks in a building’s armor, so that it can be properly fixed.

Westerly Restoration of Alberta, provides building envelope integrity inspections and restoration in Calgary, High River, Okotoks, Airdrie, Canmore, Banff, and surrounding areas.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about building envelopes or restoration, please call us at (403) 818-6423 or use the convenient form on our Contact page.


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