The building envelope separates and protects indoors from outdoors and usually includes exterior walls and siding, roofing, foundations, windows and doors. These elements are exposed to weather and need proper maintenance, materials, and construction to continue to function effectively. As these systems age it is normal to have problems such as roof leaks or cracked siding. However, if ignored, small problems can lead to very costly ones, and it is always in an owner’s best interest to find them and fix them as quickly as possible.
A building envelope investigation can be as simple as a visual inspection of the exterior of a building (or specific components such as the roof or siding). When visual inspections reveal symptoms of a bigger problem and/or a building owner has reason to believe one exists, a comprehensive building envelope inspection may involve one or more of the following steps:
- An infrared scan of the exteriors of the subject structure(s) to further identify potential problem areas.
- Targeted invasive investigation in areas of the building envelope based on our findings from the infrared scan and visual inspection. “Invasive” typically means the removal (and replacement) of portions of siding and/or roofing to identify the extent of the damage underneath.
- A detailed report explaining the current condition of the building envelope(s) and our recommendations for remediation, if applicable.
- A Client review meeting to further explain our findings and address any questions or concerns of the client.
Building envelope inspections identify areas of moisture intrusion, which can lead to larger problems such as rot or mold in the structure. These inspections often reveal structural problems that require immediate correction for the structural integrity of the building and the safety of its occupants. Other times, the building envelope inspections reveal smaller building envelope defects that can be corrected prior to larger problems developing. These reports include roof surfacing, siding, masonry, windows, doors, decks, sheathing, weather resistant barriers, and all visible flashing and seals.
Budgets for repairs are always a factor in determining the maintenance/repair schedules for a property. Therefore, we always try to put problems in proper perspective and prioritize corrections for our clients.