Identifying Water Intrusion Sources in Existing Buildings
It has been said that 90 percent of all water intrusion occurs within 1 percent of the total building exterior. Water damage and the associated problems are extremely costly and cause significant interruptions to your facilities. Quickly identifying the water intrusions source(s) in existing buildings can be challenging and requires a knowledge of the in-situ building envelope construction. Our goal is to educate facility managers on methods to identify, mitigate and repair water intrusion into existing buildings. We also aim to educate managers on some of the common design and construction façade waterproofing pitfalls and relatively inexpensive ways to prevent them.
It is important to understand the basic behavior of the two main façade construction types, 1) barrier wall and 2) cavity wall. Common construction includes brick masonry, Exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), precast, curtainwalls and concrete. Proper waterproofing at the interface between the building envelope elements include roof, façade, windows, foundations and plazas.
Understanding of how each building envelope component interacts with one another is key to identifying how water can travel within a wall. Then we can better identify the source of the leaks and effective corrective actions. Without this knowledge, there is a high probability that money will be wasted on improperly designed and constructed repair measures, and the water intrusion and interior damage will continue.