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Avoiding Winter Catastrophe - Reducing the Risks of Frozen Pipes

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 29, 2018 11:00:00 AM / by Dudley Smith, PE, CEM

 

Property managers and owners should be ever mindful of and take steps to manage the risks of damage due to a water pipe which has burst due to freezing.  More than 20 years ago, The Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction (IIPLR) estimated the cost of insured residential construction freeze-related losses exceeded $4 billion over the previous decade.  A study conducted in the mid 1990’s (Gordon) noted that the risk of freeze damage was particularly high in the southern states where more mild winter temperatures prompt builders to employ building practices that are insufficient to protect water pipes from exposure to occasional sub-freezing temperatures.  Furthermore, unsuspecting property owners may tend to pay less attention to potential damages that can result from water pipes that are only occasionally exposed to freezing temperatures. The IIPLR research work recommended establishing an outdoor temperature alert threshold of 20° F for the southern states.  While property owners should be on high alert when outdoor temperatures drop into the low 20’s, the risk of freeze related pipe bursting still exists whenever outdoor temperatures remain significantly below freezing for extended time periods. This is especially true where there are uninsulated pipes directly exposed to outdoor temperatures or there are holes in the exterior shell of a building that allow the outdoor air to impinge directly upon a pipe within or near an exterior wall. 

What can be done to reduce the risk of pipe freezing?

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Put penetrations to the test: The effect of cladding attachments on air and water barriers

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 29, 2018 7:30:00 AM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

Different materials are used in the construction process to ensure the building envelope is air tight and water resistant. Components include water barriers, air barriers, and thermal control layers. While technologies for testing air and water barriers, along with thermal control have evolved over the years, there are still inconsistencies among the different practices used for testing.

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Add decades to your commercial roof life

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

Commercial roofs are often subject to high levels of wear and tear due to sun exposure (UV rays), frigid winter temperatures, and unpredictable weather patterns. This wear and tear, many times, leads to roof damage and issues such as leaks. Unfortunately roofs usually do not receive attention until an issue like a leak occurs. As Doug Kramer, author of the article Add decades to your commercial roof life states, “Roofs are the black sheep when it comes to commercial building maintenance.”

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Tackling flood damage to dwellings

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 23, 2018 7:45:00 AM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

Dealing with flood damage inside of your home or business can be a nightmare. With water soaking your valuables and all of your belongings, it’s often difficult to know or even process where to begin. Quite likely many questions are running through your head pertaining to whether or not your insurance will cover the damage.

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Hurricane Damage Claims - A Primer

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 16, 2018 7:40:00 AM / by Robert Pfeifer, AIA

Your insurance policy may or may not cover all your damages from recent hurricanes. In general, most policies will cover damages caused by high winds, such as damaged roofing shingles, broken windows, or damage from toppled trees. The tricky part comes when your home or business is damaged by water intrusion.

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A look into CCA’s Catastrophe Response Expertise

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 4, 2018 11:30:00 AM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

Every year, hurricanes, severe storms, and natural disasters strike parts of the United States, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.  Recently, the severity of storms and natural disasters have been increasing.

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Hurricane resistant homes: why they aren't being constructed more frequently.

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 16, 2018 11:00:00 AM / by Mark McGivern, CSI, Aff. M. ASCE

Last year was the United States’ most costly on record for weather-related disasters. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather-related damages in 2017 totaled a staggering $306 billion.

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Treating reinforcement corrosion in parking structures

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 2, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

 

Owners and managers of facilities with parking garages often do not give the garages their fair share of attention.  Managing the value-added parts of the facilities such as hospital rooms, apartments, condominium units, etcetera, is much more important.  When it comes to maintaining parking garages and treating deterioration, they are often placed on the back burner by building management companies and owners. Owners and managers naturally tend to place their focus, energy, and budget into maintaining more high-profile façade issues, roof leaks, or patching concrete as it relates to the occupied buildings themselves.

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Moisture Damage to Electronics

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 24, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Philip B. Terry, Sr. Vice President

 

Moisture gets into electronics even in the best of systems – it is inevitable.  To name a few, electronic equipment whether personal electronic equipment, or specialized equipment isolated in server rooms, in moisture resistant enclosures, in aircraft avionics bays, and even in sophisticated autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).  Such AUVs meticulously designed to stay dry a thousand feet underwater are susceptible to moisture related damage.   Moisture finds a way into your electronics and can wreak nuisance or havoc – sometimes intermittent, sometimes catastrophic.

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Changes to Concrete Standards: How they clarify your choice of test methods

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 14, 2018 10:00:00 AM / by Kenneth R Quigley, PE

General Contractors and the entire construction team including project managers and owners used to have to wait at least 72 hours when conducting the Relative Humidity test to take a reading which would detect excess moisture in a concrete foundation. Today, based on updated standards the Relative Humidity test only requires a 24 hour wait, which can greatly improve project timelines.

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