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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mold spores are everywhere in the outdoor and indoor environment as a natural part of our world and they cannot be eliminated. Certain conditions are necessary for the growth and proliferation of molds into a problem area within a building. Controlling indoor moisture and humidity levels are key to controlling indoor mold growth. Air conditioning equipment and duct systems are very common locations for the development and amplification of mold in commercial properties. Property owners and managers need to be vigilant in inspecting and maintaining these systems, to minimize the frequency and magnitude of any exposures to occupants from hidden sources of mold.
Most roofs are not watertight all the time. Roofing systems, both low-sloped (flat) and pitched, will most likely eventually spring a leak, even with the proper recommended maintenance and inspections. But what about newly installed low-sloped roofs, can one expect those to be watertight? Typically, on a newly constructed building, any minor leaks that turn up during construction can be dealt with immediately by the installer. Also, newly installed roofs on new and old buildings will undergo inspections and sometimes specified testing of seams and components for issuance of the manufacturer’s and installer’s warranty of water tightness for a specified period of time. However, ensuring that your newly installed roof is absolutely watertight becomes more critical if it is being covered by rock ballast or a landscaped greenspace or if the roof protects valuable artwork or irreplaceable property. Determining the location, origin, and extent of wet substrates is also critical for existing buildings when trying to determine if repair or complete replacement is more appropriate.
Severe weather can cause extensive damage to a building’s roof, foundation, and interiors. If there is a breach in a structure's envelope, water is likely to find its way into the building. This is why it is critical to make a structure water resistant from top to bottom.
With the 2017 hurricane season coming to an end Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria affected large parts of the USA and Caribbean. Examples of roof uplift can be found in numerous structures. If a roof is not properly tied down the entire roof structure can be blown away as in this photograph from St. Thomas.
When hurricanes or high winds strike buildings the roofs can be sucked upward in the same manner as an airplane wing. In extreme cases the entire roof structure can get sucked off the building. Newer, hurricane-resistant structures incorporate hurricane ties - metal straps which attach the roof securely to the main part of the house below. Parts of the house are also tied together all of the way down to the foundation providing a path for the roof uplift forces all the way to the foundation. Without these ties, strong winds will make quick work of a roof.