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Better Building Practices to Avoid Leaky Buildings

June 13, 2017 0 Comments

Are you familiar with better building practices to help you to avoid leaky buildings?

leaky buildingsOne of the biggest culprits of envelope failures in buildings is water infiltration. It’s often a result of a handful of factors piling up for years and the cumulative effect results in leaks. Once there is leakage in buildings, then it is most likely that the envelope is already damaged. 🙁

Before starting to build a structure, it is best to know the most common reasons why exteriors fail. Following good building practice and having this knowledge will help you to prevent future damages.

    1. Thermal Expansion Movement
      One of the most common problems in buildings is thermal expansion and contraction. It is prevalent in areas central to Australia where extreme temperature variations can damage improperly flashed buildings.
    2. Improper Specification
      Building docks need special attention as they have special needs. A wrong size dock can result contamination issues. Sometimes this happens when plans and checklists specify the wrong type of dock enclosures. Be sure to double check these specification before undertaking any building work.
    3. Drainage Areas
      Leaks can easily occur in water drains such as gutters and downspouts. Buildings with a collection-and-weep system require floor-to-floor flashings to collect and drain water.
    4. Construction Defects
      Seals and transitions are crucial parts of a building; however, they are often subjected to delayed maintenance and poor repair work. Once these are damaged, water can leak and flow in different directions.
    5. Incompatible Materials
      Incompatibility in materials can also cause issues. For instance, if you put galvanized steel across a copper roof to extend a downspout, the copper will just eat into the steel. Always use compatible materials when you’re involved with home improvements, renovations, or maintenance.

    Some additional pointers to consider to prevent leakage are:

    • Consult with a water damage expert prior to building, performing maintenance and working on a home renovation.
    • Ensure that has been an assessment of mould count to make sure that there is no leakage and the house is safe to live in. Remember, mould is highly toxic and of major health issue to your clients (or residents of the dwelling).
    • Never settle for a solution that does not fix the problem. ‘Bandaid’ approaches don’t address the cause of the challenge. There is no easy way to fix leaky buildings, but as a builder, it is your responsibility to maximise all your options to resolve the problem. Some research, testing, and following correct standards and procedures will go along way to achieving this.
Filed in: Trade Tips

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