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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Your Building Envelope: Keeping Your Building Dry

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Be it via flooding, snowfall or old-fashioned rain damage, moisture entering your building can have dire consequences. Just a limited amount of water exposure can lead to things like mildew, peeling paint and even the dreaded black mold - all hassles nobody wants to face. This can be especially menacing during storm season, but it doesn’t have to be. Your building has a remarkably effective water prevention tool via its natural building envelope, but only if that envelope is built properly. Learn how your envelope should work to keep your Webster Groves, MO, building dry in a storm.

What Is an Envelope

Your building envelope comprises the exterior of your building, capable of repelling the elements. By using elements like:

  • structural integrity
  • moisture/temperature control
  • air pressure boundaries

it repels the sources of unwanted moisture. When it’s built properly, your building’s envelope protects you and your belongings from rain, snowmelt, groundwater and all of their unpleasant side effects. When it fails, however, things can get ugly.

Why Envelopes Fail

There are several reasons why a structural envelope can be ineffective against rain damage, starting with design deficiencies. If builders use materials that don’t work well together or don’t meet performance criteria for a specific environment, your building may struggle to keep moisture out. This can also happen when materials fail, and is common among sealants, glasses and metals.

Another threat is simply poor workmanship. Inexperienced or time-strapped workers sometimes cut corners, resulting in an envelope not installed per the manufacturing specifications. Even with the best installations, however, extreme winds, driving rain or dramatic temperatures can overload a structure’s envelope, making it vulnerable.

When properly designed and maintained, a building envelope does an amazing job keeping your building airtight. Be sure to schedule regular inspections to make sure all elements of your envelope are intact and your risk for suffering rain damage is minimal.

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