In the past 30 days, we have seen almost four inches of precipitation land in the tri-state area. If you are a building owner you may be dealing with problems associated with this heavy volume of rain. Some properties may experience water penetration issues, which may have you feeling like you are in the middle of a bad dream. Wet carpets and wall coverings, wet and/or damaged furnishings, nasty odors can wreak havoc on your holiday atmosphere. Not all buildings leak, but if they do, this is just a partial list of the calamities you’re exposed to. If you own a wet vacuum or have paid large sums of money to have a drain system installed in your basement or crawl space, you will most certainly know what I mean. Personally, I know what it’s like, been there, done that and have the t-shirt and aching back to prove it.
Other problems may be leaking windows or doors that you’re aware of or water penetrating into wall cavities from building defects your not even aware of, which may actually be worse. As I’ve discussed in the past, stucco homes built in the last thirty years are especially susceptible to moisture intrusion due to faulty construction, windows that leak and lack of quality control during the construction process.
As a property owner, did you know that the best time to check your structure is during a storm? So, the next time it rains, put on rain gear and go see how your building is performing.
Here are the top 10 things to check during or right after a storm:
1. Basements/Crawl Spaces
a. Standing or seeping water
b. Musty odor/s
2. Water pooling around or near your building
3. Gutters overflowing. Could be clogged, pitched improperly or undersized.
4. Downspouts discharging too close to the structure. Should have extensions to move/direct water away.
5. Grading (should have a positive pitch – away from the building)
6. Condensation on windows
7. Mulch built up too high preventing draining of cladding (stucco, brick, stone, etc.)
8. Plantings too close to the foundation
9. Stucco not terminated properly above ground
10. Holes, openings or penetrations through the foundation that are not sealed properly
As building scientists and environmental consultants, our job is to evaluate your buildings performance and identify areas that are failing. If you were fortunate enough not to get water in your home during the recent rains, then put your feet up and enjoy a hot cup of tea. If you did experience problems, you may want to schedule an exterior cladding assessment, an indoor air quality investigation or an energy audit.
Of course, if you did get water, keep us in mind for all your water removal and structural drying needs.
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