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27 important questions about façade leakage

Cladding and Facade Systems

27 important questions about façade leakage

Walter P Moore’s Darek Brandt discusses the key questions building owners and property managers should be asking to determine the health of their building's façade.  

By Darek Brandt, PE, BECxP, CxA-BE, Principal, Senior Project Manager | Walter P Moore | June 5, 2023
27 important questions about facade leakage, Photo: © Bob Perzel
Photo: © Bob Perzel

Commercial building owners, how confident are you in the enclosure and structural systems of the buildings on your campuses and properties?

The list of questions below can be a helpful tool when preparing buildings for extreme weather events in order to keep building occupants comfortable and healthy. These questions also will help you keep the underlying and structural components of your building performing as intended.

When assessing your buildings, use the following questions as baseline. If risk triggers are discovered, or if answers are unknown, it may be time to reach out to an industry professional qualified to perform an assessment and prepare a summary of the condition of your enclosure or structure. 

This assessment and report can be a vital tool to help understand and improve the performance and durability of the building, the health and wellness of the occupants, and the viability and resilience of the asset during an extreme or routine weather event.

  1. What type of roof system is on your structure?
  2. How old is your roof?
  3. Is the roof under warranty?
  4. Have you followed the warranty requirements?
  5. Have repairs been made with approved materials?
  6. When was the last time the roof was inspected?
  7. When was the last time ancillary or repair work was performed?
  8. When was the last major weather event?
  9. What is the exposure and where are my critical use areas?
  10. How is the roof water drained?
  11. Do you know the type of wall system?
  12. How old are the wall sealants?
  13. Do these sealants form the air/water barrier of the building?
  14. Do you have one exterior sealant bead or two?
  15. Is the wall system a barrier system or a drained system?
  16. Are there cracks or spalls that can allow water into the wall system?
  17. Are repairs needed that have been deferred?
  18. Do you know the type of fenestration system?
  19. Are the curtainwalls water managed or barrier?
  20. Have the gaskets or sealants been replaced?
  21. Is there one seal or two?
  22. Has the system been wet sealed?
  23. Have the weeps been blocked?
  24. Are the doors seals maintained and closed tight?
  25. Are water diverters in place?
  26. Are there plazas over occupied spaces?
  27. How old is the waterproofing?

If you are uncomfortable with any of the answers to the questions in this assessment, you may want to consider speaking with a licensed professional engineer or architect that is qualified to assess and design repairs for your building.   

About the Author
Darek Brandt is a Principal and Senior Project Manager in Walter P Moore’s Diagnostics Group. He can be reached at dbrandt@walterpmoore or 407.418.2234.

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