Building owners choose to assess a building enclosure for a variety of reasons, whether it be the sale or purchase of a property, long-term planning related to maintenance, repairs, and renewals, to investigate a specific problem, or something else.
The assessment process generally starts with document review. This can include the original design documents, any previous reports or investigations, any past repair documentation, and any other relevant information. 4EA uses this information to guide our field work, which starts with a thorough visual review of the enclosure and is often followed by exploratory openings and moisture probing. While on site, we talk to the facility manager to ensure we understand their concerns and whether there are any specific issues we are not aware of.
Prior to writing our detailed reports, we discuss our findings internally and with our clients.
A building enclosure assessment generally includes all the main enclosure components, from below grade to the roof and all the components in between. It can be focused on one or more elements, such as waterproofing, windows or roofing. Our investigations and reports are thorough and provide owners and operators with valuable information. This empowers them to make the expensive decisions related to operation, repairs, and replacement of their building enclosure.
4EA regularly assists in the investigation of leaks. We step back to look at all the possible causes before coming to a conclusion. Our investigative methods include understanding the assembly and related details, observing when and how the leak occurs, visually reviewing both interior and exterior conditions, and performing exploratory openings. We regularly make use of moisture probes and electronic leak detection equipment. Our reports include recommendations for repairs.
We regularly participate as a team member in assessing the condition of the building enclosure prior to a transaction. We want our clients to clearly understand the condition and probable future cost of repairs and maintenance of their investment.
It is beneficial to perform a thorough visual review of a building enclosure a year or two after completion of a building project and before trade and manufacturer warranties expire. Once the building has been operating for a short time, conditions can be discovered that were not readily visible during construction. These conditions are typically warrantable if reported in a timely manner and often include sealant failures, paint issues, roof debris and degranulation, poorly operating windows and doors, etc. 4EA‘s reports identify the conditions with specific locations so the right information can be provided to the responsible contractors and the issue promptly and properly addressed.