Most homeowners in Ontario hear much about the HVAC system, room insulation, home surveillance system, and lighting and very little about building the structure. It is after you start pondering over the importance of the outer cover of a building to not only the systems inside but also the occupants, that you wonder why there is such little regard for this major component.
The Function of the Envelope
The primary function of the building envelope is to protect the occupants from all sorts of elements. It also keeps off intruders. Moisture control is perhaps its most important function, given that most buildings lose their integrity if moisture gets out of control. Moisture can attack the building from all sides –walls, floors, and roofs. It is a central part of the building’s HVAC system, allowing the passage of light and air when needed. Thermal control is about the comfort levels of a building because no one can stay in conditions that are either too hot or too cold. Add the aesthetic qualities, and the acoustic control features and many occupants can now appreciate the unmatched importance of the structure.
Damage to the Outer Layer
Proper design and construction of the building envelope will rarely disappoint later, so no one notices or gives credit to the contractor. On the contrary, everyone will note when the layer fails. Failure comes in many forms, including structural failure, poor energy efficiency, corrosion, and bad indoor air quality (IAQ). For your building envelope to retain its quality for long, consider the following causes of failure:
The fact that everyone is saying they have quality windows and doors in Sudbury, Ontario does not mean that untrained and inexperienced workers cannot handle your project. If there were no such cases, we would not find many cases of poorly installed components. Choose your contractor carefully by insisting on evidence of past projects and doing due diligence.
Sometimes, materials fail to meet the performance levels indicated by the manufacturer to the detriment of the building envelope. Many errors could occur in the course of the production process, including improper handling, poor storage, and general substandard manufacture. Many will argue that the expected performance is not based on real-life tests, but it is true that some brands are better than others.
Regarding material failure, the cause could be the design itself. For instance, if the architect specifies the wrong material for the job, then the structure is bound to fail. In pursuit of higher profits, some subcontractors have decided to be minimizing the quality and quantity of materials used in a project. A building envelope is also likely to fail if its materials are incompatible.
Planning for natural causes is probably too much to ask, but routine inspection and repairs have been proven to be quite helpful. When that hurricane or massive temperature fluctuation strikes, neglected envelopes will be hit the hardest.
The heart of a building’s sustainability is the envelope. If you have any reservations about the envelope of your building, you can have it inspected and restored by experts. Then, you can be confident that you are safely covered and protected.