How Do I Go About Inspecting a Building for Envelope Integrity
The first thing to know about inspecting a building for envelope integrity is that it’s not a job for amateurs. Doing a good job inspecting a building for envelope integrity requires training and experience.
In broad strokes, the inspection requires checking the whole building exterior inside and out to check for water coming in (where it shouldn’t), damage to the exterior (which means the envelope is compromised), and may also involve checking the airtightness of a building if that is needed.
Some inspectors will walk the whole roof—something that is not recommended for homeowners. Others will at least get up on a ladder to see some of it.
Every vent, and everything that links the inside to the outside will be looked at. The attic and the lowest floor also need to be checked. All windows need to be inspected inside and out.
Some inspectors will use infrared light or infrared cameras to look at heat patterns. Is there heat where it doesn’t belong? Is there heat where it does belong? Is water damage old or new? Sometimes infrared light is used for electrical inspections, too.
The advantage of infrared is that it is a hands-off method, and it’s possible to detect things that are several feet away.
Building owners or managers sometimes request a test for airtightness which requires closing all windows and doors and using a heavy-duty fan to depressurize the building. Then you can see where air is coming in with the help of smoke equipment.
Building envelope integrity is our business. So, if you need this kind of inspection done in the Lower Mainland, contact us.
Westerly Restoration provides building envelope integrity inspections and restoration in Surrey, BC and the entire Greater Vancouver area. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about building envelopes or restoration, please call us at (778) 881-2877 or use the convenient form on our Contact page.