Why Bother to Fix a Building Envelope?
As buildings age, they will inevitably suffer damages. Wear and tear takes its toll, and eventually noticeable issues develop. Temperatures might start to fluctuate, moisture may accumulate, and drafts might develop, but are any of these problems strictly necessary to fix?
The short answer is yes—but only if staying comfortable and saving money in the long run are important to you. Make sure that whoever is working on your building envelope is qualified to do so.
A compromised building envelope makes the interior susceptible to penetration by the elements. Despite all the amenities that make modern living comfortable, exposure to the elements can make an interior space downright disagreeable. A draft can make a room chilly in the winter or stifling in the summer. Leaks can cause mildew, mould, and unsightly water damage. Critters, bugs, and dust can all enter through a hole in the building envelope. For comfort alone, a compromised seal on the building will seem hard to tolerate.
It costs alot more to properly heat or cool a building that constantly loses conditioned air to the outside. Fixing the problem is both cheaper on bills and more energy efficient. Decisive repairs can also head off costlier repairs in the future. Problems tend to get worse and grow exponentially as time goes on, so the old adage holds true: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
Depending on where the building is, keeping a building in good repair including the envelope may be required, especially in older architecturally-important buildings. If you are going to own a historical building, you may be required to fix the envelope.
Preventative maintenance is the best practice to avoid costly problems and repairs. If not preemptively, issues should be dealt with promptly upon discovery to minimize damage. A building’s envelope is an important barrier between the elements and the interior; take good care of it, and it will take care of the building.
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.