The speed and ease of building highrises, both residential and commercial, has never been higher. The collective experience our construction companies has made it a routine thing to construct a 100 story building in the center of a city with minimal disruption of the normal functioning of the said city.
However, we must not let our experience and confidence interfere with the safety and usefulness of those buildings. Consulting companies such as Xpera Group warn that one of the most pressing issues with most residential buildings is improper waterproofing.
Even though it may not be noticeable at first, faulty building envelope can cause a lot of damage in the future, once they building is in use. Here’s how.
Many modern buildings have flat roofs which can be used for any number of purposes. However, that does leave them exposed to a different kind of issue. Namely, if the floor isn’t at least mildly sloped towards the edges, there is a chance that water might pool in some places.
Given time, water can dissolve just about anything, meaning that if these puddles are not dealt with as soon as possible, they can gradually erode the waterproofing with was installed on the building. Once that happens, all of the internal parts of the building are at risk of being damaged by flooding.
Poorly Installed Windows
The building envelope might be perfect on the building, but if the windows are of low quality, or if they are installed improperly, the result won’t change in any meaningful way – the building will experience flooding and other water problems, a nightmare for building envelope consultants.
Windows on highrises need to be durable enough to withstand a lot of rain combined with strong winds which blow on higher altitudes. The insulation on windows needs to be durable enough to withstand the changing of sunny and rainy weather without cracking and falling off.
Much like windows, balconies are an opening in the building’s envelope, which makes them a weak point which needs to be protected from water damage. The windows and doors on the balcony need to be treated with the same care as those on the rest of the highrise.
However, balconies have another critical structural point which is the balcony itself. The part of the balcony which is attached to the building is one of the weakest points of the whole structure and needs to be protected from leaking because it can cause not only the balcony to become unsafe, but it can affect the whole building.
Similarly, the railing on the balcony can be problematic, especially if it is made of non-water-resistant materials such as wood or metal. Specialized balcony inspections exist to ensure that these structures are safe and sound.
Even buildings which do not have a flat roof can have roof problems. Case in point, buildings with tiled roofs are at risk of cracked tiles letting water through into the inside of the building.