Building envelope testing is the process of testing the physical separator between the interior and exterior of a building to determine if there are any air, water, or thermal leaks within the structure. The building envelope consists of all parts of the outer exterior that keep the building environment dry, heated, or cooled for climate control.
Building Envelope Leaks & Contamination
Many different intrusions can result from an improperly built or maintained building envelope, such as air intrusion, water intrusion, and thermal intrusion. Leaky roofs are a common source of water and water vapor leakage, which can damage walls. Water infiltration is particularly harmful to any building’s structural integrity because it can cause extraordinary damage and remain undetected for a while. Many of these building code problems can be addressed by adhering to the standards established by the NIBS, the ASTM and the AAMA.
- Moisture and Water Analysis
- Moisture control is imperative to maintaining a building’s structural integrity, as well as quality health and safety standards. Therefore, waterproofing is necessary to prevent water damage to a building’s foundation. Air barriers must also be in place to prevent unnecessary ventilation and drafts in the building. Any HVAC system installed must be designed specifically for the purpose of air pressure testing.
Controlling moisture can make your home more energy-efficient, less costly to heat and cool, more comfortable, and prevent mold growth.
Properly controlling moisture in your home will improve the effectiveness of your air sealing and insulation efforts, and these efforts in turn will help control moisture. The best strategies for controlling moisture in your home depend on your climate and how your home is constructed. Proper ventilation should also be part of your efforts to control moisture.
Before you decide on a moisture control strategy, it helps to understand that moisture or water vapor moves in and out of a home in a variety of ways including:
- With air movement
- By diffusion through materials
- By heat transfer
- Creating moisture within the home (cooking, showering, etc.),
Of these, air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapor movement in building cavities. Air naturally moves from high-pressure areas to lower pressure areas by the easiest path available — generally through any available hole or crack in the building envelope. Moisture transfer by air currents happens quickly, and carefully and permanently air sealing any unintended paths for air movement in and out of the house is a very effective way to control moisture.
The other two driving forces — diffusion through materials and heat transfer — are much slower processes. Most common building materials slow moisture diffusion to a large degree, although they never stop it completely. Insulation also helps reduce heat transfer or flow.
Call us today! 832-661-6154