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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Waterproof Your Building During a Storm

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Building envelope of a Hingham, MA building

Although rain may seem like one of the more harmless parts of a storm, if you have ever experienced flood damage, you know that is not always the case. That is why you want to ensure your property has a solid building envelope to protect against even the strongest downpours.

What Is a Building Envelope?

Contrary to the name, a building envelope does not mean literally enclosing your business in a giant bubble. Rather, it is a term used to refer to the design and construction of the building itself. The main components that make up the envelope are:


Roof


Exterior walls


Doors and windows


Sub-floors and sub-grade wall systems


Of course, all buildings have a roof and walls, but not all buildings have a properly-constructed envelope that maximally protects against storms and rain damage.

How Does It Work?

A good envelope should control air flow levels, restrict the movement of hot or cold air via a thermal barrier and include mechanisms for drainage and moisture prevention. In many cases, the strongest part of the envelope needs to be its ability to protect against water and moisture. A well-designed system should prevent structural degradation, hazardous black mold and other forms of rain damage.
Start by adding protective sealants on the roof and walls to block against water penetration. Also utilize gutters, drip guards, overhangs and slanting surfaces to divert rain away from the building. Installing a rainscreen is another useful tactic. The rainscreen typically sits about 1/8 of an inch or more away from the structural wall. The rainscreen takes the majority of the impact during a storm, and what little water does penetrate through often dries up in the gap before it is able to reach the main wall. Thus, it acts as a barrier against the elements and facilitates enough ventilation to inhibit mold growth.
If your property has recently experienced rain damage in Hingham, MA, it may be time to check the integrity of your building envelope. Water damage specialists can determine the source of the problem and help you figure out how to better solidify your building against anything Mother Nature throws your way.

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