If you listen closely and watch for the signs, you will hear and see the signs of a building in distress. Whether a newer building or an older one, systems will show signs of distress in several ways. Recognizing these signs and calling on skilled professionals to identify and correct the problem will improve the comfort and performance of the building and ensure a long life for your building.
Key things to look for in your building include:
- Condensation – Condensation is a key indicator of a deeper issue within the structure. Condensation can form on windows, walls, plumbing pipes and metal framing. Moisture like this can indicate excessively high humidity due to leaks in the structure or areas where temperatures are not regulated well enough. Condensation can form in areas with insufficient insulation or where airflow issues prevent proper ventilation.
- Irregular Temperatures – If certain areas of the building are always cold or hot compared to the set temperature of the building, the total spend on energy will be higher and can lead to other issues in the future. Cold spots lead to workers using space heaters and other warming devices that consume more electricity and change the balance of the building. Space heaters create hot spots, making more variances in temperature across the building.
- Dust & Dirt – While some issues with dirt are simple cleaning issues, others are indicators of air infiltration and openings in either the exterior wall or the HVAC system. Look for patterns of dirt and dust coming from under walls, around HVAC grills and near doorways. These are indicators of infiltration through one of many systems in the building.
- Water Damage – Water damage presents itself in many ways within a building. Water spots on the ceiling. Mold, mildew or an overall musty scent in the building. Ceramic tiles popping off the floors and ceilings. All of these are subtle indicators of a growing water problem. Early identification is the key to stopping the damage before extensive repairs are needed.
- Cracked & Damaged Seals – Inspect the seals around windows, doors, penetrations, and equipment for cracks, tears or separation from the wall or pipes. When seals fail, the building is more susceptible to many of the other indicators discussed above. In many cases, finding these opportunities for improvement can prevent many of these other issues from becoming a problem.
With all of these potential problems, early identification and correction are vital to the overall health and operation of your building. Correcting leaks and damage at the source will reduce operating costs and make your workspace more comfortable for the occupants. If any of these indicators are present in your building, contact the building diagnostics specialists at Building Envelope Allies Energy Solutions today.