Storm Damage Inspection And Assessment
Storm damage assessment is a process that follows any major storm event. Homes and other structures along the Gulf Coast damaged by recent storm. Building Enclosure Specialists can help determine cause of damage for insurance companies, adjusters, and homeowners.
We can assess if damages were the result of:
• Pre-existing conditions
• Improper construction or design
• Wind-driven rain
BUILDING ENCLOSURES AND HURRICANES
Hurricanes bring wind, rain, and flooding that can damage buildings, causing municipalities, asset managers, property owners, and insurance companies to seek information about their buildings’ condition. A post- hurricane assessment can help determine the extent and causes of damage to the building and its enclosure, including roofs, exterior wall cladding/siding, insulation, windows, and curtain walls.
Wind damage to the roof covering system (e.g., shingles, clay tiles, and roofing membranes) during a hurricane is often caused by uplift forces or impact damage, leading to water leaking into the building. Many roofing warranties exclude damage caused by winds above 55 mph, which is well below the sustained wind speed of a Category 1 hurricane. The roof’s age, quality of original installation, and preexisting deterioration can also affect the roof’s performance during a hurricane.
Wind creates suction, or uplift loads, on roofs. If these forces exceed corners and edges, so these zones can be more vulnerable to uplift failures. Roofs are also susceptible to damage from impact, due to flying debris or roof-mounted equipment displaced by wind. Even small punctures in the roof covering can lead to significant water leakage.
Roof systems that seem intact after a hurricane should be carefully inspected and checked for evidence of water leakage. Trapped moisture can degrade materials over time, which may negatively affect the roof’s performance during future events and reduce its thermal performance. Identifying wet materials during a post-hurricane assessment helps owners and property managers plan for repairs that can prolong the roof’s service life.
Facade and Fenestration Damage:
Leakage through the facade, windows, or curtain wall systems can occur at wind pressures significantly lower than those needed to cause structural damage to the building or these systems. This leakage can occur even without visible signs of system damage. If the leakage paths are concealed within the systems or surrounding construction, it can be difficult to find and repair the leakage sources without a detailed investigation. Exterior walls and windows can also be damaged by flying debris or wind pressure, resulting in cladding loss, glass breakage, or weakening of system attachments. These issues can also lead to water leakage into concealed wall spaces or the interior. If the building loses window or curtain wall glass, it can experience increased internal building air pressure due to wind and contribute to structural, roofing, or interior wall damage.
Hurricanes can cause extensive wind and water damage to building enclosure systems and they can also cause extensive water damage inside the building without obvious damage to the enclosure system itself. Post-hurricane assessments of the building enclosures can help identify apparent and concealed damage caused by the storm, and determine causes of water entry into the building. When these events occur, detailed investigations and analyses of building enclosure systems may also be necessary to determine the underlying causes of enclosure failures and support a comprehensive scope of work to repair the building.
Excessive winds and rain associated with hurricanes and tornadoes can compromise the integrity of façade and roofing components. BES can conduct detailed assessments of the Building Enclosure to determine necessary storm-related repairs as well as general maintenance items that need to be addressed. Assessment practices are performed in general accordance with ASTM E2270.
Damage assessment Services include:
• On-site Observations of the Building Enclosure
• Assist in Procurement of Repair Estimates
• Immediate Repair Recommendations
• Comprehensive Repair Programs
• Repair Designs and Bid Packages
• Quality Assurance Observations of the Repairs