Controlling rain and ground water are the single most important factors in the design and construction of durable buildings and in the control of mold. Mold problems cannot exist without water problems. No water problems, no mold problems. The most important water problems to address are rain and ground water.
Water management techniques are used in the design and construction of building enclosures to control rain and ground water.
The fundamental principle of water management is to shed water by layering materials in such a way that water is directed downwards and outwards out of the building or away from the building. The key to this fundamental principle is drainage.
Gravity is the driving force behind water management and drainage. The “down” direction harnesses the force of gravity and the “out” direction gets the water away from the building enclosure assemblies, openings, components and materials. In general, the sooner water is directed out the better.
The most elegant expression of this concept is a flashing. Flashings are the most underrated building enclosure component and arguably the most important.
Drainage also applies to materials. Water that is absorbed in a material cannot be drained away. We paint and stain wood siding so that water is not absorbed by the wood siding and can be drained from the siding surfaces. We damp-proof concrete foundations for the same reason.
Drainage applies to assemblies such as walls, roofs and foundations. Drainage also applies to the components that can be found in walls, roofs and foundations such as windows, doors and skylights. It also applies to the openings for the windows, doors and skylights. And it applies to assemblies that connect to walls, roof and foundations such as balconies, decks, railings and dormers.
Finally, drainage also applies to the building as a whole. Overhangs can be used to drain water away from walls. Canopies can be used to drain water away from windows, and site grading can be used to drain water away from foundation perimeters. (article excerpted from the EEBA Water Management Guide).
Qualified Inspection Services provides third party residential inspection services designed to keep builders code compliant. To find out how our services may benefit your company, please contact us today.