One element of construction that many clients overlook is the condition of the sealant systems installed throughout their facilities. Sealant systems are found at the perimeter of windows, curtain walls, roofs, doors and practically anywhere else where two different materials meet. As they age, sealant systems tear, separate, or become brittle and pull away from the sides of the joints they're intended to protect. The resulting gaps, small and large, provide a pathway for water to enter the building's envelope. Thus, begins a slow but steadily deterioration of the construction within.
When a client asks for a review of a facility, the condition of the sealant systems is one of the first items we check. The sealants are the "front line" of a building's defense against water intrusion and their service lifespan is not indefinite. We often are left to explain the correlation between sealant failures and higher repair costs associated with correcting what seem like small issues, such as a leak at a window, a wet ceiling panel, or a crack in a brick wall. If you have a facility that is 5 to 10 years old, and someone has not reviewed the condition of the sealant systems recently, you may want engage in that review soon. A small sealant replacement expense today can save the cost of a major construction project down the road.