Whether it’s a condominium, townhouse or high-rise, exterior sealants remain one of the most important components of a healthy building envelope. Despite this, they are also one of the least understood and maintained components of the building envelope.
The simplest explanation is that joints are, for the most part, out of sight and therefore out of mind. This is especially true for high-rise condominiums, where much of the caulking is not visible from the ground.
In addition, sealants have a long replacement cycle – 12 to 20 years, depending on the product and environmental exposure. Many changes are likely to occur in a condominium corporation during this time. Board directors and property managers may come and go; a contingency fund study may recommend a sealant replacement project, but higher priority projects may need to be preempted. As a result, a condominium’s caulking and sealing needs can get lost in the shuffle.
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes water damage in multiple apartments or townhouses to get property managers and administrators thinking about caulking. A single leaky condominium can result in significant damage to the entire building and the resulting insurance premiums and deductibles.
It is estimated that 90 percent of air and water leakage occurs at one percent of the building’s sealant locations vulnerable areas such as terminations, transitions and penetrations. It is essential to ensure that this one percent of a condominium’s exterior is properly sealed.
For townhouses, proper caulking of perimeters, trim and wood siding not only reduces energy costs, keeps moisture and pests out, and minimizes mold growth, but also extends the life of the wood and painted finish. For high-rise condominiums, taking the opportunity to examine and replace sealants while addressing exterior painting and concrete repairs leverages the staging equipment already in place, keeping costs down, minimizing disruption to residents, and proactively reducing additional damage, repairs, and costs.
Due to the length of a sealant cycle, many property managers and administrators may not have much experience initiating and overseeing a sealant replacement project. Add to that the technical nature of the materials and techniques used, as well as the health and safety aspects (especially when working in high-rise buildings), and the whole prospect can be overwhelming for those with limited experience in this type of work.
Property managers and board directors need tools to avoid frustration and disappointment before they begin the sealant replacement process. The experts at Calfeutrage MJM et Fils are available to provide a complete and detailed inspection of your building’s caulking. We work closely with condominium corporations while providing a free estimate service and superior caulking products such as Dowsil CWS.
Sealant replacement is a substantial investment and, if done properly, will protect the property and save on heating, cooling and repair costs. To realize the full benefits of sealant replacement, the project must be done properly and conscientiously.
Condominium weather stripping may only represent one percent of the façade, but it is integral to protecting 100 percent of the owners’ investment in a property. Although these areas represent an extremely small percentage of the building’s construction, billions of dollars are spent on repairing and replacing the building envelope. Whether it’s a townhouse or a high-rise building, it’s important to remember that sealants may be invisible, but they should never be forgotten.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to call on our experts at Calfeutrage MJM et Fils.
1420 Rue Deroy
St-Calixte, QC J0K 1Z0