By: Rebecca Reilly

It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing; the air is crisp. Fall is a great time to prepare your building envelope for the harsh winter months in order to minimize future maintenance costs.

Building maintenance personnel should inspect all roofs for damage, paying extra attention to flashings. Cracked pourable sealer within pitch pockets that could be allowing water infiltration can be replaced quickly and inexpensively. Gutters, downspouts, drains and scuppers should also be regularly inspected throughout the fall season to ensure they are free of leaves and debris. All equipment on the roof, including any drain domes should be secured.

Building maintenance personnel should also inspect the facades from all possible vantage points (e.g. sidewalk, roofs, windows, courtyards, etc.). Any deterioration along the facade should be documented and monitored. Window mounted air conditioners should be removed. These air conditioners add stress to the window frames increasing the likelihood of air and water infiltration. The building maintenance team should also be aware of any surrounding trees, electrical lines, telephone equipment that may present a risk to the building envelope.

If restoration projects are in progress, contractors should take certain precautions with building materials. Mortar, sealants and other building materials cannot be successfully installed at temperatures below 40℉. If brick masonry installation or mortar repointing is performed below 40℉, contractors should install thermal blankets overnight to ensure the mortar properly cures. Contractors should remove thermal blankets during sunny days to expose the mortar to the sun.

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