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Proper Building Maintenance Now, Can Pay Dividends in the Future

Proper building maintenance improves your building’s longevity.

Property managers, maintenance supervisors, building engineers and other individuals in charge of extending the lives of the buildings should ask certain questions….

· Are you taking proper care of your building?

· Do you have the right contractor performing maintenance work?

· Is it always the low bidder who performs your work? How is that working out for you?

At Dakota Evans, we are encountering more and more managers of buildings that are not performing some of the most basic and simple maintenance for the buildings they manage. Many times, associations are more concerned about flowers and other aesthetic features of properties–instead of the important steps that must be taken to extend the building’s life.

Oftentimes, board members of associations change…and records are not kept as to when and what was done in the past. The best plan is to keep a record book that includes when and what building maintenance is performed. Much like the human body, a building requires more up-keep as it ages. Below are some areas that need attention and/or maintenance on a regular basis:

Balconies: All balconies must have the joint between the C-Channel at the perimeter of the concrete deck routinely inspected and maintained-otherwise there is the threat of moisture infiltration. It is also important to have a special deck coating applied, also to keep water away from the structure to prolong the life of the balcony. If this type of regular maintenance is not performed, the costs to replace steel and concrete can exceed $10,000 per balcony. Ouch!

Caulking: Caulking involves a couple types of sealants that helps bridge the gap between two different materials. Without regular maintenance relating to caulking, moisture infiltration can occur and energy consumption can increase. Since utility charges make up nearly 30-percent of a building’s operating costs-anything on top of that can really hit the pocketbook. Typical sealants last 10-15 years and should be visually inspected regularly. Remember…urethane sealants are not compatible with silicone sealants. Dakota Evans pays special attention to which sealants work together and ensures all joins are properly prepped, primed and installed to ensure longevity.

Masonry: The majority of buildings built after 1980 do not have severe weather ratings that are suitable for the Midwest climate. What does this mean? The brick masonry manufactured today does not have the same weather resistant capabilities as old historical brick masonry. Because of this, it is extremely important to have the proper flashings and weep systems installed. Many new brick masonry walls have moisture infiltration issues from the day they are built-most times due to poor craftsmanship or design. These problems can sometimes be corrected by proper thru-wall flashing installation, which is the installation of a membrane to direct water that accumulates in the wall from inside of the building. End dams also can prevent water from moving laterally within a curtail wall or window system. Regarding brick masonry, Dakota Evans applies a generous coat of MasterProtect H 177 (formerly Enviroseal Double 7) High-Performance, Water-Based, Silane/Siloxane Water-Repellent Sealer for brick.

All building managers and others who oversee the health and life of buildings must be diligent about protecting their exterior building façade. This maintenance is important to the longevity and the integrity of the building…remember…once a building starts getting old-it’s just like us humans…it’s all about preventative care and maintenance to extend its life.