The vertical outer envelope of a building designates the vertical exterior walls which consist of several essential components, namely the supporting structure (wooden walls, concrete, steel) and the exterior cladding. The latter can be made of various materials: stones, bricks, concrete blocks, acrylic coating, aggregate, sheet steel, vinyl or aluminum declines, wood siding etc.
Certain elements must be installed inside or on the two main components mentioned above (structure and exterior cladding), such as the weepers, the steel angles, the steel lintels, the air barrier membrane, the vapor barrier, insulation, seals, doors, windows, etc.
As part of a visual inspection of the vertical exterior envelope (exterior walls), the engineer verifies the current state of all visible and accessible components and writes a report including his findings and recommendations. In his report, the engineer describes the deficiencies noted and the importance of each deficiency. In addition, it recommends the necessary maintenance, repair or replacement work relative to the components of the building envelope. This taking into consideration the degree of deterioration, the cause and the useful and residual service life of these components.
If the engineer deems it necessary, then he performs an in-depth examination concerning one or more problems. To do this, exploratory holes must be made in the bricks, in order to check the condition of the structure - behind the bricks - at specific locations. If this is the case, the engineer then notifies the client or the co-ownership syndicate asking them to hire a specialized contractor who will make the required cuts or holes in the envelope. These exploratory holes can be either outside or inside and the engineer will check the elements of the envelope through these holes. Subsequently, he writes a report explaining the deficiencies observed (example: decay of the structure, presence of mold, absence of an air barrier membrane, condensation, trace of water infiltration, presence of insects, etc. ). Finally, the engineer proposes the appropriate solution.