Facade Work Keeps Out the Elements

Facade_webWe’re currently project managing facade repair work at one of our Jersey City Heights condo buildings.  After years of dealing with water stained walls & ceilings and water puddling on the window sills every time it rained or snowed, the owners finally challenged us to try to determine where the water was coming from.  After a thorough investigation we thought we figured out the problem.

We identified 3 major structural deficiencies that were contributing to the leaking. The first was the front parapet wall.  The top of the front wall, which is covered by a number of capstones, had large cracks and joints that allowed water to seep in and get behind the brick facade and travel down the front of the building.  The second was the metal lentils over the top floor windows.  While the first and second floor windows had concrete lentils, the top floor had metal lentils supporting the brick above.  Over time, the elements caused the lentils to oxidize and rot; and as they rotted they expanded causing the surrounding brick to separate and the mortar to fall out, thus creating large gaps where water could enter.  The third dificiency was the rotted brick mold around the windows.  Again, the elements caused the paint to peel from the wooden brick molding and the exposed wood rotted to the point where water could easily penetrate.

So we created a scope of work and put the project out to bid.  After receiving 4 proposals from local contractors, we awarded the job and got the project under way.

To remedy these issues our contractor is filling the cracks in the cap stones with mortar caulk, and then capping the top of the parapet wall with a metal coping.  Then they are removing the metal lentils and 3 rows of brick above the third floor windows and installing precast concrete lentils.  They are also spot pointing the entire façade while they’re at it.  Finally, they’re replacing any rotted brick mold around the windows, and then capping all of the brick mold with aluminum and caulking them to the brick and to the window.

If issues like this are left unattended for too long, major structural damage could be sustained.  Hopefully we solved this problem in time.

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