B2080−Exterior Wall Appurtenances

Category Archives: B2080−Exterior Wall Appurtenances

Spontaneous Glass Breakage: Why it happens and what to do about it

Photo © Wes Thompson. Photo courtesy PPG

The past few years have seen several highly publicized incidents involving window and balcony glass breaking spontaneously and falling from high-rise buildings. It is important to have an overview on the potential causes of spontaneous glass breakage, including some common misconceptions about its actual spontaneity. As a means of protection, some fabricators and glazing contractors offer heat-soaking of tempered glass as a potential solution—but what are the risks involved?

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Ensuring Balcony Durability: Waterproofing details that stand the test of time

All images courtesy Building Diagnostics Inc.

The durability of wood-framed balconies varies widely, with too many suffering from leaks, visible damage on the finishes below, and concealed structural damage from continued water migration. Balconies are vulnerable to decay because they catch rainfall and direct it to a myriad of intersecting planes. There are subtle—but important—differences between the construction of balconies that function for the design life of the building and those failing prematurely. This article presents successful design and construction practices based on a visual survey of over a thousand balconies, excavations into over 200 balcony soffits to check for structural damage, destructive evaluation of selected balconies, and water testing.

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Structural Safety of Wood Decks and Deck Guards

Photo © BigStockPhoto/LeeBarnwell

Most deck-related accidents are caused by failure of the deck-ledger connection or the guardrail—this can lead to serious injuries or death. Decks are often designed as a collection of individual parts, rather than as a ‘system’ of interrelated components that must function correctly. Further, because decks are exterior structures, permanently exposed to weather, long-term decay and fastener or connector corrosion can contribute to these failures.

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