When inspecting a building after it has been constructed, it is very difficult to identify all the issues. A lot of details get buried into the building and not everyone on the site is concerned with the quality of the construction. If the expectation on quality, is not clearly defined in the beginning of a project in the pre-design phase, tradesmen, contractors or even design professionals can be motivated to hide details that might have a negative result.
An infrared camera is one tool we use reveal some of these hidden issue. It is a valuable tool in protecting your investment. In this picture, you can see the joint in the supply air duct work, that has been poorly sealed. This image told us to have a closer look at the duct work. The specifications for the duct work, were for all joints in the main ducts, to be sealed to Class A standards. In this case, the contractor used a lower grade sealant and is leaking more air than it should, a problem that is easily fixed. Because this issue was raised before the contractor received full payment, there was not even a hint of an argument and sealant was reapplied with a little more care and attention.
Above the duct work, the image shows a dark blue spot in the pre-cast concrete floor. Under normal light, the concrete appears normal and totally dry. The cold spot, is water trapped inside the hollow cores of the pre-cast concrete. We drilled into the centre of this spot and drained about out 20 liters of water.
Eventually, we found that this was just one, of 50+ different locations throughout the building, where water had been trapped inside the building.
In many places, we were able to find the water and release it, and in most cases, control the release of water. We used a funnel and hose to channel the water to a container.
In other cases, the water release was a little more chaotic.
When we investigated to find the source of the problem, we found several of the tradesmen on site were aware of the issue and brought it to the attention of the GC but never raised the issue with the design team. The tradesmen on site, had been complaining about the water problem for several months and even offered solutions but their complaints were ignored. This issue was never raised at any of the job site meetings and the design team was never alerted to a problem. Had the problem been dealt with it was first identified it would have been easily to resolve. No action was taken until after the building was occupied and it became a serious and very expensive issue.