Look Up, Out and Around to Determine Best Time to Replace Office Building Window Caulking

RBBy Steve Riggio, Principal, RiggioBoron Ltd. 

Property managers today have a wide range of resources to help determine whether their building is operating at peak efficiency.  For example, building managers determine power and energy usage in HVAC and lighting systems with gas and electric meters.

Caulking without glazing

Caulking without glazing

One of the most important goals of any property manager is to reduce energy costs whenever possible. It’s estimated that utility charges constitute up to 30 percent of a building’s operating expenses.  Keeping energy costs down not only saves money, it contributes to tenant satisfaction, enhances property value and puts the property in position to be recognized as an industry leader in sustainability.

Here’s one quick and easy way managers can gauge the efficiency of the asset they manage:  Establish a schedule to inspect windows throughout the property to determine the need for replacement caulking.

The process is very simple, and the information gathered can result in significant savings in energy and repair costs in the future.  Two simple tests to consider are:

  •  Inspecting windows for streaks. Look for vertical streaks running the length of a window. If streaks are visible along the glass, it could be a sign that the window needs to be glazed and that the caulk and the gaskets around the window have approached their expectant lifecycle. Failure to replace this could result in air and water leakage, or worse!
  • Check for drafts around windows.  Subtle drafts caused by worn out seals may be hard to detect by placing your hand around the frame.  But here’s a foolproof way to check for a draft: Position a lighter or candle near a window and watch the flame.  If it flickers, the seal more than likely needs replacement.
Cauking can detract from a commercial property's exterior

Caulking can detract from a commercial property’s exterior

Faulty window seals also may cause other problems besides air loss, such as allowing insects to infest a property and enter tenant spaces.  Plus, old caulk looks bad and detracts from the physical appearance of the property.

Modern silicone caulk applied by a qualified contractor can ensure windows in office buildings and other commercial properties remaine tightly sealed.  This helps to keep energy costs down, while bringing the value of the property up.

The caulking on most buildings should be inspected every five to 10 years, depending on the type of caulking used and exterior facade elements. We’ve found that many property owners and building managers are surprised at how inexpensive it is to complete an inspection.

Have you contracted for replacement caulking at your building? Please share your thoughts.

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About steveriggio

Steve Riggio, Chairman and Principal, Riggio/Boron Ltd.
This entry was posted in Chicago Infrastructure, Property Management and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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