There have been some key advances in construction in recent years. while they might be hard to spot on the surface, it's worth finding out whether your new condominium has been built using them.
Rain, as all of us who lives in B.C. know, is commonplace. And it needs to be kept out of our condos. The biggest thing to look out for in a new home is the building envelope - the roof, walls, windows... Innovations in the construction industry are hugely important.
Rain screen technology allows any water that does enter the building cavity (the area between the building paper and the exterior siding) to exit and or dry before it can enter the building itself.
Another side to this is whether rainwater is collected rather than being fed back into the storm systems. This is when water is taken off the roof via downspouts and enters perforated pipes, which are buried in the ground, so it keeps back into the ground. It is the most sustainable rainwater system and something more and more developments are using.
When purchasing a condo it is highly recommended to have your offer subject to read and being satisfied with any engineering report undertook by an engineering firm on the building in the past, and being satisfied with all the past strata minutes meetings for any signs of extensive leaks going on in the building. An inspection done by a certified inspector and have him review the engineering report and the strata minutes will also help you determine the overall quality of the building.
- Understand the forces that push rain into buildings, and know where rain causes most damage, understand the major ways building design influences rain penetration through the envelope and understand the concept of a rain screen:
The Rainscreen Wall system by CMHC and the Ontario association of architects - PDF
Minimum Standards of Coverage Required for New Homes built: 2-5-10 Years:
Home warranty insurance on new homes includes a minimum of 2 years on labour and materials (some limits apply), 5 years on the building envelope, including water penetration, and 10 years on structure. The 2-year labour and materials coverage is broken down as follows:Any defect in materials and labour:
- 12 months on detached homes and on noncommon property in strata units (includes fee simple homes)
- 15 months on common property of strata buildings Defects in materials and labour related to the delivery and distribution systems (electrical,plumbing, heating ventilation, air conditioning, etc.)
- 24 months for all buildings.
2,5,10 Years inssurance bulletin by the Homeowner protection Office British Columbia - PDF
Rainscreen Wall System: