Common mistakes that can compromise the air tightness of a building
- Poorly sealed windows and doors: Leaks around windows and doors are one of the most common sources of air leakage. It’s important to use high-quality sealant and weatherstripping to ensure that there are no gaps or cracks.
- Inadequate insulation: Insufficient insulation in walls, ceilings, and floors can allow air to leak in or out of a building. Adding insulation can help to reduce air leaks and improve energy efficiency.
- Improperly installed vapor barriers: Vapor barriers are important for preventing moisture from entering the building envelope, but if they are installed incorrectly or in the wrong location, they can actually trap moisture and lead to mold growth.
- Inconsistent air sealing: Air sealing must be done consistently throughout the building envelope, including around all penetrations, such as plumbing and electrical fixtures, and at the junctures between walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Neglecting to test for air leaks: Building professionals should perform a blower door test to assess a building’s air tightness. This test can identify areas of air leakage that need to be addressed.
- Using low-quality building materials: Cheap or substandard building materials may not provide the level of air tightness needed to prevent air leakage. Investing in high-quality materials can pay off in the long run by reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality.
- Failing to maintain the building envelope: Over time, the building envelope can degrade due to exposure to the elements or aging. Regular maintenance, such as replacing worn or damaged sealants and weatherstripping, can help to ensure the building remains air tight.