Frequently Asked Questions

What is water ingress and building envelope?

Water ingress is a water leak into the exterior of a building. This will be caused by rain hitting and running down the face of the building or standing water on roofs and decks. The water enters through a breach in the wall cladding assembly or waterproof roof and deck membranes.

Building envelope describes the exterior shell of your building and includes roofs, decks, wall areas, windows, doors, and concrete foundations.

Why do I need a building envelope maintenance program?

Periodic maintenance will ensure that any leaks and resulting water damge are discovered and addressed in a timely manner and large repair bills are avoided.

How do I know if I have a water ingress problem?

You may not be able to tell until a significant amount of damage has already occurred. By the time water stains show up on the interior of your home (window sills, gyprock walls and ceilings), water has traveled through the wall or roof assembly and the structural framing (skeleton of the home). A trained maintenance technician can identify problem areas from the outside of the home during the inspection.

How will water ingress effect the people who live in my home?

In addition to decreasing the value of your home, water ingress often creates an ideal environment for moulds and fungus to grow. The warm, moist environment promotes the growth of many allergens, including toxic molds. Mold that is present in your home can aggravate and cause respiratory problems and asthma related illnesses.

Why should I be concerned with water ingress, I have never heard of this in the past?

Water ingress in older buildings is not a serious problem due to the lack of air barrier and insulation in the exterior wall. Anyone who has lived in an 'old-timer' has felt the draft of wind and air around doors, windows, and vents.

Changes in the way we build homes have made them more susceptible to water problems. Most of these changes have occurred over the past 25 years and include: air seals designed to deliver greater energy efficiency, vapour and air barrier materials, and larger exposed wall areas due to the use of flat roofs and the absence of overhang protection.

How often is inspection and routine maintenance completed on my home?

Our standard program includes three visits to your home each year, approximately every four months. A comprehensive inspection is completed on one of the trips and a quick review on the other two trips. Gutters, roof, and deck drains are cleaned on every visit.

How much does the Home Maintenance Program cost?

The average home maintenance cost in Greater Vancouver is $2000.00 per year. The average repair cost for a home that has not been maintained and has water ingress damage is $150,000.00.

We like to compare these pro-active maintenance costs to never changing the oil or doing maintenance to your automobile engine and then having to purchase a new engine when it seizes up.

Will enrollment in the Home Maintenance Program guarantee that I will never have a water ingress issue?

No. Breaches in the wall cladding, roof and deck assemblies may occur, but they will be discovered in a timely manner, minimizing the repair costs.

We like to compare this to an automobile. Batteries stop working, materials get stressed to the point of failure or breakage, etc. A home's wall assembly may suffer damage from extraordinary events such as extremely heavy rain fall, winds, and snow.

Can't I just use the neighbourhood 'Handy-Man' to clean gutter, caulk windows, and complete minor maintenance repairs?

Construction materials and assemblies have become increasingly more advanced and technical considerations have become very important. Many materials are not compatible with each other and proper use and installation is critical to long-term performance. Lack of knowledge and skilled tradesmen, incorrect sequencing of materials and poor construction detailing has resulted in major building envelope failures in our west coast climate. Your building envelope maintenance technician must be highly trained in the proper use of building components and detailing or a failure may occur.

Most people rely on a health professional who knows their history and who they have built a trusting relationship with. If you award maintenance and repair work based on lowest price, there will be no record of how the work was completed and no standards followed. Using the same company for your home maintenance assures consistent review (check-up), repairs, construction details, and record keeping. This ultimately reduces costs to the homeowner.

What are the benefits of enrolling in the PCM Home Maintenance Program?

Besides protecting your investment in your home the health and the health of occupants, it also establishes a maintenance history. Real estate professionals and prospective purchasers will immediately recognize the pro-active approach to maintaining the home's structure. Your home will provide peace of mind to potential purchasers who are comparing it to other homes on the market. Additionally, your home will have a clean and well manicured appearance.