Exterior of police station needs re-do?

Thu, 01/31/2008 - 4:14pm
By: John Munford

Architects report blames holes in exterior walls for moisture problem

An architectural firm’s investigation into moisture problems at Peachtree City’s police station found numerous construction defects and some design flaws have contributed to the problem.

The Leo A. Daly architectural group is recommending the exterior walls be demolished and rebuilt and the entire roof coping — the top covering of walls — be replaced. The firm is also recommending to re-grade the land round the entire building to route moisture away from the building, adding insulation to the underside of the roof and using expanding foam between the roof deck and the op of the steel beam.

The report contains no cost estimate for the new work, which is not included in the current $593,000 project to replace and reconfigure the building’s HVAC system and seal the foundation in a bid to keep out moisture.

In addition to the construction work, the city is paying $112,000 to rent a temporary police station for nine months while the current repair project is underway.

The chief culprit of the moisture problem is different types of openings in the exterior walls, which caused moisture-laden air to circulate in the building, according to the report.

“Cause of the moisture intrusion into the building appears to stem from both an inadequate design and poor construction,” the report concluded.

The report also lists significant problems with the station’s roofing system, but says it should last another few years.

In addition to damaging books with mold and mildew, the moisture also caused guns stored at the department to accumulate rust, the report indicated.

City officials have resisted calls to completely scrap the building and rebuild a new police headquarters elsewhere. The city estimates it would cost $3 million to do that, assuming the city also needed to purchase a new site.

According to the report, flashing, a construction feature that diverts water away from flat surfaces, was not present on any of the glass block located on the exterior of the building.

Flashing was also missing in several other areas, including at the base of walls and particularly underneath weep holes in brick walls.

The report also noted that at least for some time, the weep holes had been covered up by earthen material.

The EIFS walls had problems where sealant wasn’t used, serving as another avenue for moisture to enter the building, according to the report. The investigation also found that there were separations from the brick wall and a decorative EIFS band along the top of the brick wall, which would allow moisture to enter the system.

There are also numerous stains on the EIFS, the report noted.

The EIFS was not built according to the drawings.

Because water pools in planting areas located directly on the building’s perimeter, the report recommends regrading the site to move water away from the building.

The report also notes problems on the roof, particularly a poor installation of coping, the material that caps off walls. That problem could allow blowing rain to enter the building, the report said.

Another major problem noted on the report is the status of the standing-seam metal roofing, deemed to be “not in very good shape.”

“The finish on the metal is eroding, edges of the roofing are rusting and the seams and end caps are poorly constructed,” the report said.

The roof also may have direct water leaks, as that or condensation from pipes show evidence of “direct liquid moisture intrusion” into the building on stained ceiling tiles.

The investigation also found mold behind countertop backsplashes on walls inside the department’s large training room.

Another problem contributing to the indoor moisture was the area above the ceilings, which was utilized to collect return air for the building; the report stated the design was poor to serve that purpose. The wall insulation and gypsum board also did not continue to the roof.

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Submitted by intheknow on Fri, 02/01/2008 - 3:37pm.

You get what you pay for, and when it's always "low bidder", it always seems to come at some price - later. Not sure what facility in PTC hasn't eventually had major repairs or renovations after the low bidder built it.

Submitted by sageadvice on Fri, 02/01/2008 - 4:10pm.

You got to be a high bidder?

No city would want such work and materials as this. They just got took by the builder by not knowing what they were doing.

Proper inspection from the git-go alone would have stopped this. Are these materials from China?

The building should have been built on a high lot out of 500 pound stones, twice as big as current needs, and have no rusty junk in it.

Otherwise, don't build it. Buy a big tent.
This darned place is run by developers, isn't it?

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