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examples of construction defects

Examples of building defects


Elements of a gable wall – a view from the inside. Visible significant drop in temperature has been caused by defective insulation of the balcony floor, which is located on the outer side of the partition. The temperature difference between the coldest section and the air temperature in a room is 8°C. The video picture beside shows no signs of barrier supercooling at this point. Temperature margin, which separates the coldest section of the partition from the condensation temperature is 3°C and this applies to condensation on the surface of the partition. The temperature of the partition decreases in the outward direction, and therefore, there may be conditions for condensation under the surface of the partition, which creates a microclimate for the development mildew and moulds.

ex. 2

Improper vertical insulation of the foundation causes dampness in the basement partitions. The video picture shows no symptoms of the problem. At this stage of dampness development it is sufficient to improve the insulation. Neglecting to the problem will require much more work and costs. This situation may create mildew in the building.

ex. 3

The disadvantage of external insulation of a basement caused dampness of the corner and the formation of mildew. The surface of the walls have been cleaned of fungus spores and dried on the surface. Thermovision camera image allows determination of a much lower temperature than the temperature of condensation, which means that condensation can occur under the surface, and the moisture comes from the outside through capillary water absorption. Painting the surface of dry walls makes the situation even worse.

ex. 4

Faulty thermal insulation of an installation supplying heating medium to an apartment from the distribution box located in the corridor. Part of the heat is lost in the corridor during the entire heating season. Heat that is contained in hot usable water is lost also in the summer season. The landlord pays therefore for the heating of the corridor. Maximum temperature of a floor exceeded 30°C. 

Such a way of “spreading” the heat raises other issues that can relate to:
- emissions of harmful substances by materials unsuitable for such temperatures (carpets, adhesives), especially harmful to children who often sit on the floor and are exposed to vapours thereof,
- deformation of flooring materials not suitable for use in such conditions.

ex. 5

Looking with the unaided eye, thermal insulation is performed in an aesthetical manner, which is subconsciously understood as being made correctly. Unfortunately, the technology verifies the stereotypes. Faulty insulation made ​​over a length of several meters. A defect recognized in such a way shall provide grounds to question the correctness of its execution.

ex. 6

Balcony floors as heat radiators undoubtedly cause significant loss of heat and contribute to creation of moisture in the partitions caused by water from melting snow right off the walls. Water from melting snow penetrates the insulation and down into the floor where together with the warmth of apartments can create conditions for the development of mould and mildew.

ex. 7

Quality of the building insulation cannot be seen with the naked eye. Heat is lost through poor insulation of ceilings. From the inside it can cause situations like those presented on the picture 8.

ex. 8

Bad external insulation and too high indoor humidity results in the formation of fungi colonies and mildew. This phenomenon has a very negative impact on the health of residents. 

ex. 9

Another example of the verification of the quality of the implementation of the insulation works. This does not have to be like that – picture 10 

ex. 10

Insulation can be performed correctly.

ex. 11

Improperly framed window is the cause of heat loss and the threat of condensation. 

ex. 12

Heat loss that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Inefficiently insulated central heating system supply pipeline. Temperature at the insulation surface exceeds 40°C. There is also no insulation at the pipeline crossing through the partition, which is an excellent heat receiver. 


Non-insulated valves act like heaters operating all over the year. Their temperature can reach 70°C. Non-insulated pipe with hot water located below the valves.





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Technology Park
Co. Tipperary

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