Exterior Walls

Exterior Walls
Exterior Walls

RDH’s advanced analytical skills, research projects, and field experience allow us to assess the performance of wall assemblies to provide you with the best possible options.

About Walls

Walls are generally the largest part of the building enclosure. They separate indoors from outdoors and, in doing so, perform many critical functions such as controlling water and air movement, insulating, and controlling noise. Walls are also a key feature in the appearance of the building.

Unlike windows and doors that are purchased as single components, walls consist of a series of layers that comprise the entire wall assembly. Therefore, it is necessary to understand each individual material as well as how these materials interact to meet the performance requirements for the overall wall.

Assessment of Performance Problems

Walls usually provide us with visual clues if they are not performing well: peeling paint, decayed wood, staining on the surface, mold or mildew on interior surfaces. There are many possible causes of performance problems. In fact, in many cases there are multiple factors that contribute to a problem. Key factors include exposure to rain, sensitivity of the wall assembly to moisture, and the quality of the details.

RDH is a leader in the assessment of wall assembly performance, having authored numerous industry guidance publications such as:

We can help you assess the current condition of your walls, determine the causes of performance problems, and quantify the extent and severity of the damage that has occurred.

Replacement Planning

Walls that are experiencing performance problems may simply require improved maintenance to get back on track. However in some cases repair, rehabilitation, or complete replacement of some of the layers in the wall is required. The assessment of the problems is an important first step, but once the current condition and cause of performance problems is well understood, RDH can help you to plan the right approach to address the performance issues.

This planning can focus specifically on the walls or can be folded into a more comprehensive plan for the entire building enclosure or the building as a whole. It is important to utilize an integrated approach when planning, taking into account other elements of the building. This ensures that efforts are coordinated with other needs in the building. For example, when replacing components of the wall assembly, it makes sense to think about improving energy efficiency and planning for future work associated with the windows and roofs.