When building envelope failures occur, a forensic investigation is an important step in helping to assess the damage, diagnose the causes, and implement a mitigation and repair protocol so that the problems are not merely mitigated but measures are taken to prevent further occurrences of the problems. Regardless of the cause of failure, a systematic, step-by-step investigative process provides the best results to uncover the causes of the problems that exist.

This infographic examines the 10 most common steps of a forensic investigation of a building envelope. It goes without saying that although these steps could be implemented by any building professional, those building professionals whose expertise is in building forensics are highly recommended for these tasks so that the problems can have sustainable repairs and programming for the future of the building. Many times, especially when the failures involve moisture damage and indoor air quality issues, the problems are complex and involve multiple systems of the building. This requires a team of different experts to help diagnose and solve the problems, repair the damage and reset the systems to function in a way that will eliminate the problem in the future.