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Sealant in joints in the exterior envelope on a building is intended to reduce water entry and air infiltration through the joints and to accommodate movements. Openings in sealant joints can result in water leakage and air infiltration through the joints into the interior of the building. Openings in sealant joints can occur as a result of design, construction, and/or material deficiencies. During the last five years, the authors have been involved in the investigation and repair design of openings in sealant joints, that occurred as a result of the joints having been damaged by birds, and that has resulted in water leakage into the interior of the building. This paper describes four case studies where birds have destroyed the integrity of sealant joints. These case studies have the following common elements which may be considered by designers to mitigate this condition in areas where the potential exists for birds to destroy sealant in buildings and other structures: 1. The presence of birds such as the ring billed gull (Larus Delawarensis) and turkey vulture (Cathartes Aura) in the area of the building. 2. The presence of wide horizontal surfaces and/or wide low sloping surfaces allow the birds to perch in close proximity to the sealant joints. 3. The use of silicone sealant in the joints between the building substrate sections.
Sealant, birds, water leakage
Vice President and Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL
Senior Architect, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL