Building Health — Insulation and Ventilation

Construction Defect Building Health InsulationWhen it comes to your home, you need a partner you can trust to ensure your insulation and ventilation is working properly. AMEK Exteriors in Minneapolis has decades of experience implementing insulation and ventilation.  Due to our years of experience, we have  become Minneapolis-based exterior system integration specialists. Our building health services can help you prevent ice dams, frost on the bottom of sheeting, premature shingle deterioration, and wasted energy use.  We can help you control ventilation, vapor transmission, and air leakage – partnering with you to keep your home warm and safe while preventing any future damage.  

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Destructive Testing & Construction Remediation Remediation Case Study: St. Paul Multi-Family Condos

Deanne Beaudet : September 13, 2016 8:11 pm : Building Health, Case Studies, Construction Defects, Destructive Testing, Homeowner Associations & Management

Overview: Initially, performed destructive testing in St. Paul to assist engineers. Did an estimate for the scope of repairs for the litigation case. Hired to do remediation work.

Original Built Date: 2006

General Description: Five-story mixed-use retail and condominium space in St. Paul along a light-rail corridor.Multi-Family Construction Defect

Initial Analysis: Water damage around windows, doorways, and decks on all sides of the building. Trapped moisture also found in areas designed for ventilation. Litigation based on construction defects caused by improper architectural design and installation.

Scope: Determine extent of damage and propose remediation process and cost.

Remediation Scope: Removed brick work and siding around window and door openings and inspected for rot damage, which was extensive in some areas. Reinstalled current windows or installed new windows/doors. Reflashed correctly, reinsulated wall cavities, and redid brickwork and siding on more than 80 openings. Sealed and insulated areas to separate cold and warm areas to prevent more ventilation problems. Removed decking and roofing material for patio areas to assess and repair as needed.

Challenges & Solutions: Intense proactive communication between association board, management company, tenants and residents due to the required access to interior spaces. Managed a sliding schedule required our team to shift as needed to keep the project moving forward. In-depth repairs required our team to be highly versatile and experienced. Determining priorities and developing cost-effective, long-term solutions for remediation work were based on a holistic approach. Analysis of decking material replacement options generated the benefit of cooler materials making the decks more usable on hot days.

Additional Project Notes: Flexible with financial aspects to allow association to undertake such a giant project outside the insurance coverage. Outlined to homeowner association future maintenance and relating schedule needed to maintain a healthy building

Completion Date: 2016


Door and frames were damaged by moisture causing peeling painting and wood rot. Replaced with metal doors and frames which were properly integrated into the water management system to prevent future problems.


Improperly integrated vapor barriers caused rot below the windows and doors. Decking areas were all damaged from moisture. Action plan: Remove the deck, flat roof and all components down to the floor trusses. Remediation plan: Add spray foam to ceiling below to stop the vapor transmission coming from the warm side of the home. We then added blown insulation to fill the remaining space in the truss cavity. Next, installed new gray-colored TPO roofing system to replace the black EPDM. The gray reduced the sun absorption to allow more enjoyable use of the rooftop patios. Another failure was the original deck patios were attached in approximately 46 places penetrating the roofing membrane for each patio deck causing framing members under the roofing to deteriorate. Created a new solution only involving 6 points of penetration which were each completely sealed to avoid water intrusion.


When the building was constructed, the windows were not installed correctly for a water management system. This failure allowed water to get behind the weather resistive barrier (WRB) causing rot. Remediation plan: Remove bricks around the perimeter of windows, remove windows from their opening, reinstall window property tying it into the water management system and into the WRB of the brick, and then installed new brick around the windows.

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Minneapolis Exterior Design: Minnehaha Parkway Case Study

Peter Thorpe : April 15, 2016 8:58 pm : Building Health, Case Studies, Construction Defects, Design

Overview: For this 1925 south Minneapolis stucco home, a poorly integrated second-story addition done in 1980 resulted in major deterioration and mold inside the walls. Primary contributors were trapped water from seepage around windows and trapped moisture from poor ventilation systems.

Moisture testing indicated the damage was extensive and throughout the structure. Our remedial construction services worked with our client to establish the areas which would require careful repairs to ensure the home’s structural integrity. After the removal and repair of rotted sections, new sheathing and windows were installed followed by new insulation and exterior cladding.



An important part of project for the new homeowners was redesigning the appearance to blend into the neighborhood. Rounded corners were transformed into modern straight lines, windows were enlarged to create more balance and were framed in black to add depth, and cedar wood was included to give warmth and texture. Appreciating the draw of an established neighborhood and the home’s floor plan, the family can now also enjoy living in a healthy and beautiful home along Minnehaha Creek.

Original Built Date: 1925

General Description: Two-story stucco single-family home

Initial Analysis: Construction defect caused by a second-story addition that was put on in the 1980s. Water seeped in around windows and other connection points trapping moisture within the walls causing extensive rot. Additional damage occurred from an unbalanced ventilation system to manage building humidity.

Scope: Following moisture tests, we determined the extent of damage, proposed our construction remediation process and provided an estimate of cost to see if potential homeowner wanted to purchase home and proceed with project.

Remediation Plan: Removed stucco, eliminated rotted areas, reconstructed damaged portions, reinsulated, installed new windows, reclad with James Hardie and cedar siding, and integrated windows and siding correctly to prevent future water intrusion.

Challenges & Solutions: Generating a sound plan to negotiate the sale of the house to adjust for the required remediation work. Once work began, we discovered the extent of deterioration was more substantial than the original testing indicated.  We were able to rebuild structural wall components to reestablish home’s integrity.In the end, we formulated a fresh modern design that enhanced the facade in an established wooded neighborhood.

Additional Project Notes: Our project scope included enlarged windows which were selected with black framing to create dimension and balance plus add more interior light. The main doorway was enhanced using color, natural wood and lighting to avoid previous confusion of what door guests should go to enter the home. The rounded radials were removed and rebuilt to continue the new angular design. The chimney was re-framed to match the straight lines used throughout the project.

Notable Project Partners: Randall Buffie Architect

Completion Date: July 2015

NARI National – 2016 Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award
NARI Regional – 2016 Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award
NARI-MN – 2015 Contractor of the Year (CotY) Award

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Mold Prevention Advice From Your Minneapolis Construction Defect Company

admin : August 20, 2013 2:03 pm : Building Health

As a Minneapolis homeowner, you want to ensure your home is protected from damage.  In our previous post we discussed ways to discover if you have mold in your home. In this post,  we will examine steps that can help you with mold prevention.

While it is impossible to completely insure your home won’t have mold growths, there are steps that can reduce your risk for having mold contaminate your house.

Among them:

  • Control your indoor relative humidity. Keeping your home’s relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent can hamper mold growth. Air conditioning and dehumidifiers are common ways to control indoor humidity, which can be measured with affordable humidity meters.
  • Use venting fans in your kitchen and bathrooms. Ensure the fans work properly and are used. You need to also ensure they vent steam to the outdoors and not simply up into an attic or crawlspace.
  • Consider area rugs or washable floor surfaces in risk areas. Wall-to-wall carpeting is an ideal area for mold to grow. Consider not carpeting bathrooms or kitchens. If your carpeting gets wet due to flooding or other long-term water exposure replace it.
  • Keep water from your home’s foundation and from getting behind siding. Make sure your gutters are clear and working properly and that the ground is graded away from your home.
  • Repair any water leaks immediately. If you find a leaking pipe in your home quickly repair it and make sure the area and any items in it are thoroughly dried.
  • Promote good air circulation in your home. Ensure the air in your home circulates by occasionally opening windows and doors to allow fresh air in and occasionally open door to little used rooms in your house.
  • Clean air conditioner drip pans. While running air conditioning helps regulate indoor humidity it also uses drip pans as part of its process. Regularly clean the pan.

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