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Community and Q&A

Automobiles, gaskets and Drainage

homedesign | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

It is interesting to consider at how autos are constructed.
I can’t remember having a car that “leaked” water into the passenger area.

The gasket and drainage system on autos is rather elegant compared to dwelling construction.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Cars can leak. I've seen it happen after windshield replacement.

    Any water management system can leak if the details aren't well executed.

  2. Kathy | | #2

    Especially noticable when you are sitting in a car wash and getting a shower along with the car!

  3. homedesign | | #3

    I was not really looking for perfection.
    I am thinking of windows and doors.

    I think the window and door openings should be able to tolerate some wetting
    thinking NO OSB

    Why can't window/door frame flanges be more rigid ... and include compression gaskets?

  4. Riversong | | #4

    Good house windows have better gaskets than car windows (more like door gaskets), and often similar drainage paths to deal with incidental leakage.

    Cars and windows are both designed to minimize wind leakage and allow water to drain.

    But it's a good thing our homes don't get such poor mileage as our cars.

  5. Riversong | | #5

    I think what's more interesting is the attempt, parallel to the "perfect wall" approach, to make cars invulnerable to moisture damage.

    I remember when aftermarket vehicle undercoating was first being marketed in Detroit. It was a rubberized coating that would be sprayed underneath the chassis and inside door and rocker panel cavities to prevent water and salt contact with unprotected medal.

    What we soon discovered, however, was that if the rubber coating ever separated from the metal substrate - for instance from a fender bender - the rubber would trap moisture against the metal and dramatically accelerate deterioration. So the "perfect" protection required "perfect" installation and "perfect" maintenance and repair in order to function as designed.

    Better to design for fail-safe than for perfection.

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