Building Failures due to Lack of Maintenance
The maintenance of any building is a very important responsibility of the owner as it directly impact on the quality as well as the life of the building. Routing maintenance, repair and improvement of building definitely increase the life of the structure.
Maintenance is defined as the work which is done on a regular basis for the health of your building. Maintenance work includes cleaning, servicing, rectification or repair of the parts of the building. If either non-structural or structural maintenance like repairing of plaster patches, cracks, leakages, etc. are not carried out from time to time, lack of maintenance will lead to the early ageing of the buildings, and ultimately structure will deteriorate, which may invite total or partial building failures.
Maintenance: A Reason for Building Failures:
Effective maintenance of buildings improves or maintains the quality of the load bearing elements and also maintains its properties which are responsible for strength of the building. Effective maintenance, in general, can be classified into servicing, repairing, remodelling and upgrading the building or structure or its different elements, basically to save them from environmental effects like heat or rain and protect the materials. It also take care of minor malfunctioning of different materials and repairs due to physical or manmade damages.
Remember all elements of the building does not have 60 or say 100 years of life. Say an electric switch might have a life of 15 to 20 year or water proofing has a life of 10 to 15 year. Hence you also need to replace them as and when needed. Similarly painting have life of 1 to 5 years depending upon its type and hence you need regular painting to walls and mild steel elements like grill, etc.
Maintenance of buildings should be carried out immediately when you observe the following situations in your building:
- Long-term water leakages in any part of the building, or fixture.
- Structural or non-structural cracks.
- Spalling of concrete.
- Paint defect and loose plaster.
- Long-term water staging inside or outside of the building.
- Fungus or vegetation growth
After assessments of the above damages, carry out the suitable maintenance or repair work on the regular basis. If the maintenance of the building is not carried out, it leads to loss of strength or early ageing and ultimately building may fail. The structure requires proper care in the form of regular maintenance. If we maintain the building in good condition then water stagnation, paint peeling, plaster break off, fungus or vegetation growth, cracking, etc. does not affect the life of the building. In most regular maintenance is key to life of a building.