The Chain Effect of Dirty Drains
In this article we highlight the importance of drainage maintenance. It can take as little as one blocked drain to cause major water damage throughout your whole building.
This unit has a terrace with a total of three drains. None of which had been cleaned. The drains had a piece of cloth placed over them. The purpose of this fabric was to prevent the pebbles from falling through and blocking the drain. BUT, the cloth hadn't been cleaned and began trapping silt to the point where even water couldn't drain through them and the drain was blocked completely.
After a bit of rainfall, water began to pool. The only way it could drain was through a tiny weep hole leading back into the inside of the building shown below. As you could expect, this is not a good sign.
The water seeped inside the building and has flooded the timber floorboards.
This unit was on an upper floor of an apartment complex. The chain effect of dirty drains had now affected three more units, three levels below.
So, check your drains people and clean them regularly to avoid this sort of catastrophic water damage. And if you do need some assistance, call BellMont out for an inspection.
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A Global Pandemic
"Across the world there have been more than 162,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 6,300 deaths." - Department of Health.
Microscopic illustration of the spreading 2019 corona virus that was discovered in Wuhan, China. The image is an artisic but scientific interpretation, with all relevant surface details of this particular virus in place, including Spike Glycoproteins, Hemagglutinin-esterase, E- and M-Proteins and Envelope.
A health alert from the World Health Organisation has announced that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a global pandemic. Reported cases in Australia are at approximately 360 with a total of 5 deaths. Although initial numbers steadily increased, it has taken only four days for case total to double.
What COVID-19 Means for the Construction Industry
A large portion of the construction industry relies on trade from China. In the wake of Coronavirus, the products such as joinery, facade materials, and structural steel are becoming harder to attain due to the shutting factories in China. The lack in supply of material is beginning to take a toll on the building supply chain resulting in a trade collapse. Many workers are concerned for their jobs in such an unstable economic climate, especially with high potential of a recession on our hands.
The Government has responded to the COVID-19's economic threat by introducing a $17.6 billion economic stimulus package aimed "to encourage investment and to keep people in jobs." (Australian Government)
In the meantime...
We can all take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The Department of Health encourages everyone to practice good hygiene as follows;
Women in Construction
According to an article posted by the ABC in 2018, the construction industry is “Australia’s third largest employer and the most male dominated.” Many women find it hard to meet the demanding nature of the industry while juggling raising and caring for children. The article discusses three main aspects that keep women from entering and progressing in construction. One, being the long and demanding work hours. Two, sexism which is often unnoticed and hardly acted on. And thirdly, the little to no support to return to work - particularly after parental leave.
“In 2016, men made up 88 per cent of the construction workforce: 99 per cent of construction tradespeople and 86 per cent of construction managers and professionals.”
A study by McKinsley & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21 per cent more likely to outperform on profitability and 27 per cent more likely to have superior value creation.
How can we help diversify the industry?
There has been more talk of providing evidence of gender equality practices when applying for government tenders. As well as zero tolerance policies for sexism. Unfortunately, the simple outcome of hiring more women do not eradicate the current gender equality issues within the world of construction. More concrete and quantifiable goals and targets are necessary for positive change.
For more talk on Women in Construction make sure you attend the event below.
EVENT: Sydney Build 2020 Expo Women in Construction – 20th March
A Pigeon Problem
They say that if a bird poops on you, it’s good luck. But, what if birds poop on you over and over again? For years on end? Surely you’d be the luckiest person in the world.
This property in Homebush West has unknowingly been the shelter to a plethora of pigeons who have left a generous pile of poop all throughout the roof. The bird excrements carpet the roof void in a thick layer, even falling down into the building cavity.
Unfortunately, what was a small structural defect revealed this much bigger and more expensive problem. It would seem that this place has just about run out of luck.
BellMont consulted a Pigeon Hygienist who indicated that this case of pigeon poop is one of the worst he’s ever seen and that the problem is very serious as it poses a major health issue for the residents and workers.
According to SA Health Potential health risks and examples of damage include:
The next step is to suck out all the… bits and clean out the cavities and roof void. Then, the building will be treated with much needed disinfectant. The hard part about this procedure is in the nature of pigeons. Pigeons breed all throughout the year and don’t tend to migrate far from their birthplace. So, their home usually stays their home unless monitored correctly.
In hopes to deter pigeons from re-entering this rooftop, some measure that will be taken include the repair of holes in roof and the installation of bird spikes.
The next time you see a pigeon hanging about your home, make sure you scare them off. Otherwise, you could be the ones left with an incredibly sh*tty problem…