That Sinking Feeling
One the most deceptive and destructive phenomenon in the construction industry, that happens more often than you would think, is structural sinking or technically known as subsidence. There are a number of reasons that things start to go Titanic in construction, but all of them relate to the way the ground a structure is built on shifts over time. So here is a quick rundown of some of the causes, as well as some advice to minimize its occurrence on your construction projects.
Do your research
Subsidence can occur during construction, when the proper measures to account for how much the kind of soil your building on will shift over time aren't followed. Different kinds of soils will move and settle in different ways. It's important to know exactly what kind of ground you are building on so you can prepare it correctly. If you don’t, over time the ground underneath the building will move in a way this hasn’t been compensated for, ending in another case of sinking.
Subsidence can also occur when the ground that a project is being built upon hasn’t been prepared properly for the construction that will commence on it. In circumstances where construction happens on improperly prepared ground, after a time the soil that the structure sits on, will compact under the weight of the structure and cause the site to shift. Resulting in an unstable construction, cracking and eventual subsidence. Our advice is to make sure that all protocols are being kept to at all stages of the project.
Know where you stand
Another big cause of subsidence is a lack of compensation for how reactive the soil being built on is. Some areas have soil that has a higher concentration of clay, which will expand when wet and contract when dry, which can be an issue in areas prone to drought or floods. Other areas will have a lot of gravel or stony soil which are more susceptible to shifting when nearby sites are excavated or disturbed. So knowing what kind of environment you are building is just as important as knowing what you are building on.
If you're concerned about any subsidence issues that you have, BellMont is able to help you. Feel free to contact us and see what we can do for you.
Types of Rust
Everyone has experienced a surface inside or outside their building rusting at least once, it’s an effect of time and conditions. In most instances, this rust appears red. However, this is not always the case, with rust appearing in different colours for various reasons. The most common rust colours are red, yellow, brown and black, which all indicate an issue with either the surface itself or its contact with the surrounding environment. Read on to find out more!
Red rust is a result of exposure to elements such as air and water. Unlike other rusts there are no visible rust runs or streaks as the affected area is usually affected as a whole by atmospheric conditions. Like black rust, this form of corrosion is formed when combined with salt.
Yellow rust usually appears in places of high moisture content where the affected area has been highly exposed to water over a period of time and has corroded as a result. The yellow rust stain usually appears to run or drip.
Unlike yellow rust, brown rust is a drier and crustier rust, formed as a result from contact with water and oxygen. It is similar to red rust, however, brown rust appears in patches rather than affecting an entire surface.
Black rust usually forms in a low oxygen environment. The black stains help to indicate where the issues are. For the example areas where the rust is, indicate a lack of oxygen. Black rust, like red rust can form as a result of contact with salt which causes corrosion.