One of the many tasks we commonly undertake at BellMont Façade Engineering, is remedial and diagnostic inspections. You may be wondering ‘but what does that actually mean?’ In short, it is an in depth investigation on defects present within a building/site, where we will then consult on potential solutions to the problem. But there’s a bit more to the process then it would first seem. So we’d like to take this opportunity to let you know what you should expect when an engineer is inspecting.
Firstly, you should expect us to actually be there onsite, so it’s important to make sure that occupants are also available to provide access. It may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to remember, that access arrangements are followed through on.
After we’re there, you can expect us to undertake our initial investigations of the building/site. This initial inspection will involve us assessing what potential defects are present. During this time we will be liaising with whomever is in charge, asking questions such as the buildings age, for structural drawings, when was it last inspected, etc. It’s important for an engineer to gather as much information about a building as they can, as this will allow for a comprehensive analysis of the situation, therefore leading to better directions on remediation.
After we have conducted our inspection of the project, we’ll return to our offices and look over our site notes, assess all of the data we have at our disposal and write an analytical report. This report will contain a detailed list of defects present, our opinions on the cause(s) of them, as well as suggested actions for remediating the identified issues. Some defects can be dangerous and need to be attended to before others, we will also mark these out clearly for clients to see, so they know what needs attention the quickest.
During our assessment of defects, we also have to determine not just a theoretical solution to the issues at hand, but one can be implemented practically and successfully. This involves us running simulations and calculations on wide number of potential materials to do the job. The results of these simulations and calculations will dictate the final solution, whereon a technical specification will be supplied as part of the solution.
During the construction phase of the project, we would also supervise the project with regular inspections, also reviewing and considering payment claims and variations from contractors.
At the end of a project, we will also issue a certificate of practical completion, assuming all work has been satisfactorily completed to specifications.
Some suggestions we have in order to be properly prepared, is to:
If you have need for an inspection to be performed, contact us and talk to BellMont Facade Engineering about how we can assist you.
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.
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.
When it comes to buildings that have been damaged by water, there are three methods of repair an engineering consultant can use, these are either a membrane, cavity flashing or damp proof course. Not sure what any of these are? Read on to find out!
A waterproofing membrane is a thin layer of watertight material that is laid, injected into or sprayed onto a surface to prevent water from passing through. There are three different types of membranes that can be used, these are sheet, liquid and injectable, which all achieve the same outcome but through different applications.
This type of waterproofing method involves a continuous sheet of waterproofing material that is installed across the gap of a cavity wall. Cavity flashings run along the length of a wall, diverting water out through weep holes, thus keeping the structural integrity of the building intact.
Damp Proof Courses:
And finally, Damp Proof Courses. DPCS are a layer of waterproof material in the wall of a building near the ground, to prevent rising damp. DPCS help to prevent excess moisture entering the building which in turn prevents serious structural damage and issue such as wet rot, dry rot, timber decay, rising damp and black mould.
And that’s it for solutions to waterproofing issues within your building. So now if an engineer comes to inspect your building in response to water damage within your building you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about!