One of the most common building defects that our engineers come across day-to-day, are related to a lack of, or failure of waterproof membranes. You may be wondering, what exactly is a waterproof membrane and how do they help?
Well, as you may have thought, a waterproof membrane is something that is applied across the surface of the structure to prevent or lessen the effects that water may have on it. Why is it important to have an appropriate membrane though? The reasons are many, but the short answer is that water often leads to many difficult and expensive to fix problems within structures. Anything from the corrosion to the steel reinforcement in concrete, erosion, swelling of timber, to the delamination of materials and efflorescence.
One of the most common surfaces that these are applied to is concrete. Unlike what you may be thinking however, it is not only applied to areas that are at obvious risk of being affected by water, such as bathrooms and kitchens, but is usually applied universally. Other areas that are at particular risk include rooftops, balconies and basement areas.
There are a few different kinds of membranes, and its important to make sure that you apply the right one for the right job. Types of membranes, along with their general use include:
If you are experiencing any leaking water, or an accumulation of efflorescence, get in touch with us today so we can help you build a better solution.
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.
While circumstances such as age and environment do affect how often a building should be inspected, we recommend that strata managers have their buildings inspected at least once every five years to ensure that they are in a sound and liveable condition.
Age plays a huge part in determining how often a strata building should be inspected. Both newly built and older buildings should be assessed regularly. Newer buildings should be inspected regularly to ensure that any defects identified can be rectified as early on as possible and similarly older buildings, which are prone to longer term deterioration issues should be inspected regularly to ensure that material failures do not result in the creation of hazardous environments. Early detection of any condition affecting the structure or amenity of the building is developing, allows an engineer to assess and recommend measures to rectify and conserve the building element.
Heritage buildings are of particular interest with regard to regular assessments and Bellmont are highly skilled in this field having worked on some of Sydney’s most prestigious Heritage structures.
If you are a manager or owner who wishes to have your building inspected by a professional, the team at BellMont would be more than happy to assist! You can get in contact with us below.