How to Maintain the Structural Integrity of a Building

Whether you’re a building owner or a tenant, you need to make sure of the structural integrity of the building. It speaks of the reputation of the building owner how well-maintained the commercial property is. The problem is that not many building owners and managers take the time and effort to ensure the structural integrity of the building. Failure to do so has catastrophic consequences for the tenants and the building owners. Lawsuits after lawsuits await property owners who are not responsible enough to maintain the building properly.

Structural integrity refers to the engineering field that helps ensure the building is fit for the purpose for which it is built. It should be able to function under normal conditions. Adding support does not make a building structurally sound. A building should be able to stand on its own and function without supplemental support. In fact, even when conditions exceed the original design and capacity of the building, it should still be able to operate at a normal capacity.

What are the factors that reflect the structural integrity of a building? The first one is that it must support its own weight and the second one is it should aim to prevent deformation during its predicted lifetime. Building owners and managers have to put in place measures to support the full functionality of the components—from the plumbing to the roof. That’s why it’s a requirement for building owners to have contractors and handymen on speed dial. At the very least, you should know a commercial roofing contractor you can contact immediately in case of leaks.

Failures in the Structural Integrity of a Building

Structural failures happen because of a variety of factors. Some are industrial while others are environmental. It helps to know these common problems, so building owners can watch out for them and prevent them as much as possible.

Weak structure, structural deterioration, manufacturing errors, defective material, improper environmental considerations, and improper operational conditions are the most common reasons for structural issues. The lack of understanding of these problems will lead to the premature aging of the building. Concrete buildings should last hundreds of years but without proper maintenance, this is impossible.

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The Right Way to Maintain the Structural Integrity of a Building

The keyword here is maintenance. Building owners and managers need to understand how critical it is to do your part in the maintenance of the property. The building won’t take care of itself on its own. Wear and tear happen even to the most expensive buildings. As long as you fail to address the issues before they become a big structural problem, things will only get worse from here.

The first thing you need to do is have a contractor on call. They don’t have to be on a retainer, but they should be accessible to you. Even with well-maintained buildings, structural problems are sure to crop up. What would you do then if you’re confronted with leaking plumbing and collapsed flooring? Do you know what will happen if a part of the wall fell? What if the beams and posts are having cracks on the concrete?

A contractor will know just what to do. They can give you recommendations on the best course of action when there’s a structural problem in the building. You should have a handyman on call, too, for minor problems that do not require the expertise of a general contractor.

Next, you need a building manager whose duty is to report any future structural damage to the contractor. The building manager will usually be the one to take care of the tenants and their requests/demands. Part of that duty is to do regular inspections of the building to make sure that everything is in order.

Finally, you have to take a hands-on approach. Sure, you don’t have to be there to inspect the building if it’s in order or not, but you do have to ask for the report saying that it is. While you don’t need to be physically there, what’s important is to be on top of things. This will allow you to easily address the issues once they start cropping up and not when they become so big it’s impossible not to spend thousands of dollars on them.

It’s not often you hear about commercial building owners worrying about the structural integrity of the property. That’s because they trust the contractors to do what they should have done. However, the structural soundness of a building does not only depend on the contractor, but also on how you protected it from general wear and tear over the years.

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