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Embrace Structural Repair with Safety: Prevent Buildings from Collapsing

Building Collapse

Collapsing Buildings

Collapsing buildings are becoming more common. A recent news article or a drive down the road shows that this issue is worldwide. It is easy to recognize the beauty of red brick buildings or old concrete structures. Driving through historic towns captivates the stories within each monument. Yet, a common sight of a collapsing wall can be terrifying and dangerous to the community.

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes can cause buildings to crumble. Engineers can consider these expected regional sources of degradation. However, the one thing that they cannot always account for is the test of time.

On average, buildings in the United States are about 53 years old. Concrete reinforced with steel becomes vulnerable to rusting in that same amount of time. Building inspections should have five-year requirements. The condo in Surfside, Florida, was due for its 40-year inspection the year that it collapsed. This horrific incident outlined the need for frequent checks for structural damage.

Building damage

Factors of Collapse

Several factors contribute to the structural reliability of a building:

  • The age, design, and condition
  • Structural materials and methods
  • Unusual designs (air-supported structures)
  • Fire protection systems (active and passive)
  • Substandard or unregulated construction

Signs of Collapse

Signs to look out for whenever attempting to predict whether a building may collapse:

  • Cracks in walls
  • Sagging on floors
  • Floors deflecting from wall
  • Displaced columns
  • Cracking or dropping arches
  • Bulging on walls
  • Buckling structures
  • Water or smoke pushing through “solid” walls
  • Unusual noises coming from structure

Safety When Rehabilitating

With the cracking of structures over time, renovations and rebuilds ensure safety. In building construction, falling debris poses a risk for pedestrians. There are many safety measures to consider, whether maintaining or building a structure. Falls account for 36.5% of construction worker deaths, an essential risk to consider.

Lacking proper safety mechanisms can cause loss of productivity and products. Additionally, deadly accidents can occur. Whenever maintaining the structure of a building, workers should also keep safe. A safety net will protect workers if they fall and provide reinforcement. It is also essential to prevent debris from falling. This can harm employees or pedestrians on the street. Debris netting is a practical solution for both pedestrian and worker safety. Whenever repairing or rebuilding a structure, consider pedestrian and worker safety.

The crumbling of steel-reinforced concrete buildings is bound to happen. Rust is a significant source of structural damage. The rehabilitation of steel-reinforced concrete buildings is inevitable.

Construction Netting on Building

An analysis of 230 structures with steel-reinforced concrete showed structural collapse increased with time. In 25 years, 90% of the studied structures failed.

The Romans built structures without steel support that are still standing. Is it necessary?

The signs of structural crumbling are present only in reinforced concrete. Therefore, with time, cracks will begin to signify the necessity of repair.

In structures without concrete reinforcement, the crumbling is less predictable and sudden. This means a standing system can be brittle without signs or time to repair.

Rehabilitation is essential to restore the integrity of the building. It is also important to remain safe whenever working above four feet. Paying attention to the signs of collapse and preventing site accidents is essential. Contributing to the stability of infrastructure should always be efficient and safe.

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