Buildings are surprisingly complex things with needs that can change over time. Old buildings are notorious for springing a leak now and then, and faulty wiring in a building of any age can pose a serious health and safety risk. Everything from weather conditions to the type of materials used to construct the building can contribute to issues somewhere down the road and it is likely that a building that is in good working order today will need some level of repair and maintenance within the next five years or so.
Building maintenance is always best when it is preventative rather than remedial. It is always best to deal with issues before they become a serious problem, even though it can be tempting to make do with sticking plaster solutions until something happens that kicks you into gear and forces you to take action. It might be annoying to have to treat seemingly minor issues with a high level of urgency, but often that is exactly what is needed to prevent an expensive and highly inconvenient building maintenance emergency from taking place.
There are some parts of a building that are more likely to experience the kind of wear and tear that can lead to serious issues. Basically any building system that handles water will be subject to corrosion over time. Electrical connections can come loose and wires can corrode over time and become ineffective and unsafe. Mould can set in and ruin a building’s interior, or even begin to start causing structural damage if it is allowed to become serious enough.
Fire is something that strikes fear in most people, especially at the thought of experiencing a building fire first hand. There are plenty of fire risks in the average home or office, but the biggest culprit is electrical wiring. Faulty electrical wiring can cause a spark, and if there is anything flammable that happens to be too close then this small spark can cause a full on inferno. It is often sockets and appliances that are the cause of these kinds of fires so it is absolutely crucial to ensure that all electrical devices and access points are inspected regularly and maintained in a timely manner.
A power outage is often not a big deal, but in buildings that depend on power for manufacturing or even for things as vital as life support machines in hospitals, a power cut can be a serious problem. Lighting outages are extremely annoying at best and dangerous at worst, so places that need emergency lighting will require
and inspections on a regular basis. Generators can help in instances where power outages can be dangerous or damaging to a business but it is best to keep things well maintained so you hopefully won’t have to rely on your emergency power supply.
From sudden cracks appearing in load bearing walls to complete collapse, structural damage has wide ranging and extremely damaging effects if it is not remedied as soon as it is noticed. Structural damage can happen to any building for a number of reasons. Some problems can start even before the building work begins. For example, the architect responsible for the building’s design may make a miscalculation, which means their dimensions are off by a small amount that becomes more apparent over time as the structure begins to show signs of damage.
In other instances, buildings can be erected on poorly laid foundations which can throw the building off balance, causing it to sag and shift over time. Even if foundations are perfectly laid, there can still be risks of structural failure coming from below, and this is usually the case where buildings are constructed on top of unstable geological structures.
A more common source of structural failure in the UK comes from a fairly benign but surprisingly powerful source: tree roots. The roots of large trees can expand for many metres in any direction, and the bigger the tree the bigger the roots. Oak trees are particularly notorious for causing structural damage when they are grown too close to a building. This is because their roots are so large and powerful that they can crack walls, smash through foundations, and cause concrete to buckle.