Whether we are discussing a huge, densely packed residential complex, a business skyscraper, or a warehouse, exposure to the weather, subpar building design, and normal wear and tear may all contribute to structural and cosmetic problems with the buildings.
The problem is that although a new coat of paint might instantly transform your building, it doesn’t address any underlying problems that may need more serious attention. In fact, just ignoring problems may lead to bigger, more complicated problems that end up costing more to cure.
Not everyone knows what has to be fixed, what is just cosmetic, and what will result in long-term problems. Painters and renderers may claim that they can cure stains and loose concrete, but the truth is that if they don’t identify the origin of the problem and address it, the problem will recur and become worse.
Remedial engineers, in contrast, work to help with evaluation that identifies the core cause, the impacted areas—referred to as latent issues—that you may not be able to see, as well as those that you can.
The professionals that can assist you are remedial engineers or authorised building repair businesses. If there are no problems, it could cost you a little bit extra up front, but if there are, the advantages and savings will well surpass the expense of the inspection and consulting services.
The above-mentioned professionals may help with issue identification, façade redesign, consulting on new structural parts like windows, balustrades, or cladding, as well as with the causes of water ingress.
A strata Management Strategy
Strata management is becoming more difficult than ever in the rapidly changing world of today. In addition to the many regulations that must be kept current, there is also the necessity to stand out from the competition by being more effective, informed, and diligent.
As a result, we are aware that you need a wide range of abilities, including diplomacy, time management, technical expertise, and effective interpersonal communication. And that’s without even mentioning your abilities as meticulous record keepers and inspectors who can also manage funds.
We are aware of the difficulties you face, therefore we wanted to take this opportunity to discuss some crucial maintenance issues that strata managers should be aware of and that also affect property owners’ day-to-day strata building upkeep.
1. Waste water pipe maintenance
No matter whether they transport water or trash, pipes are intended to flow, not to be obstructed. The problem is that pipelines may still become obstructed, broken, or destroyed even with the finest mitigating strategies. Finding the problem and fixing cracked pipes, particularly those that are underground, may seem like a very simple chore, but the damage that goes beyond what is immediately visible might have a detrimental impact on the foundations.
The ground around the leak may erode away, swell (in the case of concrete cancer), or move when water seeps out. Any of these problems might potentially have a long-term impact on the structure itself by causing the building’s footings to erode or shift.
2. Concrete cracking
As we have discussed several times, concrete spalling may have significant effects on a broad range of structures, including concrete-framed buildings, multi-story buildings and parking garages, wharves, tanks, and anything else made of concrete.
Concrete loses structural integrity as it swells and expands, posing risks to health and safety, aesthetic appeal, and asset value.
Fixing spalling concrete
Repairs to concrete must be made in compliance with the relevant regulations. This is where hiring untrained painters, handymen, and other professionals may permanently harm your building.
These professions have their role, but they do not have the same level of proficiency in identifying and specifying the right solutions as remedial engineers, building rectification experts, and other professional services.
In addition to not being certified, the fact is that they may not be able to get the proper insurance to safeguard the job they perform. If this happens again, the work will not be insured, and the body corporate may be responsible for paying for the repair costs. If you made the choice to hire a general trade to patch up the work as a strata manager, the consequences of making a mistake might be devastating to your employment. Although this may seem a bit dramatic, our experience with events like this supports the assertion.
3. Slip-resistant flooring that works
When a flooring material is unsuitable for the space, damaged, in poor condition, unbalanced, or has falls that are insufficient to drain properly, the risk and hazard of slips, falls, trips, and skids are increased. The potential problems that might occur are severe when these levels are located in locations like parking lots, entry walks, or other heavy traffic places. For instance, beautiful tiles made for interior spaces are not suitable for covered sidewalks where people may track in water from the rain.
A strata manager must decide what course of action to follow in order to reduce the dangers to site visitors and residents. Accidents may be prevented by choosing the right floor covering for the job, keeping it clean, and getting rid of any dangers.
4. Roof security
In addition to inspecting a building’s floors, walls, and plumbing systems, strata managers should pay attention to details they can’t immediately see, such as guttering and pitched or flat roofs.
For instance, throughout the fall, the profusion of leaves may jam flat rooftop gutters, downpipes, and drains. The weight of water and clogged leaves in gutters may potentially lead to leaks, sagging, and, over time, cracks where the gutters are joined, in addition to the problems that water might create when it rises and enters areas where it shouldn’t. This then makes the problems worse and creates a whole new set of problems.
Leaks and poor waterproofing may have a big impact on flat roofs because, unlike pitched roofs where the water flows off the top, the water on a flat roof has a chance to linger and keep leaking. The IT may then travel hundreds of metres down the slab, producing problems that cannot be seen but are nevertheless severe in and of itself.
Correcting the problems is crucial, but as with concrete repair, it’s crucial to engage experts who are trained to identify the problem, create a work plan to address it, and then implement the changes.
5. Structures’ preventive upkeep
A systematic approach to building operations called “remedial maintenance” tries to identify and fix any problems with equipment and structures before they arise. Remedial maintenance is a more proactive method of maintaining assets in top functioning condition than reactive maintenance, which is carried out after equipment has already broken down.
Although we are aware that you have a hectic schedule as a strata manager, the reality is that your residents will be happier if you stay on top of your properties and can spot problems before they become serious ones. Making a plan or requesting regular (maybe annual) inspections by a third party can greatly reduce problems, particularly in older buildings.
These protocols assist the facilities staff in keeping up with maintenance and providing the appropriate fixes PRIOR to a necessity. Early problem detection allows for quicker problem resolution, perhaps extending the total usable life of the building’s current systems and structural components.
There are many things you must remember in order to do your job as a competent strata manager, but we hope this quick checklist will be useful.
Although you can’t know everything, if you ever need assistance with a known or suspected building problem, the team at MJ Engineering Projects are certain that we can be of assistance.