Due to ageing and natural deterioration of the building fabric, many common types of defects are found on buildings. Some of the defects may affect the structural safety of the buildings while most of them are localized and non-structural in nature.
Building owners or occupants should always be aware of the condition of their buildings. To avoid unnecessary panic, building owners should:
- identify the symptoms,
- understand the possible causes of the defects,
- carry out timely repair and maintenance works to keep their buildings in good structural condition.
Common types of Building Defects
- Hair-line cracks
- Cracks that stretch to many directions
- Cracks that appear between non-structural walls and structural members
- Stains of water or rust are found on the surface or there is seepage of water
- Cracks appear
- Spalling of rendering/tiles
- The surface bulges and large pieces of concrete peel off, exposing the rusty steel bars
- Cracks that penetrate the surface rendering into the structural concrete or load-bearing brick wall
- Cracks that appear on structural elements of buildings such as beams
- Long cracks that run across the wall
- Rusty stains that appear on the cracks
- Diagonal cracks that appear on the corners of window frames or door frames
- Debonding of finishes / tiles from the wall resulting in hollow sound when tapped with a hammer
- Cracking of the wall surface
- Bulging with a hollow base
- Falling off
- Loosening of finishing
Repair and Maintenance of Building Defects
Building owners have full and ultimate responsibility to maintain not only their own premises but also the common parts of the building. Such responsibility is NOT released by just reporting the issues to the relevant government departments.
|Type of Defect
|Spalling of concrete / structural cracks / defective external wall
|Defects are found within own premises
|Defects are noted in the common parts of the building
Building owners who intend to carry out building repair works should consult building professionals on the appropriate action to be taken, including the appointment of Registered Contractors or Registered Minor Works Contractors for carrying out the necessary repair works.