Causes of Deterioration in Buildings

Modified: 26th Jul 2018
Wordcount: 3311 words

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In this report I’m mainly focusing on deterioration in buildings, needs of planned, cyclical and reactive maintenance, relationship between design, construction, maintenance and cause of dilapidation. Hopefully it is very important report to improve your knowledge.

Causes of deterioration in building

When we talking about this question there are many reasons for deterioration in buildings, many of them having to do simple with reveal to the elements. Building deterioration is mostly depends on what type of building & the time period, building is maintain. The main example we can take is, when we talking about the external walls of the building most of the time this walls get caught to the rain, frost etc. so when we are not doing the maintenance in time period the entire building will deterioration due to the cause. Not only this issue we can discuss for deterioration of building, we can list the primary source and causes of deterioration and decay in structures and buildings such as;

  • Human
  • Chemicals
  • Atmospheric
  • Structural
  • Moisture
  • Fire
  • Faulty design
  • Faulty construction
  • Faulty materials
  • Faulty systems
  • Cleaning
  • Vandalism

When we talking about these topics human are the main cause of deterioration in buildings. Talking about one by one, failure to clean and carry out routine maintenance is a cause of deterioration of building. Because most of the sites we can see after finishing their day work they not clean the site. Sometimes when we coming at next day we cannot walk in the site even. Because of that hazards are everywhere in the site. Sometimes when client coming to check whether the works are going on that day every single worker are cleaning the site & keep the site looking perfect. But when we going next day site is not clean. Because they not continuing their work, there was no any special plan to clean the this issue will mainly cause for the building. Other thing is failure to employ specialists for cleaning special fittings and equipment. It means some materials and stuffs cannot clean for the normal cleaning worker. We need to provide special people for the cleaning. If we not provide special workers for this it will be an issue for the building. Other thing is we need use correct cleaning materials and techniques for a building. Because most site supervisors are not works up for these cleaning things. So worker not use correct materials and equipment. Sometimes it also deteriorates the building. The thing is before we starting the project we have to inform or we have to give advice for the workers about keeping the site clean when you are finishing the work. Then we can avoid from this cause.

The other thing we can see is ignorance of the causes of deterioration and decay. It means some workers they don’t know the effect of the things such as moisture, fire etc. & they don’t know these things are cause of deterioration in building. Because most of the bass & other helpers are not well educated people. They know only the basic stuffs of their professions. So they work without any risks. But some are very ignorance people, means they don’t care about those rules & stuffs. They do what they like to do. So the thing is site manager or the site supervisor need to handle these problems. Other thing we can see is poor planning for proper maintenance. Some of the site we can see the poor planning all over the project. Because when we starting a project we need to have plan for the entire project and after we finishing the project we need to have a plan for the maintenance. Most of the people don’t have any plan after the project. Why we saying like this is for an example when we take a lift. We need to have maintained every 14 months after it fixed. Because when the lift is working the lift cables are ablate. So when we not maintain the lifts again the hazards are over coming. Likewise we need to have proper maintains to the buildings such as we need to paint the house every 6 month time or 1 year time, we need to check the plumbing works & we need to checks the electrical works etc.

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The other thing we see is adopting a negative attitude of waiting until emergency measures are required. It means most people are waiting until accident happen to start their maintenance. Because they are not thinking about the future, if this happens what happens to the whole building. Even in the site also this issue happens like imagine the scaffoldings are not check before starting the work. Everyone knows there was a hazard we can expect. But the supervisor doesn’t take any reaction for this issue. Basically what happens is when workers are working on the scaffold, if scaffoldings are not fixed all the workers on the scaffolding in danger. So we need to check before it will cause an accident.

We can specify these issues under faulty of construction. Because most of the causes of deteriorations are based on human. When we talking about construction during any construction work we have to do certain things such as excavating trenches, foundation, concrete putting, form work, masonry work etc. we all know these things are doing according to a standard specification. Because when we are not constructing those things including high standard the entire building can deteriorate in 2-3 years. For an example we need to excavate 5m to see the good soil for the construction. But sometimes the workers are excavating 4m and saying these is that selected soil same as for the trenches. So we need to have lack of super vision for these construction periods.

Also we can combine the faulty materials under faulty construction and also the faulty systems. Talking about faulty systems it is mainly based on building services engineering. Because sometimes the building engineers are not looking at the drawing & they doing with their experience. But most of the time if one single wire is missing the entire electrical work will be jammed and it will be serious accident. Not only for electrical these issues can happens in many services such as gas supply, water supply, has communications etc. so these thing are deteriorated the building.

When we talking about faulty materials failure of client, architect, builder, designer reject substandard materials. The other most common issue is in adequate inspection of material by supplier or receiver. For these issues first wrong point is planning. As before we discuss before we starting a project or ongoing a project we need have a plan. Most of the site what the do is when the materials are finished then only them buying the other load of materials. But some sites what they do is they bring up the materials for every one weak. So the wastage or the other issues are not over coming. Other big issue is in site there is no selected place to unload the materials. So most of the time transport cost is very mush of higher. So faulty materials are mainly cause for the building deterioration.

When we talking about the moisture & atmospheric, they also can harmful for the building & can deteriorate the building. Talking about the moisture, penetration of the external fabric or through the ground floor constructions giving to dampness which may create a suitable condition for fungi growth and attack. So it will harmful for the foundations & the building materials. So what we can do is keep the building materials in dry states reduce the deterioration in building. Sometimes faulty plumbing also can harmful for building. Because sometimes when the plumbing works do out of copper or steel, chemicals of the soil react with the pipes. Because of that that bearing capacity of the soil reduces & it can deteriorate the structure of the building and foundation. Also we know when underground pipe leaks happen that also cause for the structure of the building.

When we talking about atmospheric issues wind, rain & sun are mainly occur to the reaction of the structural form of the building. It can mainly cause for the structure and mainly for external finishes. Because when rain falls it hit to the external walls and the moisture, water will effect to the wall. The other thing is in foreign counties, the atmospheric condition is cold and snowy weather. So this kind of whether type is mainly cause for the building and for the roofing structure.

Talking about faulty design poor detailing at the design stage, insufficient allowance for expansion or contraction, incorrect place damp proof courses, poor jointing between different materials and components, poor specifications, lack of adequate considerations of future maintenance are main issues for deteriorating building. The main thing is after putting the foundation we need to have place damp proof cause. Why we need damp proof cause is when we not putting DPC the water will go through the foundation and rubble work & things. So it will mainly cause for the structure of the building. Other thing is when we doing a design we need to have proper detail plan including specifications such as plumbing, electrical works etc. so when there is no proper details on the plan sometimes the workers cannot do their work properly. Sometimes plumbing workers can’t do their plumbing things correctly because sometimes when we are doing the plumbing recently we are founding they can’t do their work properly. So faulty design also deteriorate in building.

We can see all these issues mainly cause for the building deteriorations. What we can do is minimize these issues and do our work & maintain the building every given period of time. It can keep the building maximum time period.

Need of planned, cyclical and reactive maintenance

Talking about maintenance, maintenance is a regular expenditure of a small amount of maintenance funds is much better for a building and more cost effective than large injections of capital to carry out major repairs of a building. It means maintenance is defined as continues protective care of fabric and contents of a building. it may be weekly, monthly or yearly according to the building and nature. When we talking about practice of a conservation most of the people think once the building is completed its does not maintain or look for many years. Why they think like this is they spend large amount of money for this project and the through that the contractor do their work well and no need to maintain. But many major repairs to buildings could not have been prevented if buildings are properly maintained. Building maintenance has become major part in construction industry earlier days & now a day. Because in earlier taking about historical building they are not such historical buildings, they are building up and as well as they programme the future maintenance also. Because of that we can see the historical building same as past years.

Taking about more of building maintenance we can categorized such as cyclical, planned and reactive maintenance. Cyclical maintenance is starting with daily routine and working up with a programme of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and every 5 years. It means that cyclical maintenance is carried out to preserve the facades of the building and ensure that the fittings and fixtures remaining in good condition. For every five year routine architect and surveyor is responsible to check the defect of the building. The types of cyclical maintenance carried out under local authority. For the surveyors and architects have to look for things and checking such as replacement of water pipes and tanks, replacement of booster and transfer pumps, cleaning out all voids & places, checking the electrical installations, checking out whether there is a deterioration sign in the building, cleaning out gutters etc. additionally if the client wants we can do things such as repairing and redecorating, rewiring, reroofing etc. depending on the nature of the maintenance cyclical maintenance can divide in to two categories such as day to day maintenance and maintenance including builder’s work. Talking about day to day maintenance, means the things which can do by the building owner without any help of or without any worker employ by outside. Because when contractor hand over the building we need have simple day to day maintenance such as cleaning gutters and leaves, cleaning out downpipes and drainage, removing plant growth for masonry, checking out the timber whether the insect attacks, checking out the windows and doors etc. talking about maintenance including builder’s work, means the builder have to carry out annual basis such works including replacing of broken tiles, gutters, downpipes; cleaning out air-condition systems, checking out all fire detecting systems etc. these are the thing which we have to do under the cyclical maintenance.

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Talking about planned maintenance in a building, maintenance of building is most effective thing when carry out on a planned cycle. When we plan the maintenance it will extend the life and preserve the appearance of the building. Planned maintenance is more similar to the historical building which the made out with plan to keep up thousands of years. Planned maintenance is benefits because no need large scale of work when there isn’t any plan maintenance. Using planned maintenance programme should be far lesser that the cost resulting using the unplanned maintenance. The thing is before we doing the planned maintenance we need to list out what the task we need to maintenance of the building such as roofs, rainwater disposal systems, external walls, internal structure, building services etc. then we need to carry out who are the people who responsible for this selected tasks such as building contractors, electrical contractors, engineers, unskilled labours etc. then we need to decide what kind of maintenance planned we need to have such as occasional plan, regular plan or the cyclical plan. Then we need to carry out maintenance according to the maintenance plans. This will give as easier to do out work according to the plan.

Talking about reactive maintenance while a thing breaks down fixing quick as possible is very important for people. This is the day to day work that is required to be correct component failures and ensure that as far as possible. There are some works have to be do according to the reactive maintenance such as repairing a broken pane of glass, leaking taps or unblocking a drain. The thing is occasionally these kind of works are much more expensive including serious incident such as floods, stome damages, unsafe things in the building etc. before we doing the maintenance we have to check whether this work be major or minor in cost.

Relationships between design, construction, maintenance and cause of dilapidation.

Talking about this question there are close relationship between design, construction & maintenance in a building. Because when we are starting a project we need to have design, construction & maintenance. Talking about the design of a building the architect, engineering technical applications are mainly based on a building design. The thing is before we starting a project we need to have correct drawing with specifications to take an idea about the selected project which we are going to construct. Because design is the evidence we have how to do the construction according to the correct methods. So we can see design part is combined with the construction part directly.

In the planning things there are close relationship between design and construction. Actually design is a systems which creating a new facilities including the specifications & detail plans. Talking about the construction, Construction is a process of identifying activities & requirement according to the design. Because any type of construction begins with design. According to the design we can starts the project. Imagine without any design what will happen to the project which we are doing. Why I’m saying like this is there’s no any design or specification we can’t build up the project without any single error. Because sometimes there have a standard design, but there will be an error. So we need to have design to construct a building. So we can see there is a special relationship between design & construction. Not only the design & construction, maintenance also in relationship between these two. Because when we doing any construction project according to the design, after finishing the whole project we need to have day to day maintenance for the building. Because many kind of causes can happens to the building. So we need to have maintain plan to keep the building for many years and protect the building.

Talking about the maintenance, maintenance means to hold, keep, sustain or preserve the building or structure to an acceptable standard. It means which sustain the value of the facility. The thing is when the construction is finished we need to maintain the building. We can maintain the building in three ways such as major repairs or restoration, periodic maintenance and day to day maintenance. The main thing is construction people who do the project want to check the maintenance of the building named as architect and surveyor. Most of the time building owner does the day to day maintenance. Another thing we all know is when we design a plan including specifications we need to have special maintenance plan to maintain the building. But maintain is not depend on the design, it’s depends on how the people are using the building. When we don’t have any plan of maintenance of the building, sonly building will dilapidation in 2-3 years. So there is a special relationship between maintenance and dilapidation.

Talking about dilapidation, dilapidation means a building or thing disrepair for many years and the building or thing can’t take for any kind of use or it started to decay. Actually for the dilapidation mainly cause the people who owner the building. When talking about the dilapidation there are many causes we can see in a building such as building get unstable, crakes are pointing on the floors, water leaks in the building, crakes is the walls. So we can see these causes are mainly based in maintenance. Sometimes building will dilapidate because of not maintaining the building for several years, not cleaning the building or the area etc. we can see building dilapidation is mainly combined with the maintenance. When we are not doing the maintenance properly the building get caught for the dilapidation.

So there are various kind of relationship between design, construction, maintenance and dilapidation. When we are doing a project these things are combining with each other and act like one single entity. So these things are very useful when we are handling a project.


Above I mentioned that technology is very important thing in our day today life. In this report I’m discussing causes of deterioration in buildings and their services.

  • Human
  • Chemicals
  • Atmospheric
  • Structural
  • Moisture
  • Fire
  • Faulty design
  • Faulty construction
  • Faulty materials etc.

Then I’m discussing what are the needs of planned, cyclical and reactive maintenance.

Finally I’m discussing about the relationship between design, construction, maintenance and the cause of dilapidation.


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