Industrial buildings are subject to wear and tear faster than other types of structures commonly because of heavy-duty equipment, prior foundational issues, and manufacturing activities that can cause damage to walls and columns very easily. A few other possible contributing factors include chemical storage that begins to erode or leak, plumbing leaks deep within the foundation and other environmental effects.
Accidents, scraped walls, and other cosmetic damages are subject to happen within industrial spaces but, staying on top of routine inspections and maintenance is critical to ensure that structures are safe. Failure to assess and fix structural damage in a timely manner can result in a crumbling building or a collapse of part of the structure. Industrial spaces should be inspected and maintained regularly in order to save on costs and avoid further damage in the future.
Signs of Structural Damage
Seemingly minor damage could potentially be a warning sign of more significant issues. Rust stains, the formation of cracks of inconsistent sizing throughout the breach, water leaks that can’t be pinpointed, cracking brickwork, and large pieces of concrete falling from the structure could all be signs of severe structural damage. Exterior signs of damage begin to occur when structural issues are left unresolved. It’s essential to act quickly once signs of damage are observed because the integrity of the building could have been compromised for some time. Building owners will need to respond promptly to prevent injuries.
Cracks or separation around doors and windows is a red flag and a potential sign of structural damage. Sloping floors that lead up to windows and doors that fail to open or close could be another sign of structural damage along with doors and windows that slide closed on their own. Balconies and guardrails are highly prone to dry rot, decay, and mold, and these areas should be thoroughly inspected as often as possible to avoid serious injuries. Excessive weight, natural elements, and rust can take their toll on these susceptible parts of any building, so it’s essential to inspect both areas thoroughly and consistently.
Building settlement, which is the sinking or displacement of the foundation, can cause cracks that allow fungus growing moisture deep into the structure. Falling bricks, cracks, and sticking windows are all warning signs of a shifting foundation. Structural engineers should also check for water leakage at the foundation level, which can cause massive amounts of erosion on top of odor, insects, mildew, and warping.
Reasons for Structural Damage
Structural damage can happen for a variety of reasons, and the age of the structure or faulty craftsmanship could both impact your building’s interior architecture. Other factors include:
- Damaged chemical storage inside the building. Leaky storage containers can allow harmful chemicals to seep into the structure.
- Broken concrete slabs, or parts of the foundation that has been punctured by an installed piece of equipment. Gaps and holes left unfilled can let moisture into the foundation of the building.
- Faulty roof drainage systems and clogged gutters, which cause water to pool and collect around the foundation of your structure.
- Overstressed framing in older buildings.
- Severe damage to building columns from heavy equipment.
- Neglected maintenance and repairs.
Never Ignore Structural Damage
Damage to industrial structures never gets better on its own. Cosmetic repairs to serious structural problems are temporary solutions to more significant structural issues, and ignoring needed repairs can make matters worse. Structural damage can quickly spread to unaffected areas if not dealt with immediately. Dealing with structural damage sooner than later will also be less expensive in the long run, and prevent accidents related to a damaged building.