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Maintenance standards you should follow while working on any Building Project.

Maintenance standards eyou should follow while working on any Building Project.

June 29, 2022 

There’s always a profound temptation to get started on home improvement work right away. Of course, the sooner you start, the faster you’ll finish your project. However, without any preliminary planning, it may not go as smoothly as you think. Before starting any project, it’s essential to perform some maintenance checkups to ensure the integrity of the building and improve asset reliability. 

For your convenience, here is a list of maintenance standards that you should follow while working on any building projects:-

Building structure 

The building structure protects your house and everything inside it, including your proud possessions, valuables, and most importantly – your dear ones! Each structure behaves differently depending on the material used for construction, type of construction, number of floors, weather, and many other parameters. There can be different kinds of RCC (Reinforced cement concrete) structures. Some of the most common ones are:-

  • Conventional RCC
  • Precast
  • Aluminum formwork
  • Shear wall structure 
  • This section primarily addresses the conventional RCC structures. 

The structural design of the building should comply with the Bureau of Indian Standards for the zone in which it is built. While writing this blog, any building above 70-meter height is considered a high-rise building. High-rise buildings are designed with more safety parameters than other buildings. The rated load for all residential buildings is around 200 kg/square meter. Therefore, to be on the safer side do not put heavy machinery/Plants/materials in your apartment that can exceed this load. The life of the building for the next 40 years will be determined by the regular maintenance done in the first 10 years. 

Maintenance & Upkeep:

Maintain your building the way you maintain your health. The fitness of your home property is not an option. Consider your apartment’s upkeep to be the same as supporting your own health. Regular health check-ups with a doctor help in identifying your health issues. Similarly, regular maintenance and check-ups of the apartment structure can identify any cracks, corrosion, or other life-threatening hazards. Apart from that, you also need to keep an eye on the paint of your buildings. It will be beneficial if you can paint your building every 5 to 6 years, as it includes elastomers that fill the cracks and gaps and prevent new cracks from developing. It will also help in preventing water seepage from the cracks, which can damage the steel and concrete in your walls.  

Termite protection 

Termites can be a lot of hassle in the older apartments, it is better to stop them beforehand. Think of anti-termite treatment as insurance against termites. Each and every structure can be affected by termites regardless of their size or the materials used in the construction. 

Therefore, to avoid those termite attacks appropriate precautionary measures must be taken. As costly furniture, clothes, books, documents, and plastic insulation provide a convenient substitute for the natural food of termites; it is advisable to have anti-termite treatment (pest control) on your furniture at regular intervals whether the furniture is old or new. Rather than hoping that termites won’t strike, ensure they can’t and keep yourself safe.

Interior decoration & structural changes 

Any structural/electrical/plumbing changes should be made after having a word with the appropriate professionals. Any changes made without referring to the drawings or consulting can be dangerous for the building structure and its overall integrity. If you are hiring another structural engineer to advise on making any structural changes, make sure he/she takes complete responsibility for the entire structural audit of the building after making the changes.

Any modifications made in the electrical wiring can increase the total connected load in the apartment. This also increases outlets on diesel generator (DG) backup capacity of individual flats therefore it is not permitted unless approved by the complex. The complex will not necessarily be augmenting its DG set capacity to cater to this change. 

In the event of any remodeling/interior fit-out work being done in the apartment, please dispose of the varnish/polish and paint separately. Don’t just dump them into the drainage system. Modification to water supply and drainage lines will increase the wet areas which can impact the water tightness of the structure and cause long-term deterioration. This can also lead to the loss of existing water-proofing. 

The following activities are strictly prohibited. 

  • Demolishing any walls 
  • Installing a wall in the balcony 
  • Core cutting in beams, columns, and slabs 
  • Any structural changes 

Internal Decoration 

Interior decoration can be done without harming the overall building’s structure. 

Putting marble or new tiles on the existing tiles is not advisable as it increases the load on the structure. No core cutting should be done in beams, columns, or slabs for ducting purposes to install an air conditioner. Unless your building is designed for it, avoid wall garden, balcony garden, or terrace garden. They can lead to seepage, leakage, and rust in the steel used in the structure which may not be visible to you. 

Also, certain modifications may not be permitted which affect the exterior aesthetic look of the building like changing windows, window grills, main entrance door, terrace railings, exterior paintings, etc. So, even if you have a permit, make sure to consult a concerned professional before moving forward with any changes. 

Structural audit 

While we’re on the topic of maintenance standards, we can’t ignore structural audits. A structural audit of the entire building is mandatory after 30 years from the date of an occupation certificate. Some complexes even do it in the first 15 years.  The quality and life of the structure will be determined by timely maintenance performed in the early years. To facilitate this, it is critical to keep track of all maintenance work done in order. You can also take the help of a registered structural designer firm for this task.

Final Thoughts

It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to carry out any building project. So, to make it last long, it is advisable to take all the necessary precautions before moving forward with the plan. At the end of the day, buildings are there to make us feel safe, therefore their integrity should not be compromised at any cost. 

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