Structural failure, like most building related problems, has become a normal occurrence in the country because of one factor or the other. OMOTOLA OLORUNTOBI writes.
It is common to see defects in some buildings during construction, while some become visible after years of occupancy . It is unfortunately true that some people tend to over look the implications of this, in spite of the inherent dangers.
Most times, these defects occur when there is flood, thunderstorms, lightning, fire, erosion or when a material has been made to carry loads beyond its capacity. Visible cracks on the wall are usually one of the early warning signs. Also, the foundations of these buildings are usually faulty and do not conform to the existing site soil conditions.
Structural failure is said to be the loss of the load -carrying capacity of a component or member within a structure or of the structure itself.
Commenting on the issue, Martins Abiodun, who owns a house in Mpape said there was a time he noticed a crack in his wall but chose to ignore it till it became a glaring danger which could not be overlooked.“You know as humans, we tend to overlook any defect that we see while constructing our buildings.
I feel we do that because of the money we have invested in the projects and this makes us reluctant in addressing the anomalies early enough. At times, those problems don’t become visible until years after moving into the project. I think it is high time we ensured that proper guidelines were followed when we are building,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Abubakar Ahmed, adduced reasons for structural defects in buildings,which he said ranged from defective designs, inferior construction materials amongst others.
“The incidence of structural failure is widespread, potentially devastating, and each year, it gives rise to billions of dollars loss.
Most times, people use inferior construction materials to probably cut cost but they don’t know that structures could fail even with a satisfactory material especially when the materials cannot withstand the loads that are put on them,” he explained.
Ahmed, however, cautioned that people constructing buildings should not ignore early warning signs which if ignored could turn out disasterous.
In the same vein, Rasak Adewumi, a quantity surveyor, argued that poor workmanship was the principal cause of most construction defects.He also stressed the need to stick to proper procedures.
He said: “Poor workmanship is the actual cause of most construction defects and the resultant signs are leaky roof, cracked walls, shedding paints, floor tiles coming off or cracking amongst others. There is a need for the proper procedures to be taken, because when they are not followed to the latter, we will have ourselves to blame.”