26 Mar Making buildings as safe as houses
How safe are the people who live, work, study and stay in your buildings?As you are about to discover, probably not quite as safe as you think they are – because there are secret forces at work in every building that can undermine all your good intentions.
Sadly such is the litigious nature of the modern world in which we live, good intentions won’t stand up in court.
But fear not…regular inspections and expert building maintenance by professionals like R&BS can eliminate or at the very least minimise these often-unseen risks.
The # 1 Safety Risk – Leaking RoofsHow can something as seemingly innocuous as a water leak pose such a big threat, you ask? Simple, it can lead to slips, shocks, cave-ins and more. More of those in a minute, but first let’s look at a huge risk caused by leaking roofs: mould growth in ceiling and wall cavities. As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mould can be a problem for those with asthma, hay-fever and chronic respiratory diseases; these people may be at increased risk for infection.
These thoughts about health concerns are echoed by Health Canada , the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organisation who conclude that “the most important effects are increased prevalences of respiratory symptoms, allergies and asthma as well as perturbation of the immunological system.”
Other water hazardsAs well as allowing mould to form on ceilings and on damp surfaces, water leaks from roofs, landscaped areas, retaining walls and garden planters can contribute to slip hazards on pathways, and cause walkways to become dangerously slippery.
Water leaks can also lead to electrical hazards, because water and electricity don’t mix! Ceiling and wall cavities are full of electrical cables, sockets, junctions, switches, data cables etc. all of which can create an electrocution hazard to occupants when combined with water from leaking areas.
Leaking water can also cause extensive property damage, not just by staining ceilings but also by causing dangerous and expensive cave-ins.
Concrete spalling (and people sent sprawling!)Erosion and corrosion can lead to a process called spalling in which the reinforcing steel in walkways and concrete floor slab edges expands and weakens, jeopardising the concrete’s structural integrity.
If left unattended, large chunks of concrete can break away posing a serious danger if they fall on someone. They can be almost as dangerous on walkway surfaces, stairways and landings creating uneven surfaces that can lead to slips, trips and falls. There are also trip hazards involved with uneven concrete slabs, raised edges, incorrectly formed or warped stairways, and generally slippery surfaces that can all cause hazards to pedestrian safety.
For total peace of mind and to make sure your buildings are safe and sound, contact us (FreeCall 1800 550 037) to arrange regular Roof & Building inspections, or click here to read more about our professional building maintenance.