A Guide to Structural Repairs

Structural repair - Perfect Concrete Care

Repairs done to the fundamental structural elements of the property like foundation, frame, beams, columns, roof, load bearing walls, etc, are considered structural repairs. Structural repairs are usually done on old structures that start showing signs of damage or do not fully meet modern safety and code standards. Structural repairs offer a cost effective, low impact and environmentally conscious alternative to demolition and rebuilding – and are essential to preserve and protect buildings. However, restoring a building and successfully repairing its structural instability can be challenging. Therefore, it is essential to appoint structural repair contractors with the necessary competencies and experience for the long-term success of any structural repair plan. With the complex systems involved, structural repairs require an understanding and methodology only experts can successfully provide.

Because building design and construction materials vary, structural repairs almost always necessitate a custom approach. There are countless factors to consider: age and period of construction, building materials used, design, type and extent of damage, legal requirements and so on. Perfect’s strong lineage in construction and demolition equips Perfect Remediation and Refurbishment with the skills and knowledge to approach structural repairs with the elevated attention to detail required. We specialise in custom, and boutique structural repairs that call for an above-and-beyond service.

When the structure starts to show signs of damage, structural repairs become necessary to maintain the structural integrity of the building. Structural damage such as, cracks, concrete cancer, etc. can be caused by a variety of factors like the age of the structure, water ingress issues, use of low-quality building materials and so on. if the structure starts to move, sink, or starts to form substantial cracks.

The signs of structural damage include:

  • Structural cracks or bulging on walls and ceilings
  • Soil pulling away from exterior walls
  • Uneven gaps around windows and doors
  • Sagging, sloping, or Cracking of floors
  • Sagging roof and roof leaks
  • Damp subfloor
  • Crumbling Concrete or Bricks

Once you have identified one of these signs, the cause of the damage needs to be established before a solution can be drawn up. The structural repair strategy must consider many aspects, including the building’s use, the implied loads, the materials used in the building and the form and feasibility of any repairs. It is critical that a structural engineer is involved to supervise and draw up the specification and repair works in partnership with the structural repair contractor. So, a certified structural engineer specialist needs to be appointed to examine the structure cautiously in order to correctly diagnose the cause and extent of the damage. The structural engineer will then work closely with the structural repair contractor to work out the ideal structural repair strategy. Perfect Remediation has an expert team comprising structural engineers, estimators, contractors, and skilled labourers who work together to execute such structural repair strategies flawlessly.

Types of Structural Repairs

There are a number of structural repair methods available that can be applied according to different types of damages and upgrade requirements.

Ground Stabilisation

A common structural damage is cracking as a result of movement in the ground supporting the walls and floors. This movement in a building’s structure is commonly referred to as subsidence. Subsidence can be caused by trees removing water from the soil, heave or up-lift caused by root growth, shifting water tables, drought, erosion or corrosion, decay, poor workmanship, or lack of maintenance, and even salt attack. Movement of walls and foundation problems are commonplace where ground subsidence occurs.
There are a number of ways in which the cracks and bulges caused by ground movement can be repaired. Prior to dealing with these cracks and bulges, it is imperative to fully understand the cause of the movement, and in most cases, halt it, and stabilise the foundations. This can either be done the traditional way through underpinning or modern “lower impact” methods that involve injecting materials into the ground and remedial ground piles. However, it is crucial to ensure that whatever technique is implemented, it is planned and conducted by trained and competent structural repair engineers, contractors, and ground workers. Once the foundations are stabilised it may be necessary to restore the structural and mechanical bonds that were broken when the cracks formed. Similarly, foundations also need to be stabilised when buildings have cracked or become unstable as a result of impact damage, lateral movement, water ingress, poor building practice, thermal expansion and wind loading. Methods used to resolve such problems include pinning, strapping, piling, lateral restraint systems and steel reinforced cementitious anchors.

Concrete Cancer Repair

Concrete cancer is considered a serious structural problem that occurs within concreted areas, and it is mainly caused by rusting on the reinforcement steel inside the concrete structure. Rust in reinforcement steel causes it to expand forcing the concrete around the steel to be damaged, cracked, and displaced. The damage in the surrounding concrete creates pockets of space that allow water and moisture to seep into, and around the steel itself. This, consequently, causes more rusting and worsening of the problem. Rusted and expanded steel causes the concrete to delaminate which often results in spalling where the concrete cracks and starts to break away.
Concrete cancer is treatable however, for effective repairs, the spalled, damaged or fractured concrete must be removed to expose the affected enforcement steel. Depending on the condition of the steel, it must be cleaned and treated. In cases where the steel is affected by extensive rusting, it must be replaced with new steel. The area is then repaired to the original concrete profile using cement mortar, epoxy mortar or concrete, depending on the size of the damage and the structural requirements. Cracks are repaired using suitable epoxy resins, special mortars, and injection techniques.

Crack Stitching

Crack stitching using profiled stainless-steel bars, resin grout and other innovative products and materials are effective methods of structural crack repair. These systems are highly effective in dealing with an extensive range of situations where repair, reinforcement, stabilisation, or improvements are needed for the structural strength of stone, concrete, and brick structures.

Structural Timber Repair

Structural timber can be repaired and strengthened using resin repair and reinforcement techniques. The structural repair of important and often irreplaceable wooden structures offers an effective and highly reliable means of repairing and retaining beams, joists, lintels, and other timber elements. Lintel replacement and panel strengthening can also often save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on demolition and rebuilding. In many cases, invasive rebuilding and the disturbance of historic structures can be minimised by repairing the structures to correct structural issues. With advanced technology and extensive experience in historic buildings, our skilled Perfect crew can repair and restore historic structures with little evidence of any intervention.

Stainless-steel tie repairs

Cavity wall tie corrosion which is a common problem in cavity walled properties, has reasonably simple and well-established remediation strategies. New stainless-steel ties can be installed, either mechanically or fixed into the walls using resin. The defective or corroded ties can be detached when necessary but, in certain circumstances, can even be left in its original place.

Why Choose Perfect Remediation?

Perfect Remediation and Refurbishment draws on over a decade of construction works in the tier one, infrastructure, commercial, industrial, and residential space. Perfect services the residential, retail, commercial and industrial sectors in Greater Sydney and beyond. With a strong lineage in tier one construction, the company has flagship projects from the CBD out into the heartland of New South Wales. Our expertise spans structural steel, concrete & crack injection, waterproofing, sealing & caulking and membranes & coatings. Our remediation team has extensive experience and knowledge in all sorts of structural repairs including ground stabilisation, crack stitching, structural timber repair and so on and this lets them engage with a variety of functions in maintaining the structural integrity of your structure. Perfect’s strong and dedicated workforce guided by an accomplished command structure, new machinery & equipment, and advanced operating tech work together to provide its clientele with innovative, industry-leading structural repairs.

For more information on our services, take a look at our webpage or request a free quote.

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