Example of the Stages of Building Maintenance

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Building maintenance

Table of Contents





Preventive maintenance:

Day to day repairs:

Emergency repairs:

Servicing works:

Minor works:

Identification of Possible Defects

Defect Due to Dampness

Cracks in walls:

Rising Dampness:

Cracks in Structural Components:

1: Stains & Moulds on the Cantilever ceiling:

2: Mounds found of external wall:

3: Cracks in mortar joints:

4: White stains on lower level of Inner wall:

5: Dark stains & fungus/moulds on the entrance way:

6: Roof Gutter Collapsed:

7: Cracks within the Floor:

Identification of Maintenance Generator

Remedial Measures for the defects identified



This report is based on the planning aspect of the building. Designing a building is an imagitavie process, constructing the building is the realization of the dreams of an architect, but the maintenance of the building makes it worthy of its functional use for which it is designed. A properly maintained building is an immovable asset of an individual. The primary of a building is to provide safeguards to its inhabitants against external weather conditions, against the scorching sun & thundering rain, etc. To use the maximum potential of a building, it should have to be properly maintained. Each & every building has a duration which is like 30 – 40 years. As per the external weather conditions & type of usage of building & its functionality decides how long a building can sustain itself. A building is a non- living thing, it cannot heal itself. For this an effective maintained unit should be placed. Also periodic visit of an architect along with MEP consultant should be done to check any mishappening. This report is prepared based upon the template of indentifying the defects in the Architecture building, done with the help of visual photographic documentation. This report will cover the detailed & elaborated study of the various building defects occurring in various parts of architecture building. Detailed study of defects, its causes as well as its remedies are to be provided in this report. The report will also talk about identification of a future maintenance generator.


A building comprised of structural load bearing units like foundations, beams, columns, floors & slabs. These are the parts which require thorough thought design, an effective process of construction carried out as per the structural requirements & recommendations of the structural engineer & last but not the least, a proper in place maintenance system to maximize the life of such structural units. Other than structural units, a building has non- load bearing components which comprises of walls, external cladding done for aesthetical purpose, flooring & false ceiling etc. These are the components of the buildings which are to be designed by the architect & constructed by the civil engineer. Other than this, a MEP consultant is to be hired to overlook the integration of architecture, structure & services. The architecture building of the University of Newcastle is building made in Brick tile. The architecture building is a ground + 2 floor building, has studio rooms, class rooms, conference hall, etc. The use of wood as a railing material is a peculiarity of the building.


Maintenance of a building cost more than constructing it. Proper maintenance of maintenance is a depiction of love & care for the space we are using. Be it our home, our university, our office complex etc. There are certain parameters which define how & up to which limit a building should be maintained. a building properly maintained so that it provides its users safety & security against external conditions.


According to Burgess & White (1979), maintenance work of a building is divided into two parts. The very first is formulating a planned program comprising of improvement as well as renovation in a building. The scope of this improvement & renovation is mainly due to sudden failure in the various performance criteria of a building. Five major types of maintenance works are elaborated by Burgess & White. Following the main types of maintenance works:-

Preventive maintenance: This includes minimum preventive measures done at an early stage of defect detection. The saying or prevention is better than cure is the basis of this type of maintenance work. Like maintaining the roof prior to the rainy season is an activity of such type of work.

Day to day repairs: This repair is the most important type of maintenance carried out by the house lady of the building or the persons engaged in building maintenance.

Emergency repairs: Certain repairs are to be done on an emergency basis. The toppling of a wall, bending of a roof, dampness of wall or roof etc are the example of such kind emergency repairs.

Servicing works: This repair is done on a periodic basis. Usually a building requires painting & cleaning work on a yearly basis. The maintenance of roof against the dampness & leakage against water seepage is to be done once in two years.

Minor works: Such kind of works includes minor repairing of various components of building like doors, windows, sanitary works etc.

This scope of this report includes detailed identification of defects done through template & the solutions of such kind of solutions to be done for maintenance. Both the major as well minor defects are to be identified along with their solutions. All the remedial solutions are to be based on a proper constructional technique to be used among the Australian peninsula.

Identification of Possible Defects

For an architectural building of the University of Newcastle or for any building various defects can occur considering the age group of the building. A construction defect can render the building unsafe & can risk the lives of the people using the building. A damaged/collapsed building will not only result in loss of money but results in a loss to the society by the danger posed by the building. This also results in loss of money in repairing the building etc. A construction defect is different from the usual time bound defect caused in any building due to aging. The time bound defect depends upon the durability & workability of the structural components of the building. The following are the general type of defects common in all building due to constructional failure, structural failure or design failure.

Defect Due to Dampness: The increase in moisture content in the soil as well as in the air, can results in dampness of the walls, if damp proofing course is not used, provided at the plinth of the building. To minimize the seepage of water through capillary action form the soil, a damp proofing course is to be given beneath all the walls excluding the door openings.

Cracks in walls: Due to shrinkage effect of the sub soil, walls tend to develop crack all along the length of wall. This crack is a result of settling effect of the sub soil, due to which a portion of a wall tends to shift downwards, resulting in cracks. Proper soil test all at major junctions of walls, foundations & columns are to be conducted to avoid such kind of cracks.

Rising Dampness: Due to the failure of damp proof course beneath the plinth protection of the building, dampness rises to the wall, creating a white powder like coating on the walls above the paints. The dampness causes major living conditions problems to the inhabitants of the building, especially if the site of the building is not opened from any side.

Cracks in Structural Components: The foundations, columns, roofs & beams are the parts of structural stability of the building. Cracks develop due to permeability of concrete, thermal movement which takes place within the concrete & steel etc. Proper structural as well as architectural design along the construction to be done as per building norms is a solution to avoid the cracks. The collapse of building due to cracks in structural components is dangerous the lives of the people.

A building such as Architectural College of the University of Newcastle, which is a G+ 2 structure, will have some general type of defects including both construction defect as well as age bound defect. Following types of defects have been identified in the building of architectural college of the Newcastle University:

1: Stains & Moulds on the Cantilever ceiling: This defect found in the external corridor of the ground level of architecture building due to lack of maintenance as well as non functional usage of the ceiling lights. The remedy for this kind of defect will be proper cleanliness to be carried out along all the corridor of the building particularly for the ceiling of corridor. Using the light fixtures during night may prove to be the best solution which will ensure maintenance.

2: Mounds found of external wall: Due to increase in moisture content & breaking of damp proof course beneath the plinth of the building, dampness rises on the external wall which is along the south side of building. It is important to note that. Although the south side gets maximum sun, but due to dampness, mould can still be found. Proper landscaping scheme is also to be formulated which can result in penetration of sunrays up till the wall.

3: Cracks in mortar joints: Vertical cracks are seen on the wall around the first aid kid located at ground floor of the architecture building. The possible cause of these cracks is the shrinkage in the sue soil due to increase in moisture content. Soil testing to be done on an immediate basis, which will quantify the shrinkage occurring in the sub soil. Coating of water proofing silicon layer is to be done on an urgent basis all along the walls of the ground floor.

4: White stains on lower level of Inner wall: These white stains are the result of combination of termite action & dampness. With increase in Dampness, termite & other insects grows which hampers the exposed cements mortar in the brickwork. Anti- termite spray along with water proof silicon paint is to do be done on urgent basis.

5: Dark stains & fungus/moulds on the entrance way: The non- use of any space within the building is the greatest enemy which renders the building prone to multiple defects. By the photographic observation, it seems that the entranceway is not of much use by the students as well as staff of the college. Lack of maintenance is directly visible from the photograph. Proper cleaning is required, with encouragement needed to use this space.

6: Roof Gutter Collapsed: The technique of providing gutter for removing the rain water from the roof is an old technique that requires periodic improvement. Chocking of gutter will result in accumulation of water through the roof.

7: Cracks within the Floor: Due to tension growing with the concrete in the absence of expansion joints or any other joints.

Identification of Maintenance Generator

The Architecture building has many maintenance generators. The maintenance generators are those factors which act as an external factor upon building components. Due to Dampness, white powder like substance gets accumulated on the joints of the walls, Due to termite action, doors & wooden windows becomes hollow from inside, such factors are called as maintenance generators. Certain maintenance generators are found within the building, which can be prevented by taking immediate action & by controlling the proper usage & functionality of the building.

Increase in Moisture

Non usage of certain building parts like the entrance of the architectural building

Shrinkage of sub soil

Orientation of the building (South façade of the building gets maximum sun but still shows sign of dampness)

Functional space allocation

Proper maintenance to be done

Remedial Measures for the defects identified

With the nature of defect & usage of building, the nature of remedy will differ. For the defects like vertical & horizontal cracks, certain construction techniques are to be followed which was not practiced earlier during the time of construction. Following measures are to be provided against some general defects found in the architectural building: -

Dampness Remedy: To avoid dampness causing weakness of vital building components, following techniques are to be used:

  • Provision of coping stone to be done on all wall parapets.
  • The slope of coping stone should be inside the, towards roof not on the outside.
  • R.C.C. protective circular gola should be made on all the corners & junctions of the roof & wall.
  • The mouth of rainwater pipe should be sealed with water proofing sealant.
  • Water proofing of transparent silicon is to be done on all the walls, to be done regularly twice a year.

Crack Remedy: For checking against the vertical crack, developed in the brick wall, sulphate content of the brick is to be checked, so that it does not reacts with moisture over a period of time & causes efflorescence, which is the deposition of sulphate salt over the brick.

For the cracks developed in concrete structure, following remedy should be used against each particular type of crack:

  • for prevention against shrinkage of the sub soil, foundations is to be taken as much deep as possible to provide a consolidated hard state of rocks to rest upon & transfer the load equally on the rocky inner surface of the earth.
  • Site sloped should be properly calculated, designed & maintained.
  • Damp water proofing is to be done in double layer for sites where the ground water table is much higher.
  • Overloading of any kind should not be entrained, for each loading there should be an structural components to bear its load.
  • Expansion gaps to be provided in roofs as well as floors for tension & compression actions in the concrete as well as steel.

Alternative Method with Cost Estimation

To provide a cost effective remedy for any defect, will prove to be sustainable in nature when the cost estimation is to be concerned. Vernacular method of prevention & protection of the various building defects are possible which are very cost effective. It used locally available remedies, thus reducing the dependencies on the high tech chemicals & machine intensive works for various defect. Use of landscape which repels the termites & insects is an excellent method to check the termite action with the building. Such plants are to be planted in potter planter & placed all along the external wall. It will also enhance the aesthetical quality of the space along with providing safety from insects & termite. To prevent the moisture content in the sub soil near the plinth area of building, plants requiring more water are to be used as landscape elements. Plants like cactus & other desert planters can be used.

Short & Long Term Maintenance Plan

Short & Long term maintenance plan comprises of remedy for various type of works to be done under maintenance management. Prevention against dampness, moulds, slipperiness, paying attention to the unused facilitates of the buildings are a part of short term plan which will not take much time & based upon the template are ranked 3 – 5 on the priority basis. While long term plans include treatment against dampness by the water proofing silicon paint spray & treatment of structural components like cracks, gutter seepage etc.


The university architecture college is a not an old building, all the defects reported in the assessment & identification of the building are mainly due to lack of proper maintenance. The building is fairly good conditions. The entire defect ranging near to 1 is to be treated on an urgent basis. Protection from dampness is very essential. For a body to remain fit, we have to use each and every body part, the same saying goes worth the building, if you cease to use the space it will cease to exist & behave like a functional space. With the preparation of short term plans on an urgent basis, the maintenance department would create a healthy start up for maintenance of the building which is the very soul of Architecture College.

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