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5 signs of Facade Structural Issues:

Updated: May 10

May 6th, 2024. By: WRG ENGINEERING P.C



The façade of a building helps in protecting it against external factors and contributes to its aesthetic appeal towards clients as well. However, deterioration or structural issues in the façade can develop over time due to several factors, which then affect its appearance and ability to function. That is why it is important to recognize signs of façade problems to help maintain the safety and longevity of the building. By identifying these issues early on, property owners and managers can address and fix these issues immediately, safeguarding the integrity and value of their buildings. Let us delve into these warning signs to understand how to detect and address façade problems effectively! 

 


Cracks serve as indicators of structural shifts within a building. While some materials, such as dry walls, paint, or concrete, may harmlessly develop fine shrinkage cracks over time, others suggest serious issues. Some signs of concern include wide cracks, vertical cracks that run up concrete or masonry columns, and fractures near the corners of a structure. In certain regions such as South Carolina, earthquakes often result in x-shaped cracks where towers and lower building sections intersect or rub against one another. It is recommended to bring in the expertise of an engineer to discern between normal cracks and signs of serious issues.


2. Displacement


Building materials naturally expand and contract in response to temperature and moisture variations. However, when one material noticeably shifts relative to another, it typically signifies a deficiency in sufficient control joints designed to accommodate such movements. Failure to address this displacement can lead to extensive damage to the materials and potential hazards to the public. Take a moment to inspect your building's exterior, paying attention to cracks and sections of cladding that appear misaligned with the rest of the facade. Identifying and addressing these differences can help promptly prevent further deterioration and ensure the safety and integrity of the structure.




3. Leaks


Eliminating wall holes could reduce many leakage issues, but it would also mean moving windows entirely. Window-related leaks can stem from various sources, the windows themselves or their surrounding areas. Leaks originating from within the window often occur due to deteriorated sealing at frame corners, which can degrade over time and usage. Alternatively, external gaskets may lose their effectiveness in sealing between frames and glass. Perimeter and casing leaks typically arise from insufficient joint design or construction between the window and the facade. Before starting repairs, it is essential to accurately identify the leak's source to avoid frustration and ensure effective resolution. 


4. Material Deterioration


Regular maintenance is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity of building materials. Begin by inspecting sealant joints for signs of hardening or cracking, as well as checking window gaskets for shrinkage. Additionally, examine mortar joints for cracks and erosion, and inspect paint for blistering or peeling. Focus your attention on areas prone to water accumulation, such as windowsills, ledges, and wall tops, as these can become sites for swelling and crack formation due to water retention. 


5. Corrosion 


Rust poses a concealed threat within buildings, particularly in the steel components hidden beneath surfaces. In concrete structures, steel serves as reinforcement, while in brick, stone, and terra cotta-clad buildings, it functions as anchors or ties. When steel corrodes, it expands with considerable force, often leading to cracks in surrounding concrete or masonry, and sometimes causing sections to sag or detach. Early indicators include rust stains and cracks, especially in areas where steel fasteners are present. It is essential to inspect windows and steel columns in masonry-clad buildings and systematically check for rust in a grid pattern within concrete structures. Detecting and repairing corrosion promptly can lessen the extent of damage and minimize restoration efforts in the future. 


 

The appearance of a building's facade can significantly impact its value and appeal to potential tenants or buyers. A well-maintained front can increase the value of a property and make it more attractive to tenants, while a poorly-maintained one can decrease its value and determine potential tenants or buyers.

 

WRG Engineering P.C is the best option for carrying out a facade evaluation and repair because we have a team of highly qualified and experienced engineers who specialize in facade inspection and repair. Our engineers use state-of-the-art technology to assess the condition of the facade and identify any potential safety hazards or maintenance needs.

 

WRG Engineering P.C also offers a customized approach to facade evaluation and repair. They understand that each building is unique and requires a tailored solution to address its needs. We work closely with building owners and managers to provide cost-effective and efficient solutions that fit their budget and timeline.


 

For more information about our services regarding Facade Restorations or other inquiries contact us now:


Call us: (212)-634-6477 


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