Homes need to be maintained and fortified periodically. Even houses with the best construction and finishing tend to deteriorate and fall apart without proper care. While sometimes deterioration is immediately visible, at other times, it is so gradual that home owners don’t notice it until it is too late. To prevent this, let’s understand the factors that deteriorate the condition of your house.
Structural distress manifests itself through cracks in the concrete. Cracks can occur due to a variety of reasons ranging from poor construction practises, use of lower quality cement, weather conditions, and water seepage . Other factors include drying shrinkage, thermal stresses and chemical actions. The extent of structural distress can be gauged through various techniques, and in most cases it can be restored.
Corrosion of steel bars within the structure
A housing structure can deteriorate when rust around the steel bars becomes voluminous and exerts pressure on the concrete surrounding it. Corrosion of steel bars is manifested through staining, cracks and spalling (breaking off of sections) of concrete. The corrosion itself occurs due to an electro chemical process that is aided by the presence of water or oxygen trapped inside the structure, or water soluble salts that are formed with low-quality concrete.
Carbonation of concrete
Water components in concrete can combine with carbon di oxide from the atmosphere and form carbonates. It adversely affects the quality of concrete, and can cause shrinkage, and make the concrete less efficient in protecting the steel bars it surrounds and reinforces. A big reason for the carbonation of concrete is the use of low quality concrete during construction.
Other than these technical reasons there are other factors that can deteriorate a home. For instance, when a home is unoccupied for a long time, and yearly maintenance is neglected, it can slowly deteriorate. The weather conditions also play a big role in a home’s structural good health. If your home is in an area of India that is prone to flooding, heavy rain, etc., you need to adequately waterproof it. Natural phenomena such as earthquakes can also damage the structure of a home and make it dangerous for inhabitation over time.
Homes are more than a roof over our heads. They house our valuable possessions, true. But there is an invaluable part of every house – our loved ones. It is therefore important that the health of your home is continually monitored, and repairs and maintenance are carried out currently rather than deferred to a later date.