Concrete is not the all-enduring material it is often thought to be and many poorly designed or constructed structures require considerable maintenance to prolong service life. Structural investigations can include tests to identify poor materials, environmental contamination from road salts, sulphates and carbon dioxide to offer valuable information for the engineer to determine refurbishment cost and project the safe lifespan of the structure.
KC Specialised Access carry out many inspections on structures. Outlined below are some of the building inspection services we can carry out. This is not an exhaustive list, for further detail you can contact us directly and discuss your specific requirements.
VISUAL INSPECTION AND TAP TESTING
All areas of the building exterior are visually examined at close quarters and details recorded of the general condition and the type, dimensions and location of more specific defects. All areas of the building exterior are hammer sounded by light tapping or broad sweeps of an inspection hammer across the surface of brick, render or concrete. Particular attention is paid to column edges, beam edges, cracked material, previously repaired areas and areas displaying signs of bulging or displacement. Changes in pitch indicate the presence of spalling material or badly adhered render/slip bricks. Spalling in concrete typically occurs as a result of moisture reaching the underlying reinforcing bar via minor cracking and porosity, subsequent corrosion then forcing off the surface material. Another cause may be salt spalling, this is a specific type of weathering which occurs in porous building materials. Dissolved salt is carried through the material in water and crystallises near the surface as the water evaporates. As the salt crystals expand this builds up shear stresses which break away spall from the surface. Hammer sounding can detect spalling at an early stage allowing the building owner to act in time to prevent material falling from height. Details of the visual inspection and hammer testing are presented in a schedule of defects within the final inspection report.