Buildings after construction undergo wear and tear which need to be taken care off from time to time. These works are generally undertaken to ensure that the proper condition of the building and its works and services can be maintained. These works, if not attended to in time, tend to weaken the building which over a period of time becomes unsafe and unfit for the continuous stay of its occupants. Of course, care must be taken to ensure that excessive maintenance work to is not undertaken. Since these also tend to weaken the skeleton or the basic structure of the building.
Need for repairs and maintenance
There are three main reasons for which maintenance work for buildings is generally undertaken. While the nature of maintenance work undertaken tends to remain the same, it is the scope which differs. Thus the most important reasons for which building maintenance and repairs need to be carried out are:
- Preservation of the building’s machinery, its work, and its services so that they stay in good operable condition,
- Restoration of the building to its original status and standards,
- For improving its facilities to bring it at par with the technical and engineering advances and developments that are taking place in this field.
While it is natural for a building to undergo a certain amount of deterioration over a period of time, the following points, if taken care of during the construction of the same, tends to ease the initial pressure that the occupants might face for the maintenance and repair of the building. These points include:
- Use of good quality building materials depending on the requirements of the same,
- Construction techniques chosen should be appropriate to the building being constructed,
- Construction, as well as the installation of the building, should meet the required specifications,
- Effective and strict supervision of the project or the building throughout its period of construction,
- Defects, if and when found, should be rectified immediately and definitely before the completion of the building and its final certification,
- Adequate space needs to be provided for properly designed landscaping etc.
In fact, the presence of inherent defects not corrected during the construction stage makes for exorbitant maintenance and repair costs while at the same time reducing the longevity of the building.
Types of repairs
Complying with the statutory requirements of the building and keeping up with the intensity of its use means that a building needs to undergo either of the following types of repairs and maintenance work from time to time. These types include:
- Day to day maintenance and repair services: These are those small but vital problems which keep cropping on a daily basis from time to time. They are generally associated with plumbing works, electrical faults, water supply, watering of plants, maintaining the landscape etc. The purpose of these day to day maintenance facilities is to ensure the cleanliness of the building and the proper functioning of all its common facilities.
- Annual repairs: These are planned works that include those that are carried out on a yearly basis to ensure continuity of the services by preserving their life and to maintain the aesthetics of the building concerned. Some examples of these repairs include distempering and painting, tank cleaning, whitewashing etc.
- Special repairs: Repairs undertaken for the replacement of existing services and building parts worn down by years of usage fall under this category. Since it is important to restore the building to its original standards to ensure the safe and healthy living, these repairs, though relatively expensive, need to be carried out on a mandatory basis.
- Additions and alterations: These are structures which are added or appended to the original skeleton of the building to suit the requirements of its occupants and also to bring about functional efficiency. They are generally carried out for the updation of the concerned building.
- Preventive maintenance: As the name suggests repair and maintenance works like subsidence, careless usage, seepage etc., which tend to bring about faster deterioration of the outer walls of the building, need to be carried out on the basis of inspection surveys carried out on a regular basis.
Of course, not all factors which lead to the deterioration of a building can be controlled by the occupants. Hence it can be said that maintenance and repair work as carried out basis the requirement of the building aim at providing an economical and effective method of ensuring that the building stays in good utilizable condition.