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Structural Repairs

Building are liable to the effects of wind, heat, erosion, decay, salts, water and movement. They are subject to alteration, mechanical impacts, disrepair and occupation. Any number of these factors can cause structures to fail. 

The result of structural failures is ultimately the collapse of the built element, ether in part or in total however building seldon collapse catastrophically without warning.

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When Cracks Appear

Cracks are the usual giveaway that something is not as it should be. Not all cracks are the result of structural failure, but all cracks are an indication of movement post-construction. 

Most buildings will have some minor cracking associated with the seasonal expansion and contraction of the building and the ground or drying post-construction. These are generally  nothing to worry about. Cracks can however, be evidence of other failings in the structure.

Structural Repairs - Homeowner Help & Information - PCA

How to take action

If caught in time and handled correctly structural defects do have to be terminal for the structure. In many situations techniques can be adopted to arrest movement and restrain the building fabric in a way that restores or improves the integrity of structural element. 

Where even moderate cracking or movement has been seen it is imperative that an assessment is made by a qualified structural engineer. They should evaluate the causes and implications of any defects and where necessary calculate the forces needed to repair and reinforce the structure. 

Complex or safety critical structural repairs can and should be the subject of approval by the structural engineer before and after the repairs are delivered. 

What does wet rot look like - Weakend Floorboards

When structural timbers fail...

Unfortunately, buildings do get wet from time to time. This can be the result of defects in the building fabric, plumbing leaks, atmospheric moisture flooding or even the use of water to put out a fire. 

When the fabric of a building is wet, this moisture can be transferred to wooden components that then become susceptible to decomposition, rots, fungi and insects that begin the natural processes that will inevitably return timber to the soil. When this is the case professional need to think about a variety of techniques and considerations for investigating the repair to timber within buildings

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When piling & underpinning may be necessary

Piling and under-pinning may be necessary where foundations have failed but a range of structural defects above ground may be remedied by adopting processes, techniques and technologies that can strengthen, bond and restrain what may seem even quite distorted and displaced structures. 

Many PCA members are experienced in delivering a range of structural repairs and are well used to working in partnership with structural engineers and product suppliers to restore the structural integrity to walls, roofs, bridges, parapets and almost any timber or masonry structure imaginable. 

Structural related technical documents you can view

For those interested, there is a variety of structural, timber and dampness related 'Codes of Practice', Technical Documents, Guidance Notes and other related documents via our technical Document Library.  Simply click on the button below to view the library.  Documents of interest include:

  • Code of Practice for the Installation of Remedial Wall-Ties & Lateral Restraint Ties
  • Fungal Decay in Buildings
  • Guidance Note Party Wall Act 1996
  • Wood Destroying Insects in Buildings
  • Code of Practice for the Investigation and Control of Wood Destroying Insects and Fungi in Buildings

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Free training - Structural related CPD videos

Want to learn more about structural repairs?

For those interested in learning more about structural repairs, there is a variety of PCA training options for surveying professionals as well as technical/trade professionals. 

Use the search tool below to find available structural or construction training courses or simply go to our training & qualifications section.  Alternatively, if you want to chat to someone, contract our training team on 01480 400 000 or contact them online.

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More about PCA Membership 

Interested in taking part in the CPD scheme but you are not a PCA member?  Find out more about membership and why it will benefit you!

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Professional Guidance

For those professionals looking for information, technical help and guidance towards and variety of property related problems, why not check out our 'professional guidance' pages.

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