By W.H. Ransom
In recent times development disasters and the ensuing complaints and awards for damages have often been within the information. the largest headlines can have been reserved for structural mess ups and whole collapses. yet we should always now not omit the fewer newsworthy disasters equivalent to leaky roofs, damp partitions, dropped foundations and rotted trees. This booklet provides sensible tips at the prevention of failure by means of describing the character and reason behind the most typical defects in structures, after which indicates how they need to be shunned in layout and building.
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On the evidence so far available, the durability of plastics seems to be good. Moisture in general has little effect but can reduce bond strength between glass fibre and polyester resin: the extent of any weakening depends greatly upon the control exercised in manufacture. Plastics are not harmed, in general, by contact with other building materials, though cracking of polyethylene cold-water cisterns has been caused by the use of oilbased jointing compounds. 2, PVC and polycarbonates have high thermal expansion.
The greatest heights reached occur on damp sites and when the outer faces of the external walls do not allow easy drying, for example, if covered with a non-porous coating. When salts are present, decorations may be pushed off. The salts are usually left behind and seen as a white powdery growth. 42 MOISTURE Fig. 1 Stains typical of damp penetration. 3 RAIN AND SNOW From the earliest times, a primary purpose of any building has been to shelter the occupants from rain and snow, and it is disturbing that so many buildings fail to do so adequately.
However, it is well to keep copper from direct contact with latex cements used for fixing some types of flooring. Waters with a high carbon-dioxide content dissolve copper but the rate of loss is small and the effects on the copper are slight. Some years ago, copper tubing used for water supply suffered serious pitting corrosion. Carbon derived from the lubricant used in tube manufacture formed a film which was nearly continuous and was cathodic to the copper surface. Pitting corrosion occurred at slight breaks in the film and caused rapid perforation of the tube.
Building Failures: Diagnosis and Avoidance by W.H. Ransom