Protecting the Future, Preserving the Past

How do you keep your building structurally sound?

 A lot of people think that once a building is up, their commitment to it ends. It’s done! The task is finished.

But it’s not true, as any contractor or building manager can attest to. Once the building is up, the work is only beginning. Any structure needs maintenance, constant checking and correction of any problems.

Time, weather and other factors make pieces of any structure fail if it’s not properly tended to. Masonry can crumble, steel rust. Glass breaks. Pipes and wires fail. But the most important factor for any building is keeping out the elements.

Other things may cause problems, but the one thing that will assuredly bring down even the most solid structure is water incursion. If you want your property to last, here’s how you keep your building structurally sound.

Painting

If the paint on your building is peeling or thinning, it’s not only an aesthetic problem—it can lead to structural problems. Paint is an extra layer that stands up against the elements, and if it’s compromised the weather is free to find every little crack and crevice, particularly in a concrete, stucco or EIFS wall. Elastomeric coatings are more durable and stand up to more in terms of temperature fluctuations and bad weather, but sooner or later even they need to be reapplied.

Staying on top of exterior painting will help keep your buildings walls secure and guard against the problems that come from water damage. If you take care of your walls, they’ll take care of you.

Waterproofing/sealing

Paint can play into this too, but one of the biggest areas you have to check for sealing is at the joints. Expansion joints in concrete, seals on doors and windows, flashing…you name it, any place where two surfaces join is a place that water can get into. Keeping an eye on these spots and replacing or renewing them when they get worn will keep your building structurally sound.

Mortar repair

Concrete, brick and stone are very durable. But the mortar that holds them together is less so. Mortar wears out naturally over time, especially in areas like Oklahoma that have high temperature fluctuations and heavy instances of bad weather. Mortar needs to be renewed and refreshed by tuckpointing every few years, or the structural integrity of the wall itself can come into question. Even if the wall is only a veneer and isn’t load-bearing, water can come in behind it and do damage, and in severe cases crumbling brick walls or loose stones can be a hazard to passersby.

Your building needs routine structural checks and regular maintenance to stay in top shape and avoid costly repairs down the line. It’s worth getting a contractor who knows what they’re doing to do a walk-through every so often. Give JK Industries a call and we’ll help you stay on top of your building maintenance. It’s what we do.