Over the years we have had cases of buildings going down unexpectedly. This tragic incidence has somehow turned out to gradually look like an age long tradition. Some decades ago, we had lesser cases of buildings or structures going down without an external aid but recently, it had returned with a bang claiming lives and properties in its thousands and millions. Over the last ten years there has been an upsurge in cases of buildings and structures collapse.. In July 2006, a building in Ebute Meta Area of Lagos known as ‘’The Titanic’’ went down under its own weight, it had about 36 flats in it; before then, in March the same year , the Bank of industry building at Marina collapsed and in Both incidents, about 22 people lost their life..Fast forward to August 2010, a four storey building on Gimbiya street – Garki Abuja collapsed, killing 21 people out of the 30 people..
In May 2013, it was Ebute Metta again, at Oloto Street, a three storey building collapsed, this incident claimed about five lives and the list goes on and on.
These Carnage and loss of lives and properties , when it continued, attracted the attention of experts in the industry .
Buildings do not just go down , they give warning signs , this was what was revealed by ‘’The building control agency in Nigeria’’ when they carried out a non – destructive integrity test on some buildings.
Building owners are advised to carry out this test if there is any kind of suspicion of a fault in the structure that they’ve put up..
A building that is liable to collapse can easily be identified by any one that is knowledgeable and patient enough to detect it, it does not just occur as stated above..
The signs that can easily be identified are stated below;
- Cracks on the wall : This sign has always been ignored by landlords, tenants and house owners generally , however it is a clear sign that the building can no longer take the load for which it is designed for, there are also structural cracks that show defects in design , these are shown by cracks under the walls etc.
- Gaps between the walls and floor of a building : Gaps on the walls of a building and on the floor are sure signs that the building has structural defects of some kind and mostly ,it ends badly. In 1995, a building with such a fault line collapsed and killed three people..
- Water stains and moulds on the walls or collapsed ceilings : Most buildings show these signs and they are always ignored, some attribute it to just rainfall or water on the floor, this phenomenon is called water penetration by the experts and it occurs when water cannot flow out from the foundation of the building.
- Popping and creaking sounds: Most houses that are about to collapse also show this sign, the popping and creaking sound is caused by wood rubbing against nail and nails rubbing against wood.. Whenever we hear such sounds we should pay close attention..
- A moving house: When a building is about to collapse, it moves, it does not move as in the actual sense but parts of the buildings gradually move out of their original position.
We should be observant when it has to do with our houses and buildings to avoid carnage and destruction and save lives…