July 10

Remedial Building Services offer | Window Replacement

New windows offer sound, acoustic and terhmal adva [...]


July 10

What Remdial Building Services offer | Heritage Building Upgrades

If you want to know why you need more than a handy [...]


July 10

What Remdial Building Services offer | Concrete Repair

Don't let anyone fool you. Concrete repair is NOT [...]


July 10

Defective and Flammable Building Cladding | What you can do | Remedial Building Services

Ultimately, managers and Strata Committees of buil [...]


May 20

Quality Commercial Kitchen Flooring | Remedial Building Services

Different commercial kitchen flooring materials ha [...]


May 20

Commercial Kitchen Flooring | What you need to Know | Remedial Building Services

If you are looking to open a new club, restaurant [...]


April 14

Understanding Concrete Repair Terms | Remedial Building Services | Remedial Building Services

Learn about the various types of commercial waterp [...]


April 14

Learn about Commercial waterproofing | Remedial Building Services | Remedial Building Services

Learn about the various types of commercial waterp [...]

DIFFERENT TYPES OF COMMERCIAL WATERPROOFING

  

If you think that because a building is made from concrete and measures have been taken to protect it that it will thus be impervious to water, you may need to think again. Protecting a building from water is something that people often take for granted. They think concrete structures are impervious to water, but sadly, they are not. Chemicals and minerals which help give concrete its strength, can also be the proponents which react with chemicals in water and other liquids which ultimately lead to concrete spalling.
And though you may believe that building has adequate drainage to prevent the build-up of water, and thus minimise the chance of your foundations being affected, did you know that most waterproofing issues we fix are to the flat roof areas and the decks which sit above carparks? If these spaces are above residential spaces such as in an apartment, the impacts are real and tangible for those residents, whereas if the affected area is a commercial building or carpark, the impacts are often financial.
In this blog, we want to provide you with an overview of different issues caused by water and then provide insights into the different methodologies/options available to you for the protection of those areas subjected to water.

The problem with water in structures

In most parts of Australia – at least those areas which have multiple large buildings – rain is a pretty common occurrence, and sadly, so too, are water leaks. Though buildings are designed to be beautiful and functional (irrespective of whether that function is to provide housing, or to provide spaces for offices) the impacts of poor workmanship, faulty products, the elements and general wear and tear mean that what was once designed to be protective can now be a problem. That is, flat spaces often become area where water leaches into cracks and into the spaces below. The impacts of this water ingress can be both visual and structural:

  • A rise in mould in habitable spaces

  • Damage to structural timbers

  • Damage to mechanical elements such as lifts or air conditioning

  • Collapsed plasterboard ceilings

  • Expensive repair work

  • Damaged carpets

  • Corrosion of structural steel which causes concrete cancer, which in turn exacerbates and accelerates the issues

Ultimately, and most seriously, however, the primary concern with water leaks is the impacts it can have on the strength and integrity of structural materials elements used in construction. These seemingly innocuous drips of water can ultimately have large and expensive consequences.

Addressing structural issues with commercial waterproofing

For the purposes of preventing water from getting into places it shouldn’t in the first place, a number of purpose-built waterproof products will have been installed during construction. However, let’s fast forward to the time where you are aware there is a problem, have identified where it is (which is a harder task than it may seem) and rectification needs to be undertaken.

The most common types of commercial waterproofing include cementitious waterproofing,  liquid waterproofing and bitumen based solutions. But what are they and which is best?

The first option is undoubtedly the most-easy to apply (and can be applied by most “handy” trades) albeit it is the least suitable. This solution is basically the application of a cement coating that is applied to cracked areas on walls, terraces, and flooring surfaces. The cement dries hard and effectively plugs the area of cracking. Yet, because it dries hard it has no ability to contract and expand with temperature fluctuations meaning, over time, it will be ineffective, and the problem will resurface.
 
Liquid waterproofing, on the other hand, is generally a more reliable solution. When applied, the liquid transforms into a rubbery coating, which sets directly onto the structure, providing a high level of flexibility. Designed with UV resistance, this solution is more expensive, however, its ability to flow into areas which are hard to reach make it a great-all round solution. One such type of liquid membrane is polyurethane waterproofing. This highly versatile product can be applied to flat roof substrates, such as concrete, cement mortar, terrazzo, and other cleaned surfaces. It has excellent adhesion to these substrates, is high flexibility, has high resistance to weathering, and as stated good UV resistance.
Best of all, as it can be built up in certain areas, it can be used to address falls to ensure that water moves away from problem areas and towards drains.

April 14

Structural Foundation Issues: What Are They and How They Can be Resolved | Remedial Building Services

Cracks in the walls, a leaking underground pipe, r [...]

Cracked Walls

Watch out for cracks within walls. Although some of them appear minute and harmless, they can be a potential concern especially when they appear to ‘step’ up the building. Check all corners, joints, pillars, and even internal walls and take note of cracks that appear to worsen from one check to another. It is common that over time, your foundation will settle but raise the alarm when the cracking starts to cause crumbling or the crack continues to spread.

And, whilst it is generally going to be one of the signs you see when other issues have become apparent, one thing you may want to keep an eye on is whether your walls are no longer plumb. In other words look to see if your wall is meeting the floor/ceiling at 90 degree angles, or are there bulges in the wall from structural forces causing shifts.

Windows and doors

When a building is built, the windows and doors are designed to be snug—not too loose and not too tight. If you notice that your doors or windows are starting to catch when you close them, or that there is a whistling coming in through gaps, it could be a sign that your walls are shifting ever so slightly and you may need to do something.

Sloping Flooring

When the floor is laid it is designed to be flat, or perhaps have a small gradient to help it drain water towards a waste point. However, if you note that round objects seemingly start to roll by themselves, on what should be a flat surface, it could be a sign you have structural shift causing issues.

Dealing with foundation issues

It was Benjamin Franklin who said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” As we see it, by preparing in advance, or at the least by knowing your building well enough to recognise problems as they develop, you will be actively working to protect your building. Doing so can be the difference between catching an issue early and identifying it late when the time and costs to repair it are much more significant.
 
When you do find irregularities, take note of each one of them—the type of damage, the size, and other important details and write them down, or better still take a few photos. Then you have a timeline for what has happened and when, allowing you to give precise details to a rectification specialist. The services offered by experts, who know where to look and who know how to analyse cracks and other issues that might occur in a façade go above and beyond the services of a handyman, or renderer, who may be inclined to treat the issue, not the cause..
 
At Remedial Building Services Australia, we work to assure you that your building will be thoroughly inspected, and in the event that we discover some problems that compromise structural integrity, that we can organise the issues and solutions to be detailed by an external engineering company.
So, if you do see the warning signs, we can help – talk to us!

April 14

Fire Upgrades for Building Code Compliance | Remedial

As a building owner / manager it is essential that [...]

If you are surprised you have received a Fire order in the first place, it could be due to the fact that a lot of them are issued at the time a property puts in development applications and/or missing annual submissions of fire safety statements. However, the local council, can issue an order any time if:

  • Your fire protection systems don’t meet the current National Construction Code (NCC);
  • The area of concern has a high risk of fire incident.

Additionally, upgrade orders can be issued from fire brigades for the repair or maintenance of your existing active and passive fire protection measures.
 
You or the body corporate may decide to make voluntary fire upgrades on the building, but take note that the council will still issue an order when deemed necessary. It is worth noting if you are seeking to be proactive and upgrade your building to comply, you  will still need to seek council approval in connection with the proposed project.

March 27

What Remedial Building Services offer | What we Do | Remedial Building Services

If you want to know why you need more than a handy [...]

THE REQUIREMENT OF FIRE UPGRADE WORKS

Have you ever paid attention to your Annual Fire Safety Statement – otherwise known as your AFSS and do you know what it is?

Your AFSS is a legal document all commercial and residential buildings are required to have on display in a public place such as the entry lobby. This document lists all the essential fire services within the building and the standards they were installed to.

By law, owners of a building are required to ensure all occupants within the building are safe, thus, keeping your AFSS up to date is essential. However, The BCA is constantly upgraded, meaning over a period of time, most, if not all buildings will be served with a council fire upgrade notice, which will identify the current standards which your building fails to comply with.

At Remedial, we have a team of qualified experts whowill work with you to ensure your building is compliant. Furthermore, we can work with you to ensure that any council served upgrade orders are resolved to the highest possible standard.

Our range of upgrade services includes fire penetrations, fire doors, thin film intumescents as well as safety audits.

March 27

What Remdial Building Services offer | What we Do | Remedial Building Services

If you want to know why you need more than a handy [...]

BUILDING RECTIFICATION GLOSSARY

We are always open and transparent with all our clients about each element of the work we undertake on their building. To help you understand some of the commonly used terms in building rectification works, we have compiled this glossary.

TermDefinition
Brick TiesBrick ties are galvanised strips of metal which are placed between bricks and connected to the frame of the building to reinforce the structure and prevent distortion of the walls.
Carbon Fibre StrippingCarbon Fibre Stripping is the technique of applying carbon fibre strips to concrete slabs in order to increase structural strength. This allows the slab to bear more weight and in some situations can also be used as an alternative to replacing the slab.
CladdingA form of building material affixed to the facade of a building usually for architectural purposes. Non-compliant flammable cladding has been responsible for numerous building fires and deaths across the world.
Concrete CancerConcrete Cancer is one of the most prevalent structural issues, which occurs when the steel reinforcement inside a concrete slab is exposed to water and begins to rust. As the steel rusts, it begins to expand, causing cracks and breakages in the concrete. These cracks let in even more water, causing the problem to worsen and spread.
DynaboltsDynabolts are used to anchor concrete, masonry, brick and natural stone. As the bolt is screwed into the wall, it pushes an encasing sleeve outwards creating a triangular effect. This allows it to ‘grab’ better and provide stronger anchorage.
Latent DefectLatent defects are those which are not observable on the façade of the structure and can only be discovered by deeper investigation. A common example of a latent defect is rusted steel reinforcements which have not yet begun to affect the exterior of the building.
LintelsLintels are horizontal beams used above a window or door to support the weight of a wall.
PondingPonding is an unofficial but commonly used term which describes the collection of water in areas other than dedicated water outlets, resulting in unwanted puddles. These puddles become problematic as they can cause flooding, leaking or water ingress.
Roll-on MembraneRoll-on membranes are a class of surface coating used exclusively on flat surfaces. Roll-on membranes are used primarilyfor waterproofing, but specialised products also provide chemical and non-slipresistance.
SpallingSpalling is the observable defect caused by concrete cancer (see definition above). Spalling occurs when the expansion of reinforcing steel within the structure causes large chunks or flakes of building material to come away.
Structural Repair

Structural repair is the general term used to describe work that seeks to repair the structure of a building. It involves correcting structural issues to bring the building into compliance with the relevant requirements.

Torch-on MembraneTorch-on membranes are a form of bitumen-based waterproof coating used on flat roofing structures. Intense heat is applied to the membranes, causing the bitumen to melt and adhere tightly to the surface, which creates a waterproof seal.
WaterproofingWaterproofing is a general term used to describe the protection of a structure’s flat surfaces to prevent water ingress. The two types of waterproofing are: liquid or roll-on membranes and torch-on membranes.
Water IngressWater ingress is the term used to describe the permeation of water into the structure of a building. Water ingress can range in severity from a small leak to a wide scale permeation which causes significant damage to the building’s structure or to internal elements. It can cause both aesthetic, immediately observable defects such as water stains as well as serious latent defects such a concrete cancer.
Water ingress is often more severe in coastal areas where rain and high wind combine to allow water to reach cavities it may otherwise not have reached.
March 27

What Remedial Building Services offer | Archbar and Lintel Repair | Remedial Building Services uilding Services

Where you notice cracks in the brickwork surroundi [...]

At any one time there can be zero issues within your building or conversely one, two or multiple issues which affect your structure. 
At Remedial Building Services,  we specialise in the repair and replacement of key structural elements which will help to make your building structurally sound again. 
If you notice brick cracking or brick growth or see signs your cavity flashing is failing  then it may be time to address latent issues. 

ARCH BAR AND LINTEL REPAIRS

Arch bars and lintels are used to support structures such as windows, doors and other openings. As they are usually constructed from steel, it is not uncommon to see old arch bars and lintels rusting and expanding.

Where an arch bar or lintel has not been galvanised, or where the flashing which should be protecting it has failed, moisture may penetrate the steel, rust and cause structural damage . The corrosion of the steel will cause it to expand which may result in cracks to the surrounding brickwork, allowing water to penetrate the structure. This is not only unsightly, but potentially unsafe as well. 

BRICK AND STONE REPAIR

When brick or stone walls begin to show signs of deterioration such as erosion, cracking or fretting, there are a number of causes that may be to blame. Water ingress,  lintel damage, direct impact and salt degradation are four of the most common causes which present themselves in a building.

In most of these cases, individual bricks will be visibly affected. However, the mortar joints between bricks or stonework may also show signs of disrepair or worse, start shifting away from the inner lining.
Where it is apparent remediation work is required, we will remove affected bricks, treat the remaining ones as required to address the impacts of salt degradation and ultimately, replace the bricks and the brick ties as required before repointing the brickwork to return the wall to its original condition.

If you are aware that you have issues with these structural facets, and are in Sydney, Contact Remedial Building Services who can implement a solution for you.

March 27

What Remedial Building Services offer | Window Replacement | Remedial Building Services

New windows offer sound, acoustic and the advantag [...]

WINDOW REPLACEMENT

There are both aesthetic and functional reasons why you might be considering replacing the windows of your building.

  • To improve the aesthetics of the building, for example replacing old wooden windows with modern aluminium frames
  • To rectify window frames that have become distorted due to exposure to the elements or age
  • To cater for changes in the environment such as an increase in noise in the area
  • To improve wind and/or water ratings and prevent water and wind penetration (particularly for waterfront properties)

For over 40 years, we have undertaken window replacement work across commercial and residential properties. Working to the defined requirements, we work with leading manufacturers to ensure a superior solution every time.

March 13

Sustainable Building Construction: Looking at the Future | Remedial Building Services | Remedial Building Services

Love her or hate her, people like Greta Thunberg a [...]

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING CONSTRUCTION: LOOKING AT THE FUTURE


The construction sector is known to be one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions accounting for 18.1% of Australia’s total carbon footprint in 2013 alone. But with pressure coming in from a growing global movement and organisations starting to realise the negative effects of climate change, those in the construction industry are starting to adopt sustainable practices as part of their business approach. 

Australia’s Zero Net Emissions Promise by 2050

Being one of the most developed countries in the world, Australia’s population continues to grow, with a forecast that there will be 10 million residential homes around the country in the year 2020. In 2030, it is estimated that the number of people in the country will reach 31 million in 2030, which means that more houses and buildings will be built in the near future. 

Juxtaposed to growth, comes a compromise in the quality of environmental health. As construction projects — planning, material making, building, operation, and maintenance — account for almost 25 per cent of the overall greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, it is crucial for the constituents of the industry to strive for a reduction in their carbon footprint – if we are to do our part as a country and strive towards great environmental conservation. 

Thankfully for Australia, the government signed the Paris Agreement which essentially aims to “... limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and strive for 1.5 degrees.” According to the United Nations, the Paris Agreement aims to bring “... all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so. As such, it charts a new course in the global climate effort.” Through this Agreement, Australia promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero net by 2050, on a per-person and emissions intensity basis, a move committed to by Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor on February 10, 2020 ahead of the COP26 meeting at the end of the year. 

The Road to Sustainability: A Legal Compliance, a Social Responsibility Move, or Mere Pressure? 

Admittedly, compared to traditional processes and methods of construction, sustainable buildings are more costly to make. This has meant that the take-up of new technologies has been slower than ideal. However, we expect that now, while some truly care about shifting to eco-friendly practices, some feel obliged due to the rise in pressure from society. But price is not always going to be a factor.

First there’s the growing demand for sustainable building materials. Clients now are more particular about energy-saving and sturdier materials. There’s also expectations within the community for a company to employ sustainable practices in order to preserve local ecology. In fact, the trend (among policy makers and the public) is towards a low-carbon economy around the world. Last but not the least, there’s also the legislative and regulatory requirements that oblige companies to make conscious efforts about the way they do business.
While the National Construction Code of Australia laid out basic requirements for structural energy efficiency, companies can take it a step further through rating systems like Green Star and the National Australian Built Environment Rating System ( NABERS). 

Green Star focusses on assessing how environmentally friendly the design aspect of the buildings are. Awards of up to six stars may be given if a building meets relevant criteria. NABERS, on the other hand, looks at the green performance of structures. It measures a structure’s “... energy efficiency, carbon emissions, as well as the water consumed, the waste produced and compare it to similar buildings.” It also uses a six-star award system, just like the Green Star rating. 

What is the built industry doing to contribute to the Zero Net goal? 

Transitioning from standard building practices to more sustainable solutions is an expensive endeavour, which to date has  discouraged companies from fully embracing the Net Zero movement. It means revisiting budget allocation and execution so as not to affect investor profitability nor compromise capital availability and interrupt operations. But this will, and is changing.

The road to lessening Australia’s built environment’s carbon footprint is a long one but with the promising, long-term benefits that await construction companies,  more and more organisations are making a stand and doing their part to helping achieve what the Australian government promised in the Paris Agreement. 
According to ClimateWorks Australia – one of the main advocates of low-carbon solutions – here are the top three benefits of a greener and more sustainable building: 

  • $27 billion reduction in energy;

  • $12.6 billion cutback in energy network costs; and

  • savings of 78 million tonnes of cumulative emissions.

It is interesting to see the technologies that have emerged lately and currently being used and applied by builders, engineers, architects, and other professionals and groups in the industry. For instance, the installation of green, natural roofing is growing in demand. The product actually can improve air quality and also keep a structure cool, thus lessening cooling costs.
For energy efficiency, there’s the use of solar panels and the replacement of traditional lighting systems to LEDs. For fire protection as well as insulation, there’s natural cork intumescent coating like the range provided by Permax and the  F-Series, that not only provides a good fire protection for steel but also a good heating and cooling solution for your entire structure.
Other notable advancements include self-healing concrete that has zero downtime and the 3D structural printing technologies that lessens manpower, material use, and time consumed in the completion of the project. 

Sustainable Opportunities for Commercial and Industrial Construction Projects 

According to ClimateWorks Australia, the greenhouse gas emissions from buildings are projected to be 35% higher in 2020 than in 2000. Nevertheless, the construction industry has the “... potential to contribute 11 per cent of the total 2020 lowest-cost emissions reduction opportunity for Australia.” Businesses in the construction sector can take advantage of the incentives given to companies that invest in emissions reduction. A carbon tax in place can also motivate organisations to revisit opportunities for reducing carbon emissions that will translate to profitable opportunities for them. 
While there are plenty of construction advancements and new sustainable building materials readily made available today, in Australia, opportunities in emissions reduction can also be found in the heating and lighting systems, appliance use, electricity, and energy consumption, and many others.
The move has begun, but – and with some sense of irony – this is just the tip of the iceberg, so much more can be done. With our externally accredited ISO 14001 Environmental Management System in place for over 10 years, we have been active proponents for change and will continue to ride at the front of the wave looking for new ways to improve what we do.