Buildings do not just collapse all of a sudden. There are always warning signs before the building collapse. According to the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Sola Adeigbe, a total of 1,104 buildings were sealed from Between June and October 2016 across Lagos State as a result of defective construction. There are various reasons why a building collapse could occur in Nigeria. It could be as a result of
- Previous fire damage
- Windows, doors, floors and stairs out of level
- Excessive water on a roof
- A creaking sound coming from a building
- Major cracks in the wall
- Moving house
Previous fire damage
Previous fire damage in a building weakens the building’s strength. However, fire damage may be covered over during renovations but the damage may remain in walls, floors or ceilings. Ensure you hire a professional to check for critical damages caused by a previous fire accident in the house. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Windows, doors, floors and stairs out of level
You need to be observant of windows and doors prior to entering a building. Staircases that are out of level can indicate a building that has shifted. Windows, doors, floors and stairs out of level indicate a structural problem with the building. These could result into a building collapse in Nigeria.
Excessive water on a roof
Rain water can be retained on roofs that have clogged drains. Though some water on the roofs of exposed buildings can be beneficial in preventing fires from flying embers, an excess amount of rainwater can be dangerous as this sudden weight shift may be sufficient force to cause roof collapse . Ensure you check your roof often.
Creaking noises coming from a building
Fire accidents attacks building components, hence, making the components shift. Creaking noises is an indicator that parts of the building are failing. Upon hearing building noises, a visual inspection should be attempted to see if any distortion is noticed or additional indicators are present. Loud and repetitive noises should be a warning to immediately leave the building.
Major cracks in the wall cause building collapse
Thermal movement remains one of the most significant causes of cracks to appear in the walls of buildings. If ignored, this could eventually lead to the collapse of the building. Structural cracks appear as a result of incorrect design or overloading while non-structural cracks appear due to internally induced stress on the materials used in constructing a building. Cracks in the walls of a building is either a structural crack or a non-structural crack.
A crack in the wall of a building is a sign that the structure is unable to accommodate load to which it is been subjected to. Ensure to hire a professional to identify the kind of crack and fix it immediately.
Moving house is a warning sign of building collapse
A dangerous warnings of an impending collapse is when the house is moving. The a moving house means that over a period of time, certain parts of the house have shifted from their original position as a result of foundation problems. When the foundation of the building shifts, it sets into motion, a disturbing number of serious events throughout the house, which forces the house to move. If you notice your house is moving, ensure you immediately vacate the house.
Ignoring warning signs they make the collapse of the building inevitable. In essence, early warning signs should be addressed immediately.