Defects in buildings occur when a component, material or finish fails to meet its performance requirements. These performance requirements vary from element to element. Building defects therefore vary in severity. The urgency in which defects need to be addressed can also vary greatly.

Cracking in walls, dampness and structural movement are symptoms of defects that most people recognise and are familiar with.

At some stage in their lifespan, all buildings suffer from defects to one degree or another. Even implementing the most thorough regime of maintenance cannot guarantee that defects will not arise if, for example, the building has been constructed in a way that is inherently defective. Maintenance and failure cycles can be affected by the quality of the materials used and how they have been installed.

building defects usually occur due to:

Lack of Maintenance

Parts of the building that are most vulnerable to the elements are neglected for years – leading to subsequent defects and failures.

Poor Design

Poorly designed components of buildings that are inherently defective and cause problems from day one.

Poor Workmanship

Substandard workmanship, the use of inappropriate materials and finishes – or a combination of both – leading to premature failures.

Vandalism Etc.

Stolen lead-work causing leaks, break-ins and arson attacks, and accidental damage – particularly on industrial sites.

examples of recent defect investigations carried out:

Severe condensation affecting a 1970's bungalow
Cracking through the walls of a 1990's industrial unit
Failure of a flat roof covering to a 1960's office building
Subsidence of a garage block to a 1980's detached property

Some defects have obvious causes and can be remedied easily and quickly at reasonable expense. Other defects are not so easy to diagnose.

Some defects can have numerous or hidden causes. Some can require further destructive surveys to properly understand. Other defects can be difficult to rectify and very costly to resolve – with complicated technical or legal issues that also need to be considered.

If you’re a building owner or occupier concerned about an issue affecting your property then we can help. We can carry out detailed defect surveys to try to make sense of the issues. We can advise you on your options to remedy the defects and the likely costs involved.

If the defects can be remedied cost-effectively, we can help to organise contractors on your behalf to carry out the works.

Contact us to discuss your issue and we’ll be glad to look into it.