Building Retification Glossary

A list of useful building rectification terms.

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.

Term Definition
Brick Ties Brick 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 Stripping Carbon 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.
Cladding A 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 Cancer Concrete 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.
Dynabolts Dynabolts 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 Defect Latent 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.
Lintels Lintels are horizontal beams used above a window or door to support the weight of a wall.
Ponding Ponding 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 Membrane Roll-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.
Spalling Spalling 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 Membrane Torch-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.
Waterproofing Waterproofing 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 Ingress Water 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.

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