The Reasons Behind Structural Defects

Structural defects in the home can cause lengthy court cases, expensive repairs and even personal injury to you and your family, if the defect is undetected and causes damage to your property. There are many different underlying causes of these defects, and it can often be difficult to determine the cause once the defect has caused damage. This is a list of reason that structural defects occur, which you or your developer should try to avoid at all costs, to ensure that the property is design and built to the highest quality to prevent damage caused by defects.


Defects in design


Structural defects can be caused by construction imperfections in the design and manufacturing processes, which can be extremely expensive to fix. Defects present in architectural design will certainly cause the end product to be unsuitable for it’s intended use – whether that be commercial or residential. Exceptional design is even more important for tall or structurally complicated buildings – even the slightest probability of structural defects is not acceptable, as it would be endangering the safety of others. Civil engineers are required to be extremely careful and vigilant when ensuring an appropriate design for the applied load and use, and any expectations of failure should be assessed using modern software and addressed immediately.

structural defects

Inferior workmanship

Problems with workmanship can also be the origin of structural defects – it can easily lead to structural failure. Even using the best materials can not improve the quality of the workmanship, and using these materials imperfectly may result in the building not being suited to it’s original purpose, or the structure being less durable than required. General examples of structural defects caused by poor workmanship include leaking roofs, cracked floor tiles, and shedding paint. Proper procedures should be created before every construction project to ensure the highest quality of work is performed.

Foundation failure


Often, foundations are not properly designed or constructed for the existing site’s soil conditions, which means that the soil is not suitable to carry the weight of the structure being built. This can lead to structural defects or even collapse. Also, surface soils could include clay that expand or shrink depending on the moisture content – so, if there are long periods of rain, these clay would expand to larger than their original size and then shrink back down again once they dry. This may result in movement of the building foundation, as the top layers of the soil provide the bearing capacity to hold the structure, and ensure it’s stability. If these move in any way, then earlier calculations and plans for the structure may be slightly different than the new position of the foundation, thus creating structural defects. These top layers of soil need to be adequately compacted and assessed to ensure a suitable platform upon which to construct the building.

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