Buildings are designed to withstand a certain level of expected forces, like gravity and wind, based on their location and function. Forces such as strong winds, earthquakes, or explosions can cause a building to move beyond what the materials are designed to withstand, causing significant damage to the interior finishes of the structure, even without a breach of the building envelope. Knowing how these forces can impact your building are the first step to protecting them before the damage is caused, or repairing them afterward.
Several types of loads affect the structural integrity of buildings and can impact the interior finishes.
- Dead loads are relatively consistent, static loads such as the weight of the building and its mechanical systems.
- Live loads are those that change, like the weight of people in the building or environmental loads like snow or ice on the roof.
Buildings and their materials are designed for some amount of movement from any of these forces. When the movement is significant (from a particular event like a hurricane or earthquake), the materials used are brittle, or age has weakened a material, owners and occupants will start to see damages to the interior finishes.
Building materials can move in several different ways, and that may impact what kind of damage is caused and what the damage looks like.
Damages to interior finishes
When forces act on a structure and move it beyond what the materials are designed to do, even without a breach of the building envelope, this can significantly damage interior finishes. Common damage can show as:
Before repairing interior damages, it is critical to understand the underlying cause—fixing damages from a one-time event is very different than restoring sub-standard materials or installation that failed because they were inadequate for the job. The best way to ensure you understand what happened and rebuild properly is to work with a forensic architect or engineer, who can investigate the cause and origin of the damages, recommend the best materials for rebuilding, and provide you with expected scope and budget for the repair project.
Contact us today to get answers to your questions about damages to your interior finishes.