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Structural strengthening of the building; Be Aware!

One of the most common issues homeowners and residents face is interior and exterior problems caused by structural damage as they can come in many different forms, shapes, and sizes. They can be relatively minor to extremely expensive. Any structural issue is an urgent and serious problem that can have dangerous implications for a building, so it requires constant attention if it becomes evident. Structural defects in a building are commonly a result of improper construction and poor design. Cracks on walls and floors, water seepage and chipping plaster walls are some of the frequently seen structural problems that can adversely affect the value of your property.

The recent cases of the structural issues in India


The Haryana government has recently declared about set up a committee to examine the structural strength of buildings in the state, including those in the national capital region. The information was given by Haryana Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal in his inaugural address to a two-day Urban Development Conclave in Gurugram. Kaushal made the statement days after the sequential collapse of drawing-room roofs of a flat from the sixth floor to the first floor in a highrise in the city, in which two women residents of the building were killed and a senior central government officer was critically injured. Haryana has formed a special structural engineering committee for dealing with structural issues of residential properties. He also added that the state government is trying to evolve a mechanism to ensure that allottees get quality construction as Gurugram and Faridabad are important NCR cities and the issues of urbanization need to be resolved.

Gurugram and Delhi

Gurugram high rise collapse killed 2, another building collapse in Delhi’s Bawana kills 4. In a distressing set of incidents in Delhi and adjoining Gurugram, at least two people died in building collapses with rescue operations ongoing. In Delhi’s Bawana, an old building at a Jhuggi Jhopdi (JJ) colony collapse on Friday, in which three of the six people feared to be trapped under the debris were rescued. Meanwhile in Gurugram, on Friday, another body was pulled out from the rubble of a collapsed building at a residential complex taking the death toll to two. At least six persons were feared trapped in the debris after a portion of an old building collapsed in Bawana’s JJ colony. Out of six people, three were rescued later.


A 5-year-old boy died and three others were injured after a portion of the slab in a shop on the first floor collapsed in Kurla, Mumbai. It was a ground plus one structure, and Mhada regulated building. Investigations are underway to ascertain if there were any illegalities in the structure in question.


3-storey building collapses in Bengaluru; it did not have an Occupancy Certificate (OC) for the past seven years, but the flats were occupied, with electricity and water connections in place. Families living in the building noticed that the structure was tilting. Rushing out, they informed the civic body and fire officials. Within the next few minutes, the building collapsed. BMP official said, “Prima facie, it looks like that a column of the building was weak, leading to the collapse. There were several violations, including the number of floors. The original plan did not approve three floors. In fact, they were now in the process of building a penthouse on the top floor.


A portion of an old two-storeyed building in the northern part of the city’s Ahiritola lane collapsed today morning in which two persons including a three-year-old toddler and a woman died after a building collapsed. They were rescued from under the debris of the building but later succumbed to their injuries. The entire building is in a very bad shape and officials have to conduct the rescue operations very cautiously.

Factors contributing to structural issues

  • Weak foundation
  • Poor workmanship during construction
  • Use of incompatible materials i
  • Mechanical wear and tear.
  • Damaged concrete slabs
  • Installation of non-functional heating and air-conditioning systems
  • Defects in flooring
  • Faulty plumbing
  • Improper electrical wiring
  • Inadequate flashings etc.

Signs of Structural Damage: Interior

  • Doors or windows that won’t close or open properly
  • Drywall or plaster cracks, especially around door frames
  • Cracks in basement walls
  •  Bulging on Ceiling
  • Soil Pulling Away from House Walls
  • Cracks in Chimney
  • Sagging, Sloping or Cracking of Floors
  • Bowing of walls
  • Gaps between walls and floors
  • Uneven or slanting floors
  • Nail pops

Signs of Structural Damage: Exterior

  • Cracks in foundation walls
  • Cracks in stairs, brick or stonework, and mortar joints
  • Cracks in window glass
  • Gaps between the stairs or porch and the home
  • Gaps in door or window frames
  • Cracked or leaning chimney
  • Sagging Roof and Roof Leaks
  • Crumbling Concrete/Brick

Don’t allow any structural issue to fester and affect the structural integrity of your building. Taking action as soon as you notice any issues can save you significant time and money on future rectification works. Hire a qualified structural surveyor to visit the property. He may decide that the best way forward is to closely monitor the building for a while without yet taking action, rather than taking immediate invasive action which could risk further damage to the structure. The foundations of the building may also need to be closely investigated and soil samples might be taken. Structural damage doesn’t just occur in older homes; it can be the result of faulty building practices in new homes as well. If you have a new property and may be suffering damage as a result of these structural problems, you should contact your builder to see if these issues are covered.


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