When we see reports of unstable buildings being cordoned off due to safety concerns, it seems that there must have been a flaw in the design, or that poor construction work was implemented. While these conclusions are sometimes correct, it is not always the case. There are many instances in which a building has become unstable through unforeseeable circumstances which were beyond the control of anyone responsible for the building.
The number one cause of unexpected instability is the weather. While every possible measure is considered and implemented during the construction process to ensure buildings can withstand the often harsh weather conditions we experience in the UK, there are very few measures which could have offered protection against the severe storms of recent times. Acid rain can also erode the foundation of buildings, accelerating their deterioration levels considerably.
Collisions are also an increasingly common cause of unstable buildings as building space becomes more scarce and properties are being constructed in closer proximity to roads. Over the last few years there has been an unfortunate increase in the number of incidents of vehicles crashing into buildings, often at high speeds. These kinds of incidents can not only cause serious or even fatal accidents, but can also weaken the building and cause structural damage which means special measures will be needed to make it secure and safe once more.
These are just two of the several possible reasons unrelated to design flaws or poor construction that might make a building unstable. While it’s important to understand the causes behind instability so that they can be rectified and further guarded against in the future, the priority always has to be securing the site until repair, restoration or demolition can be carried out. Over the years we have built an excellent track record applying emergency stability measures to buildings which have become unstable for any number of reasons.