Assessment Of The Cause, Prevention And Repairs Of Cracks In Building

Project and Seminar Material for Building Technology BT

Assessment Of The Cause, Prevention And Repairs Of Cracks In Building


Abstract


This study was carried out to assess the cause, prevention and repairs of cracks in building. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of building contractors and brick layers in some selected sites in Kwuba, Abuja. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 100 respondents and all validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. The hypothesis was tested using chi- square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the causes of cracks in buildings includes: moisture changes, temperature variation, elastic deformation and creep, effect of chemical reaction, foundation movement and settlement of soil, earthquake, and vegetation. The study also revealed that buildings cracks be repaired. In the light of the findings, this study recommends that the appropriate remedy to cracks should be such that its nature and causes should be properly investigated and established before repairs, otherwise, wrongly treated cracks would reap pear after some time, and the most appropriate method should be followed for distinctive kinds of cracks for gaining the handiest and efficient structure as a whole. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Physical infrastructure accounts for a disproportionately large portion of the country’s investment. It is therefore critical to maintain these facilities, which include public buildings, in order for them to continue serving the architectural and aesthetic functions for which they were designed. The physical appearance of buildings housing public institutions serves as a starting point for society’s initial assessment of the quality of services to be provided.
One of the most serious issues plaguing Nigeria’s housing business is inadequate maintenance practices (Afranie & Osei Tutu, 1999). The importance of public institutions in the development of a country cannot be overstated. Despite the substantial investment in public buildings, public institutions allow their structures to care for themselves without establishing a sustainable maintenance program to maintain the buildings’ quality. The continued efficiency and effectiveness of public institutions is contingent on the nature of their buildings, as well as other factors such as improved service conditions, provision of necessary tools, and so forth (Afranie & Osei Tutu, 1999).

It was not until the end of the 19th century, that concrete structures began to gain more applications and development with the improvement of production, experimental work, computational theory and improvement of construction technique. Thus it has become one of the most widely used building materials in modern construction. Cracks are a kind of universal problem of concrete construction as it affects the building artistic. It also destroys the wall integrity by affecting the structural safety which in turn reduce the durability of structure. A crack is a complete or incomplete separation of concrete into two or more parts produced by breaking or fracturing. Cracks in a building are of common occurrence. The first and most common reason of crack development is the stress component exceeding its strength component which can be associated to the externally or internally applied loads (forces) such as dead, live, wind or seismic loads, or foundation settlement or stresses developed internally due to thermal movements, moisture changes and/or chemical action etc.

Concrete cracking is defined as the separation of concrete completely or incompletely into two or more parts caused by breaking and fracturing. The study of concrete crack repair is vital in the field of civil engineering since concrete cracking can result in structural failure which may have negative effects on the safety of users.

Wager (2016) stipulates that cracking in concrete is an inherent feature which cannot be completely eliminated or prevented, but can only be minimised or controlled through consideration of the design criteria or through using adequate materials and techniques of construction. Structures are designed to carry loads taking into consideration that cracking can occur. Concrete cracking should be allowed to a certain degree that does not impair the serviceability or aesthetics of the structure. Concrete cracks are not always detrimental, sometimes they are beneficial depending on their nature and location. For instance, hairline cracks give signals and warnings of defects and deterioration requiring intervention. In other cases, cracks contribute to relieving stresses from structural members (Wager, 2016).

Cracks start to develop in concrete once tensile stresses or strains exceed the tensile capacity of concrete (Martin, 2008). According to Croxton (2000), the crack width should not exceed 0.3 mm in members where cracking does not have adverse effects upon the preservation of reinforcing steel or the durability of the structure. An upper limit of 0.2 mm is recommended as the maximum crack width in members where cracking in the tensile zone is harmful either because members are exposed to moisture or in contact with soil. For aggressive environments, the suggested maximum crack width is 0.1 mm. Cracking is influenced by many factors and is a variable phenomenon, hence absolute limits to the widths of cracks cannot be stipulated and the requirements given in the design codes merely provide an acceptable probability of the limiting widths not being exceeded (Martin, 1997).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Cracks are a kind of universal problem of concrete construction as it affects the building artistic. It also destroys the wall integrity by affecting the structural safety which in turn reduce the durability of structure. A crack is a complete or incomplete separation of concrete into two or more parts produced by breaking or fracturing. Cracks in a building are of common occurrence. The first and most common reason of crack development is the stress component exceeding its strength component which can be associated to the externally or internally applied loads (forces) such as dead, live, wind or seismic loads, or foundation settlement or stresses developed internally due to thermal movements, moisture changes and/or chemical action etc.

Repair of structural cracks often involves some urgency to ensure the restoration of lost strength or durability. High accuracy is required when repairing concrete cracks. Some of the concrete crack repair methods include epoxy injection, dry packing, routing and sealing, gravity filling, grouting, crack arrest, polymer impregnation, overlay and patch repairs, crack filling, crack sealing, drilling and plugging, blanketing, concrete jacketing and stitching. These methods are applied differently depending on the nature of cracks, type of structure being repaired and the climatic conditions (Martin, 2008).


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary aim of this study is to assess the causes, prevention and repairs of cracks in buildings. Specifically, other objectives of this study are:

  1. To determine the causes of cracks in buildings.
  2. To determine whether cracks in buildings can be repaired.
  3. To examine the ways to prevent buildings from cracking.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. What are the causes of cracks in buildings?
    1. Moisture Changes
    2. Temperature Variation
    3. Elastic Deformation and Creep
    4. Effect of Chemical Reaction
    5. Foundation Movement and Settlement of Soil
    6. Earthquake
    7. Vegetation
  2. Can buildings cracks be repaired?
  3. What are the ways to prevent buildings from cracking?
    1. Minimum use of rich cement mortar
    2. Use lean cement mortar
    3. Painting the top of the roof with a reflective finish
    4. Avoid the use of bricks containing a high percentage of soluble salts
    5. Adopt reamed pile foundation in a shrinkable soil.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses will validate this study:

  • H0: Cracks in buildings cannot be prevented.
  • Ha: Cracks in buildings can be prevented.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is critical in that it will contribute not just to knowledge and theory, but also to excellent maintenance practices in Nigeria’s buildings. This is because the research will seek to ascertain the circumstances that contributed to the current condition of non-maintenance of buildings, some of which have been abandoned owing to their deteriorated status, and will suggest suitable corrective activities.

Additionally, the study will assist managers of buildings in becoming aware of the current state of their building infrastructure and its impact on employee safety and health, as well as in implementing appropriate innovative measures to prevent the deterioration of newly constructed buildings, which ultimately results in increased costs associated with restoring these buildings to their original state.

It will give a critical and analytical lens through which to view the factors influencing maintenance decisions. Additionally, the research will highlight the significant impediments to building upkeep in Nigeria.

With the populace’s increased desire for efficiency and effectiveness from public sector employees, this study will aim to establish a relationship between the current quality of public buildings and their social and economic effects on public employees.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on assessment of the causes, prevention and repairs of cracks in buildings. Specifically, this study focuses on determining whether cracks in buildings can be prevented, determining whether cracks in buildings can be repaired and examining the causes of cracks in buildings. The respondents for this study will be obtained from building contractors and brick layers in some selected sites in Kwuba, Abuja.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Buildings:

A structure with a roof and walls, such as a house or factory.

Cracks:

A crack is a complete or incomplete separation of concrete into two or more parts produced by breaking or fracturing.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the assessment of the cause, prevention and repairs of cracks in building. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the assessment of the cause, prevention and repairs of cracks in building. The study is was specifically set to determine the causes of cracks in buildings, determine whether cracks in buildings can be repaired, and examine the ways to prevent buildings from cracking.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are building contractors and brick layers in some selected sites in Kwuba, Abuja.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. The causes of cracks in buildings includes: moisture changes, temperature, variation, elastic, deformation and creep, effect of chemical reaction, foundation movement and settlement of soil, earthquake, vegetation.
  2. That buildings cracks be repaired.
  3. The ways to prevent buildings from cracking includes: minimum use of rich cement, mortar, use lean cement mortar, painting the top of the roof with a reflective finish, avoid the use of bricks containing a high percentage of soluble salts, adopt reamed pile foundation in a shrinkable soil.

5.3 Recommendation

With respect to the findings and the aim of this study, the researchers therefore recommend that;

  1. The appropriate remedy to cracks should be such that its nature and causes should be properly investigated and established before repairs, otherwise, wrongly treated cracks would reap pear after some time.
  2. The most appropriate method should be followed for distinctive kinds of cracks for gaining the handiest and efficient structure as a whole.

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