Collapsing buildings are just horrible. Death, injuries, bad media, law suits; name them.
So what do you as the landlord do to reduce the risk of your building being the next one that goes down?
The next time you do your rounds as they construct take time; you may not be an expert but if it looks wrong it probably is not right. If it looks crooked, if it looks not neat; it probably has a problem.
If that fundi wa mawe is doing wall and most bricks are not in level, set him straight; he either delivers good work or he goes away! Cheap doesn’t have to be poor quality
If the chuma is protruding outside the kokoto for the floors and the beams, there must be a problem somewhere.
If the bricks are not interlocking; the wall will crack! It may not be tomorrow but it will crack eventually
Don’t be convinced that some of these things can be fixed to fool NCA or any other inspecting body. You will eventually be the loser
When kokoto (concrete) is added to big holes after it has already hardened; the new kokoto added does not blend as it is supposed to with the old one. Result? Failure if the part of the building with the hole is the one transferring the weight to another part or carrying the weight to the ground.
Ask for experience when you are seeking a builder; I mean it, cheap does not have to be poor quality.
Make sure you bring in only cement that is to be used for that day. When water is added cement and then left overnight, the concrete’s strength is compromised. I won’t go into the details of how this happens (boring stuff); just don’t let it happen.
Also look out for badly sloping floors and gaps between floors and the walls that hold them up
You may not want to spend money on a professional and might be tempted to buy plans that have been used elsewhere BUT remember, if the foundation doesn’t work for the soil where you are constructing; you are doomed from the word go. The foundation is the major decision in a building, please be wise.
And please don’t let your builder convince you that smaller chumas will work, they most probably won’t. Most engineers design for the least safe cost to client.
Developers DO NOT Rush construction and do not use cost-cutting measures. You will pay back in ten-fold.
After the building is occupied
Fix water leaks as soonest as possible. Water leakage is never good. It does damages to your finishes and does a lot of damage to your structure as well especially if you have wood. In concrete structures commonly experienced problems are internal water leaks, cracking to internal or external structures, and water penetration to the building’s exterior.
If there is a crack, particularly one leading down to the foundation near the basement or on the outside, this is a red signal. If floors are leaking, find someone to look at them. Delaying responses will usually result in worsening of everything.
Any plans to renovate or add floors or make any changes should be passed through an experienced professional. Added floors have severally resulted to collapse if the foundation is unable to hold the extra weight!
Stay on point and be wise; do not set yourself up for eventual disasters