We are happy to share with you our knowledge and expertise in housing development. Keep up with the latest news by reading our articles.


Technical condition of buildings and frequent defects

1. September 2020 | Ing. Lukáš Lucký

What are the most common building defects we encounter in the original buildings dating from the 1960s and the 1970s? Issues and problems of buildings and structures which have not yet undergone a major renovation to date. Defects were usually overlooked or there was not enough money to remove them.

Buildings do not require major renovations for about first 50 years after being built (given the service life of the built-in materials, installations and technology used in the construction process). However, this does not mean that buildings do not require any maintenance whatsoever. After 50 years of use, a thorough inspection of the technical condition of the building is recommended (any deficiencies found should be written down and remediation proposal developed). Timely repair can prevent further deterioration of the building.

Defects and malfunctions are often addressed individually and not as a part of a “bigger picture” (defects are usually related to each other). When renovation is not carried out by professionals, the real estate owner risks a lot, e.g. only visible defects get removed, while the real reason stays hidden, causing even more problems in the future. For this reason, a detailed survey and analysis of the building is very important, as only a detailed troubleshooting is able to remove the underlying problems. The renovation project is drawn up by the designer in cooperation with professionals in the field and technology experts. Each building is specific in its construction method and location. For this reason, each building needs its own renovation project (preferably drawn up by a qualified professional). Let’s take a look at the most common defects of buildings.

Structurally unsound buildings show visible cracks in the perimeter walls and interior partitions. One of the causes is the weight of the build itself. The wight acts on the foundations which transfer the load of the whole building to the foundation joint in the subsoil. When the foundation joint (i.e. the subsoil) is disrupted, its original bearing capacity is weakened and the building begins to settle and lean towards one side. This will cause cracks in the floors or walls. Restoring the load-bearing capacity of the damaged foundation joint is one of the most demanding processes there are. A company skilled in the field will restore the load-bearing capacity of the foundation joint to the required level using suitable technology.

Humidity in the building is a common phenomenon, especially in older buildings, but also in new, hastily built and poorly designed buildings. Wet walls at the floor, the formation of mold on the perimeter walls, leaking roof, wet basements, dropping plaster from the walls and the like. Each defect requires a detailed investigation, as the only solution is to address the root of the problem.

Replacement of windows due to wear and tear does not constitute a defect of a building, however, such renovation must be done in due time. For this reason, it is recommended to consult a designer who will propose the most suitable material and installation method. Nowadays, windows with insulating triple glazing installed in either wooden, plastic or aluminum frames are pretty standard.

Insulation of the building is one of the integral elements in any renovation project. New insulation improves the quality of living. When insulating the building, it is necessary to pay attention to the design and choose a suitable material. In general, the outermost insulation layer (5 cm) is the most significant in terms of thermal-technical properties of the building.

Leakage of balconies and loggias and degradation of the supporting structure of the slab. Balconies and loggias, as exterior horizontal structures, are exposed to the elements of weather the most. Water leaking through the broken waterproofing layer into the supporting structure causes gradual corrosion of the balcony slab. In winter, the water in the structure freezes and increases its volume. Frozen water disrupts the concrete which gradually loses its strength. For this reason, it is necessary to take into account the wear and tear of the structure in which the balcony is anchored. Only then it is possible to propose the right solution for renovating the waterproofing layer of the loggia or balcony.

Replacement of internal distribution lines includes the replacement of electrical wires, pipes, heating distribution, air ducts and, as well as heating, hot water, ventilation and recuperation technology. Each of the above shall be assessed as a separate unit while bearing in mind that it is still part of a larger unit (building).

Recovery and elimination of causes

The building renovation process follows the same principles as the building design process. The quality of the project documentation determines the quality of the future building. It is very important to pay attention to the quality of the design – when drawing up project documentation, any problems or ideas must be consulted with experts and technicians qualified to solve the problem. It is also important to dig deeper and find the causes of problems and defects and address those instead of making “cosmetic” changes and addressing only visible faults that might reappear in the same places over time. The price for the renovation of the building also depends directly on scope of the works. Beware, at the beginning we often work only with a rough estimate. For this reason, we always recommend to acquaint the project designer with the scope of works you have in mind so that pricing can be done right.

Why renovate? In addition to the above-mentioned advantages (improved technical condition of buildings, extended life of the building, improved quality of housing), there is yet another reason renovation is the right choice – it increases the price of the real estate. The difference in the market price between a renovated apartment in a renovated apartment building and an old apartment may sometimes be even EUR 300 – 500 per m2 without VAT. Definitely something to think about when considering renovation of the building.

cross Thank you for your message. We will contact you.
Let us
stay in touch

Check out our social network profiles, too. You will learn interesting facts about us, our projects and also be updated on news from the world of project development and architecture.

Send us
a message

    * required