Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Causes that lead to Building Repair

Once the building is constructed and occupied by the users, the maintenance of the building is the responsibility of users.

Among the many factors of deterioration of building, poor maintenance and neglect are major factors. Users are reluctant to take up the maintenance work for the following reasons.

1. Lack of maintenance / repair knowledge.
2. Tendency to save money during maintenance related repairs.
3. Inferior quality of materials used due to shortage of fund resulting into ineffective maintenance or repair.
4. Reluctant to adopt new material due to high cost and unknown track record of such materials.
5. Tendency to go for short-term gains.
6. Maintenance related repairs are time consuming and cause inconvenience.
7. Reluctance in appointing proper and experienced Consultant to save fee and relying on incredulous contractors.

Indiscriminate Additions/Alterations:

There have been some building collapses, which were quite healthy, due to indiscriminate additions and alterations done by so-called interior designers (decorators) at the instruction of the Owner. The common alterations / additions made are alteration to window canopies, additions of walls on window canopies, enclosing of open balconies, conversion of a dry area into toilet / bath, addition of heavy weights on weak or inadequate structural elements, etc. All these additions / alterations take place when entire building or part changes hands.

It is always the case that no engineering advices are taken before any such changes in the building or its part. Careless modification can lead to leakages or serious structural damages.


Many times the building elements are forced to take load more than what they are designed for. Temptation of users to occupy more and more area without bothering about the effect on building element jeopardizes the safety and durability of the building. In case of change in the purpose of use, say from residential to commercial, it is likely that the load on entire building or part will increase or change thus causing the damage.

Natural Calamity like rain:

Reinforcement steel bars have to be protected against corrosion, caused due to reaction with oxygen, moisture and chlorides in the atmosphere, ground water or sub-soil. Reinforcement steel bars are generally protected by providing concrete cover around them or by providing a protective coating on steel.

Resistance against corrosion of reinforcement steel and the degree of protection to reinforcing steel is greatly dependent on the many factors. Mechanism of corrosion of steel is an electro-chemical process and for this, presence of moisture and oxygen is necessary. Metal (embedded steel rods in RCC) that gets converted into rust (corrosion product) may occupy 6 to 8 times the original size of steel. This growth creates tensile force within the concrete mass surrounding the reinforcement steel. Since concrete is brittle and weak in taking tensile or expansive forces, it cracks and spalling of concrete takes place.

Most of the building structures have a very conductive atmosphere for a permanent problem for leakage or seepage through peripheral portion of window and exterior skin walls. Air pressure results the forced entry of rain water inwards through unprotected opening or through joint, seal imperfection in the window sill or frame and gap of concrete and masonry.

Water is the primary vehicle for the diffusion of all aggressive ions, such as chlorides and sulphates, into the concrete mass. Any repair strategy approved and adopted will not yield any good result unless the major source of deterioration is not addressed in the repair strategy and planning.

Environmental Impact:

Due to wind pressure, seasonal and daily temperature variation, chemical reaction in saline coastal atmosphere, moisture variation in humid area, corrosion of metal (rusting of steel in RCC), root of growing trees, moss / lichens / fungi growth, etc. the building undergoes fast aging and comes to repair stage.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

तो बाप दु:खी होतोच ना?

काळ खुप लवकर बदलतो आहे. तसा तो बदलणारच. आमचा काळ वेगळा होता आणि आजचा वेगळा आहे. जग झपाट्याने बदलत चाललय, असं असलं तरी माणूस जुन्या काळातच जास्त जगत असतो म्हणायचं. आमच्या काळात वडीलांसमोर ब्र काढण्याचीही सोय नव्हती पण आता मुलं आई-वडीलांशी सहज बोलतात. माझ्या एका मित्राच्या मुलीचं लग्न ठरलं आहे. त्या लग्नाचा आनंद असण्यापेक्षा ते कसं पार पडेल याचीच त्या मित्राला काळजी वाटत आहे. बाकी सगळं ठिक ठाक असलं तरी लग्नासाठी होणारा खर्च हा मुख्य विषय आहे. आपल्या भविष्य निर्वाह निधीतून पैसे काढून तो हे कार्य पार पाडणार म्हणतो, तेव्हा मुलगी विचारते की तुम्ही आयुष्यभर एकाच नोकरीत टिकून राहिलात. काय कमवलं तिथे राहून?

माझा हा मित्र कर्नाटकातल्या आपल्या गावातून मुंबईत आला. सोबत आजारी आई-वडील. वडील लवकर देवाघरी गेले म्हणून याला आपलं भविष्य घडवण्याच्या काळातच लग्न करावं लागलं कारण घरात आजारी आई होती. मिळालेली नोकरी टिकऊन आणि ती इनामे इतबारे करून त्याने आपला संसार सांभाळला. त्याची एकमेव मुलगी शिकली, आय टी मध्ये नोकरीला लागली, आय टी वाल्यांची तर्‍हाच वेगळी, नोकरी बदलण्याचं त्यांना काहीच वाटत नाही. वाटायला पण नको. आताच्या काळाप्रमाणे ते बरोबरही असेल, पण आपण तसं करतो म्हणून आपल्या वडीलानीही तसंच केलं पाहिजे होतं असं कसं होऊ शकतं? प्रामाणिकपणे नोकरी करून त्याने आपला संसार केला, मुलीला मोठी केली आता तो आपल्या ताकतीप्रमाणे तिचं लग्न करू पाहतोय, तेव्हा त्याला काय कमावलं आयुष्यभर? एवढंच? असा प्रश्न विचारला गेला तेव्हा तो बाप दु:खी होतोच ना?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Survival with this inflation with minimum wages.... Everyone is facing same

I am not the only person, who is experiencing this huge gap in earning and expenditure.

"Education courses worth Rs 7 lakh to cost Rs 56 lakh in 15 years” said a Times of India headline today. Education costs are going up for sure. Just 10 years back a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Scientist degree cost Rs 20,000 for a four-year course, and now the same course cost around Rs 6 lakh. In fact, the ToI report notes that over the last 15 -20 years, the cost of education in India has gone up by as much as 14-15 percent, compared with the general rate of inflation of around 7 percent.

Now let’s just take a look at house hold items, a loaf of bread cost Rs 9 in 2004-05, in 2008-09 the same bread cost Rs 13, today it costs Rs 22. LPG cylinder in 2004-05 cost around Rs 251, by 2008-09 it went to around Rs 350, today subsidized LPG costs Rs 450. A Mumbai-London air ticket cost in 2004-05 was around Rs 19,990, in 2008-09 around Rs 27,000 and today around Rs 32,400. Clearly, everything under the sun is becoming expensive, why wouldn’t the cost of education?

And if that’s not enough to blow your mind off, sample this calculation. Suppose you are 30 years old today, with a monthly household expense of Rs 50,000, and a monthly saving of Rs 20,000. Assuming your investments earn an interest of 8.5 percent with an inflation of 7.5 percent, you would be able to save a retirement corpus of Rs 3,09,55,836. Don’t be too impressed with the number. To maintain your current life style you would actually need Rs 6,17,99,684. That’s Rs 3,0,8,43,848 less.

This clearly shows that be it cost everything has gone up, even the cost for your child’s education — a short term financial goal — or retirement needs — a long term financial goal — you will surely need to put aside some serious money. And that’s not at all, you will also need to do some major financial planning.
Day by day, cost of ‘surviving’ is going beyond our scope. And each head earning in the family is at same level, which was before 2 years. Virtual growth can be seen with day by day gradually; however it’s linked with ‘loan’ term, which is ticking needle in the life. Life is revolving around EMIs, daily expenses and making adjustment with fixed income which is stiff, failed to grow.

If I put down all counts in numbers, I feel afraid to live and think of other source of income to fulfill the liabilities. No change in earning, it’s constant Rs. 100/- from last 2 years.