Canopy Inspection Covers Future Problems
One of the crucial safety inspections that needs to be carried out on buildings, whether residential or commercial, is a full assessment of the health and status of concrete canopies as well as balconies. Canopy inspection in Hong Kong is well-established, with many of the city’s buildings constructed with these overhead roofs attached to the main building, and of course with many high-rise buildings built with balconies, too.
Tests are initiated to analyse whether the structure is stable and to explore the integrity of it. This is to ensure a thorough investigation is carried out to make sure the canopy or balcony is safe and structurally sound in line with building regulations. The necessity of this does not need great explanation as such canopies, when in need of repair or reinforcement, can pose risks to residents and visitors to a building as well as the general public. The danger to life is evident if structural issues leads to concrete breaking off and falling down. There are also legal ramifications, too. There is a duty of care to ensure canopies meet certain standards.
Canopies are often designed to shield buildings and occupants from the sun, providing much-needed shade. Not always, but often these structures are built at building entrances, and are defined by being an overhead structure without walls and therefore with open sides.
They are also used as a shelter to guard against other weather conditions, from wind and rain, to hail, sleet and snow. Of course, all of these impact the structure, which needs to be strong enough to withstand strong winds and also water resistant enough to stay in good condition during a heavy downpour. Waterproofing and an adequate drainage system are required. Only a comprehensive inspection report can pinpoint if a canopy has been constructed to a standard that it is not at risk of failure.
Testing involves checking if reinforcement is necessary, and whether this has been lost due to corrosion. Scanning devices are used with calibration services at a site using a variety of different methods to determine results. Whether steel is being corroded can be assessed along with concrete carbonation. Concrete is durable and strong, however, the impact of changing heats can lead to spalling and cracking. Spalling can result in flakes of concrete detaching, which poses a real danger that has to be avoided. Canopy testing is an absolute must.