Saturday, June 1, 2024

How Often Should You Inspect Your Building's Facade?

facade inspection, facade restoration
Your building's facade is more than just its looks! Regular inspections are key to catching problems early and preventing costly repairs. Here's a quick tip:

Read the full article on our website!

Utilize the IEI Advantage for Your Facade Inspection!

Did you know that a structured self-inspection of your building can prevent problems before they start and before anyone gets hurt? What may appear as an insignificant defect can turn into a big problem if ignored.

Our state-of-the-art techniques provide a very thorough condition assessment and facade inspection. The time to know the true extent of any deficiencies is now, not after closure of downtown streets or worse, personal injury, death, and/or property damage occurs. Contact us today!


Thursday, May 16, 2024

Identifying Signs of Façade Deterioration

building facade inspection atlanta, facade inspection atlanta
Is your building showing signs of wear and tear?

If you notice cracks, stains, corrosion, and other forms of damage, it’s time to begin restoration. As buildings age, their exteriors, require maintenance and restoration to preserve their structural integrity, aesthetics, and functionality. 

Here are signs of façade deterioration you should be looking for: 

Cracks and Spalling

Cracks in façade material, such as concrete, brick, or stone, can signal underlying structural problems. Spalling, where fragments of material break off, is often a sign of water damage or underlying deterioration. 

Stains and Discoloration

Stains of the façade surface may indicate water infiltration. Water infiltration through cracks or gaps in the façade can lead to rust, mold, and deterioration of steel reinforcements. 

Loose, Moving or Detached Elements

Loose or detached façade elements, such as panels, tiles, or decorative features, pose a safety risk and indicate potential structural instability.  

Corrosion

Corrosion of metal elements within the façade, such as steel support beams or anchors, can weaken the structure over time, leading to potential collapse. 

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Hire a Professional for a Building Façade Inspection in Atlanta!

Neglecting façade maintenance overtime can have major consequences including costly repairs, safety hazards, decreased property value, and even potential legal liabilities. Therefore, investing in façade restoration is not only a matter of preserving your building’s appearance, but also keeps your occupants safe and ensures long-term sustainability. 

Contact us today to schedule a building façade inspection in Atlanta! Our engineers are happy to look at your structure and let you know of any issues that require immediate attention so you can keep your occupants safe and extend the lifespan of your building. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Understanding the Façade Inspection & Restoration Process

building facade inspection, facade inspection, facade restoration
Due for a façade inspection but don’t know where to begin?

The façade of a building serves as a protective shield against external elements like weather, pollution, and physical damage.

If you begin noticing cracks, stains, corrosion, and other forms of damage, know that it’s time to begin restoration. Façade restoration is not just for aesthetic enhancements. It’s a crucial aspect of building management because it ensures the safety of occupants and the longevity of the structure. 

Façade restoration requires a methodic approach, requiring inspections, planning and execution. Here’s how the restoration process works: 

Façade Assessment 

This involves a thorough inspection of the façade to identify existing issues, including cracks, spalling, corrosion, and water infiltration. Enlisting the help of qualified professionals helps you assess the extent of damage and recommend the appropriate repair measures. 

Develop a Restoration Plan 

Based on your assessment findings, develop a restoration plan outlining the scope of work, timeline, and budget. This will help prioritize repairs according to the severity of issues and potential safety risks. 

Repair and Restore

Implement the repairs deemed necessary per your restoration plan. This may include repairing cracks, replacing damaged façade elements, waterproofing, and reinforcing structural components to enhance the stability and resilience of your building. 

Preventative Maintenance 

After your repairs have been made, it’s important to establish a proactive façade maintenance plan to prevent future deterioration and prolong the lifespan of the façade. 

This can include routine inspections, cleaning, sealing, painting, and addressing minor issues before they escalate into major problems. 

Read more on our website!

Create a Restoration Plan with a Building Façade Inspection in Atlanta!

Façade maintenance requires careful planning, skilled execution, and ongoing maintenance to ensure optimal results. 

Contact us today to schedule a building façade inspection in Atlanta! Our engineers at IEI are happy to look at your structure and let you know of any issues that require immediate attention so you can keep your occupants safe and extend the lifespan of your building. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Industrial Rope Access for Emergency Situations and Rapid Response

industrial rope access
In emergency situations, such as structural failures or natural disasters, time is of the essence.

Traditional access methods may be impractical or too time-consuming, hindering rapid response efforts.
Industrial Rope Access, however, offers engineers the ability to mobilize quickly and access affected areas with minimal delay.

In the aftermath of a disaster, structural engineers equipped with industrial rope access training can:

  • Swiftly assess the extent of damage
  • Conduct emergency repairs
  • Implement temporary stabilization measures

The agility and efficiency of Industrial Rope Access techniques facilitate rapid response efforts, helping to mitigate further risks and expedite the restoration of essential infrastructure.

Read more on our website!

Climbing to Great Heights to Evaluate Structures

Our Industrial Rope Access Forensic Team (RAFT) structural engineers are able to efficiently access, inspect, and conduct sampling and testing of building facades, roofs, bridges, dams, tanks, towers, confined spaces, and natural features not otherwise accessible with ladders or boom lifts.  The team is experienced and practicing structural and forensic engineers, so as opposed to performing this work for other engineers, they are engineers themselves.  

Our engineers have been performing this type of inspection work since 1995 across the country. Industrial Rope Access has been used in the United States for over 60 years.  When used by trained professionals, Industrial Rope Access techniques are safer, more efficient, and more cost effective than other traditional means of access height including scaffolding, swing stages, and cranes.

Contact us today to learn more.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Why Industrial Rope Access is Critical to Engineering Projects

industrial rope access
Structural engineering projects often involve working in environments where traditional access methods, like scaffolding or aerial lifts, simply can’t access. Whether it's the towering facade of a skyscraper, the intricate arches of a bridge, or the rugged terrain of an offshore platform, industrial rope access provides engineers with a direct route to areas that would otherwise be off-limits.

In scenarios where structures are situated in rugged terrain or extend to great heights, industrial rope access becomes indispensable. Instead of relying on cumbersome equipment or erecting elaborate scaffolding structures, engineers can swiftly ascend or descend using ropes, harnesses, and specialized techniques. This agility enables engineers to conduct inspections, perform maintenance tasks, or carry out repairs with precision and efficiency, regardless of the terrain or height.

Inaccessible Areas and Confined Spaces

Structural integrity often hinges on the meticulous inspection of components tucked away in inaccessible corners or confined spaces. Whether it's the interior chambers of a pipeline, the undersides of bridges, or the intricate framework within industrial installations, accessing these areas can pose significant challenges.

Industrial Rope Access offers engineers a nimble and adaptable solution for navigating confined spaces and accessing inaccessible areas. By utilizing techniques such as single rope technique (SRT) or double rope technique (DRT), engineers can descend into narrow shafts, ascend within confined chambers, or traverse complex structures with ease. This capability ensures that no critical component is left uninspected, allowing engineers to identify potential issues early and implement timely solutions.

Read more on our website!

Climbing to Great Heights to Evaluate Structures

Our Industrial Rope Access Forensic Team (RAFT) structural engineers are able to efficiently access, inspect, and conduct sampling and testing of building facades, roofs, bridges, dams, tanks, towers, confined spaces, and natural features not otherwise accessible with ladders or boom lifts.  The team is experienced and practicing structural and forensic engineers, so as opposed to performing this work for other engineers, they are engineers themselves.  

Our engineers have been performing this type of inspection work since 1995 across the country. Industrial Rope Access has been used in the United States for over 60 years.  When used by trained professionals, industrial Rope Access techniques are safer, more efficient, and more cost effective than other traditional means of access height including scaffolding, swing stages, and cranes.

Contact us today to learn more!

Friday, March 15, 2024

How Do Sidewalk Vaults Present Potential Risk or Liability?

sidewalk vaults, structural engineering
Sidewalk vault slabs constructed in the 19th century lacked the drainage and waterproofing details in use today. If waterproofing membranes were used, they were typically poorly installed and/or not easily maintained. They also did not allow for drainage at the membrane level. Decades of slow water migration into the slab resulted in freeze-thaw damage and corrosion of reinforcing and support steel. With the decline in usefulness, sidewalk vaults have been neglected to the point that their structural integrity is in question.

Additionally, in the 19th century sidewalk slabs were built prior to modern building codes and were intended to support pedestrians. Today’s building code sidewalk loading criteria is intended to support parked trucks.

Sidewalk vault degradation is commonly out of sight and out of mind. They are not subject to ordinances similar to those for building facades and fire escapes. Often, the unsafe conditions are discovered by accident or partial collapse thus exposing building owners to tremendous liability and significant cost.

What can you do to protect your property?

Consider hiring a structural engineering firm with expertise in failure analysis and experience in the evaluation of sidewalk vaults to perform a structural condition survey.

The structural engineer should provide a condition assessment report including:

  • Findings and recommendations for remedial work
  • Methods used to conduct the investigation
  • Photographic documentation
  • Cost estimates for making recommended repairs, and
  • A professional engineering seal, signature, and date
  • Depending on the results of the structural survey, the engineer should also provide engineered temporary and/or permanent shoring of sidewalk and basement walls (if needed) to support any surcharge loading requirements identified during the assessment. Temporary shoring is only a short-term alternative (band-aid) to alleviate the most immediate structural concerns, while allowing more time for the development of other permanent solutions

Read the full article on our website!

IEI Provides Expert Structural Engineering Analysis

Our engineers are experts in structural engineering failure analysis and have extensive experience with inspecting and analyzing sidewalk vault conditions. We typically recommend a phased approach consisting of a cursory condition assessment followed by other phases that may include closer examination, analysis, or improvements as necessary. In this manner, building owners are able to better control their expenditures, risk, and liability. Contact us today to learn more.


Friday, March 1, 2024

Maintaining Your Historic Building: Sidewalk Vaults

structural engineering, sidewalk vaults
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a project in your neighborhood or on your street affected the stability of your building? You may not even realize your building has a stability issue, especially if it’s outside under the sidewalk! Out of sight, out of mind.

If your city’s public works department is working on a street project, it’s very likely your sidewalks will be affected. Sidewalk vaults are often overlooked during the maintenance phase, which could mean costly repairs for you.

What is a sidewalk vault?

Sidewalk vaults are a partial extension of a building’s basement under the adjacent sidewalk. They can extend up to and sometimes beyond the curb under the roadway. Introduced in the 19th century in urban areas, the vaults allowed access to utilities and delivery areas without entering the building.

Common sidewalk construction consisted of a 4″ topping slab or brick pavers on a waterproof membrane on a 4″ to 6″ structural slab spanning between steel or concrete beams or masonry arches. Before electricity, cast-iron and precast panels were fitted with glass lenses to allow daylight to reach otherwise dark vaults. Another common top consisted of 6″ to 8″ granite panels without waterproofing. Curbs were often faced with steel plate to protect them from vehicles parked on or driven over them.

Read the full article on our website!

IEI Provides Expert Structural Engineering Analysis

Our engineers are experts in structural engineering failure analysis and have extensive experience with inspecting and analyzing sidewalk vault conditions. We typically recommend a phased approach consisting of a cursory condition assessment followed by other phases that may include closer examination, analysis, or improvements as necessary. In this manner, building owners are able to better control their expenditures, risk, and liability. Contact us today to learn more.


How Often Should You Inspect Your Building's Facade?

Your building's facade is more than just its looks! Regular inspections are key to catching problems early and preventing costly repairs...