When completing any alterations to your home it is always important to follow the correct Building procedures. Before completing any structural work, you should always get a structural engineer to complete the necessary structural calculations for Building Control approval, to ensure that the work you are looking to complete is possible and the correct support is being installed. If this is ignored, once building work has begun you can run into multiple problems which can potentially be extremely dangerous.
Last week, EAP emergency response team received a call from a homeowner in Southend who has started building work himself in his basement, he was looking to make some internal alterations by removing 2 walls. However, once he had started work it become apparent that these walls were in fact load bearing leaving the property insufficiently supported and causing the pavement above, directly outside the front door, to cave in.
The call came in just before two o’clock in the afternoon, our Senior Structural Engineer Ahmad Safia made his way to site. Ahmad completed his initial inspection, he found that one of the walls that had been removed was carrying some of the weight of the external structure to the front of the property and the driveway above, this had caused the doorway to crack and cave in on itself, leaving a small open void outside the front door. The other wall had a beam bearing on top of it.
This had been left partly unsupported on a single skim brick wall which left the property structurally vulnerable. Ahmad's inspection also identified that some load upon removal of the wall was partly bearing onto a gas pipe within the basement. Although there was no smell of gas, it was imperative to get this inspected by a gas safety engineer. All occupants were evacuated from the property and Cadnet were called straight away and were advised of the emergency. An engineer arrived on site within 30 minutes and carried out the necessary tests and confirmed that the pipe was no longer in use.
Ahmad then worked with the client to advise on the necessary temporary support required before a full remedial scheme could be prepared.
Get In Touch Today
Don’t leave anything to chance, before carrying out any structural work to your property make sure you have completed all the necessary steps. If you are thinking of doing any work to your home give us a call today on 01206 768556 or email us at email@example.com and we help you prepare everything you need.