2 tips to keep in mind when performing construction work on an old building

If you will be performing construction work on an old building, you may find the following two tips to be helpful.

1. Have a plumbing inspection performed before replacing timber trusses, studs and braces

If the building was constructed more than a few decades ago, it is quite likely that you will need to replace some parts of its framework, including things like the timber trusses, studs and braces, as these items tend to deteriorate over time. However, before you do this, you should arrange for a plumber to perform an inspection of the building's entire plumbing system.

If during the inspection, they discover leaking pipes or pipes that are in extremely poor condition and are likely to crack in the near future, you should have these sections of the plumbing system replaced before proceeding with the replacement of the aforementioned structural components. The reason for this is as follows; a structural component such as a timber truss must remain dry in order to perform its function (i.e. to withstand heavy loads and contribute to the structural stability of a building). If this type of component is exposed to the water that is leaking out of a nearby pipe, it will eventually rot and be unable to provide structural support.

As such, if you don't have the plumbing system inspected before installing new timber trusses, braces and studs, and there happens to be a leak somewhere within the system, these newly-fitted components will deteriorate very quickly and in doing so, will create a lot of structural problems throughout the building.

2. Wear respirators when tearing out old building materials

If you have checked the building for asbestos materials and are confident that it does not contain this hazardous substance, you might think that there is no need for you and the other members of your construction crew to wear respirators while you tear out the old building materials. However, it is still advisable to wear this type of safety gear during this stage of the construction process. The reason for this is as follows; while there may not be any asbestos in the building, there could be other toxic substances.

For example, a lot of old buildings are damp (due to their lack of modern insulation materials). The moisture generated by this issue can result in mould spores growing on these buildings' ceilings and walls. As such, if the building you are working in is damp, and you decide to tear down the old wall plaster and ceiling tiles, you will end up disturbing any mould spores that are sitting on these surfaces. If your nose and mouth are not covered by a respirator when this happens, you will then inhale these spores and potentially end up developing an illness as a result of this.