Monday, March 20, 2017

Preventive Maintenance is Essential for a Healthy Society

With the growing population in the country, the need for homes has also increased over a period of time. The growing demand however needs to be matched up with as much awareness about various things that should be kept in mind before buying a house. I remember when I was on the lookout to move into a bigger house, my father and husband were making sure to inquire about various things related to the age of the building, the waterproofing plans, time intervals in between structural repairs and what systems and processes the society is following in terms of drainage, cleanliness and maintenance. Knowing all these things about the society was important so that we could make the right decision, as I totally believe that preventive maintenance is essential for the existence of a healthy society.

I have been fortunate enough to find a society that meets up once a month to address the issues of water leakages, dampness, seepage, repairs, molds and also does regular structural audits. We actively address our issues during the meetings so our families are not at inconvenience, and also so that all municipal regulations that exist in this regard are complied with. The sad part is that while there are more than 50,000 cooperative societies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, not even 10% of them undergo structural audit, and around 15,000-16,000 urgently need repairs according to CA Ramesh S. Prabhu – Chairman – Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association. He has now associated himself with Dr. Fixit from the House of Pidilite that has taken up an initiative that focuses on "Building a Healthy Society", and educates societies on the importance of structural audits. The purpose of this initiative is to increase the awareness on why buildings require timely planning of repairs, with the correct diagnosis of the problems and expert solutions on the same. Many a times people ignore the problem due to their lack of understanding or carry out repairs their own way which could be wrong, and this is why Dr. Fixit wants to educate us to help us understand the issues and ways in which the issues can be addressed. When we fall sick, we shouldn't be our own doctor. The same approach applies for building repairs.

Advancements in technology have given rise to state-of-the-art techniques that can be used to determine the problem. Dr. Fixit uses non-destructive tests and concrete petrography methods to evaluate and measure the strength of the existing concrete structures. With the help of these methods, they can not only detect water leakages in the building, but can also provide an analysis of the tests with various recommendations for remedial waterproofing. Using the right kind of tools is very important to diagnose the problem, as every building is made in a different way and hence the solution to the problem also has to be unique and specialized. Dr. Fixit is constantly innovating to provide us with solutions that can help keep our buildings safe from any possible water seepage, leakages or wear and tear due to over-enthusiastic renovations of interiors. 

I had the opportunity to witness a panel discussion themed 'Building a Healthy Society' organised by Dr. Fixit and the esteemed panel consisted of Mr Ramesh Prabhu, Mr Prakash Mathur - Director of Dr. Fixit Institute, Mr Pankaj Shah - a renowned Repair and Structural Consultant, and Ms Kanika Bawa - Celebrity Architect and Installation Artist.

The innovative surface wise waterproofing solutions from Dr. Fixit  not only offer the benefits of painting, but also keep the building safe from any possible leakage, and offer relief from the summer heat as well. The innovative products include Dr. Fixit Newcoat, Dampguard, Raincoat and its specialist range of Structural Repair products.  Get connected to the experts at Dr. Fixit via Tech Chat option on their website.

I went back with a lot of learnings but the main point that was reinforced was that to make this world a better place to live in, we have to proactively take efforts to make sure that premise that we live in is safe and secure structurally. So I want all you guys to take a step forward and keep a check on whether certain things are being followed in your societies or not:
1. The building is inspected regularly to notice any kind of cracks or damages
2. The roof of the building is maintained regularly with waterproofing techniques so as to avoid the rainwater from accumulating and seeping into the walls.
3. Are the columns and beams of the building sealed when the signs of any cracks start to appear?
4. Is the water tank of your building made of concrete? If yes then is it repaired time and again to dodge water leakage, as concrete can shrink and expand in different kinds of temperatures which can lead to cracks.
5. Does the building have a committee who can call for experts to regularly inspect the building and know the problem well in time?

No one wants to live in the fear of coming back to a home which can collapse any time right? So it is vital that we take the efforts to address the issues and spread awareness about the rising problems and how they can be tackled with the right partners in tow.

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