Structural health monitoring is important for homeowners, corporations and government agencies alike. Regular inspections and upkeep are needed for buildings of all shapes and sizes. Construction is a complex process and there are many things that can go wrong. One minor flaw can lead to a devastating problem down the line, so it helps to establish a good infrastructure early on.
A building monitoring system usually consists of sensors, data systems and other tools that make upkeep and evaluations easier. Monitoring is not usually done in real-time, but the system concocts a plan in accordance with what it is detecting. When a structure such as a wall, roof or floor is damaged to some degree, the system picks up on it and tries to find the root of the damage.
Damage to a ceiling can come from the roof, while damage to the floor can come from an installed appliance that has malfunctioned. A monitoring system will try to locate where exactly the flaw is. From there, the system will aim to decipher what is happening (a crack, a burn, expanded wood, etc.) Whatever the problem, the system can relay data on how severe its repercussions are.
In many cases, monitoring systems are used to prevent future issues. There are also cases where emergency alerts are set in place when something instantly goes wrong. This especially happens when a natural disaster poses a threat to a building and the inhabitants need an expert’s help. A solid, fast infrastructure can mitigate fatalities and drastic property damage.
Monitoring systems are most helpful when they are used during construction, but they can be retrofitted after construction as well. Automated data storage, tracking and communication not only save people money on potential repair costs, but they keep the home safe and comfortable.