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What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Out and about on plaster repair jobs, we sometimes come across “situations” that have us scratching our heads in wonder. And sometimes, the situations are so interesting, we have to snap a photo. Here is one such photo.

Can you tell us what’s wrong in this picture?

That’s right, the concrete pad designed to catch the water coming out of the downspout and direct it away from the building is backwards. This is an honest mistake, someone probably hastily placed it there and had their mind on other things. We’ve all made silly mistakes.

However honest the mistake, a minor oversight like this can lead to huge problems in the future. At BWA, Inc., we always stress the importance of proper building maintenance. Plaster repair is rarely necessary if a home or commercial building is properly maintained.

Errant moisture — water that finds its way to a place where it shouldn’t be — is the cause of A LOT of plaster failure. In the photo at right, this little mistake could end up causing some expensive repair in the future.

That water directed back at the building will most likely soak into the porous concrete. In a cold climate, that moisture will freeze, thaw and refreeze, wreaking havoc on the concrete. You’d be surprised at how tenacious water can be — if you give it an inch it will take a mile. It is very unforgiving.

Now imagine that concrete were part of the building’s foundation. The moisture would compromise the structure and maybe cause the building to shift.

The result? Cracks in the plaster.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep an eye out for tiny problems that could become a huge repair project.

In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out, too.