The National Secretary, Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria (SLAN), Mr. Amos Alao has called on Nigerians to be cautious when buying or renting a building.

The architect made this call during an interview with journalists in Lagos on Monday.

Speaking against the backdrop of the recent collapse buildings in Lagos state, Alao urged Nigerians to inspect a building before considering renting it as there are indices for recognising a faulty building.

Alao also noted that it was better to search for an apartment during rainy season so the occupants can know the state of the building before renting it.

He also added that occupants need to ensure there is no crack in the building before renting it because cracks from the foundation of the building are quite dangerous.

In his words; “For instance if you want to rent a bungalow, you need to inspect it to ensure there is no crack in the building. Cracks from the foundation to the roof of the building are quite dangerous.

“Bottom up cracks is structural cracks; meaning that there is a problem with the foundation of the building; and it means the foundation has not settled.

“Also when you slam a door in the building and the house vibrates, this also implies that there is a problem with the building.

“If during rainy season, a key touches a doorknob, burglary proof or any metal and it shocks you, it means there is a static electricity in the building. It also implies the building has no lighting conductor.”

“There are different indices to look out for when water comes out from the building during the rainy season.

“When water seeps from the floor, it means the drainage to the house was not properly done. It also means the foundation of the building is faulty.

“A seeping floor could also mean there was no Down Proof Covering (DPC). After the construction of the floor, nylon is usually placed to prevent water from coming up.

“When the DPC is not properly done or completely absent, then water will seep through the building floor and in the long run weaken the foundation of such building.

“Peradventure you pay for an apartment and then you pound yams and the tiles are cracking, it means there is a problem with the building,” he added.

Also talking about duplex or storey building, Alao disclosed signs to look out for in order to ensure safety for the occupants.

In his words; “In the case of duplex or storey buildings, when it rains and the building sways or moves, there is a problem with the building.

“If you can hear the noise from the flat above you distinctly, the building has a problem. It means that the decking over you has a porous cavity.

“Frequent plumbing issues are also another index for knowing a faulty building.

“When you see patches of spirogyra due to plumbing issues or the water from the flat above you leaks into your apartment, the building also has some problems you have to be wary about.”

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