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Construction Material and Safety Issues
Different construction materials are used for different purposes. When building, it is important to know what to use where and when. Material specifications are always provided to ensure correct usage of the equipment. There are also safety rules and regulations that have to be followed to avoid accidents and sometimes death. Gusset plates are chunky pieces of galvanized steel that are used when linking or joining truss components. They are also used to connect rafters and planks. Gusset plates are riveted, bolted or welded for permanence and strength. They are used in the construction of buildings and bridges. The bulk and material used to make gusset plates is subject to the structure under construction. For example, when constructing bridges, their gusset plates need thick steel sheets. Gusset plates will only fail to play their role efficiently when they are under-designed or overloaded.
Steel tie connections involve steel tie rods. The connections have to be strong to guarantee structural safety. Weak connections are recipes for disaster. Failed threaded connections have been a common occurrence in construction. Steel tie connections are mainly used when building basement or garage doors in respect to wood construction wind codes. This applies to areas that are prone to tornados and hurricanes. Plastic wood decking can also be referred to as composite decking. It is a very eye-catching, reliable and long lasting decking method. It appears like wood but has the sturdiness of plastic. “Composite decking is usually manufactured from recycled plastic and wood fillers, making it a good sustainable product. The dense pliable nature of composite requires different installation procedures and hardware. Standard deck screws should not be used because they will cause the surface of the decking around the screw to stick up. Hidden fasteners are a better option” (Lester, Mcguerty 244).
Engineered wood I beams are essentially used when constructing floors. Compared to sawn timber, they are stronger, cheaper to install, straighter and 50 percent more rigid. In addition, they are lighter given by their exceptional construction. However, wood I beams raise a few concerns. They are only applicable when it comes to internal construction because they can be destroyed by water. During construction, special attention needs to be paid when putting in wires and pipes to avoid damage since not all contractors are conversant with the correct usage of wood I beams. Another concern is fire safety. Wood I beams lack mass and are constructed using glue. This makes them heavily prone to fire damage.
Different truss products are also used in different areas of construction. These include roof trusses, floor trusses; light gauge steel trusses etc. Lightweight roof trusses are rapidly gaining popularity in the construction industry world over. Good examples of this are metal roofs, which are becoming trendier by the day. “They have several advantages over standard roofing options, such as fire resistance, long life and durability. They are also lightweight and good at reflecting sunlight when painted in lighter colors” (Lester, Mcguerty244). They are also wind resistant.
However, as much as metal roofs are well known for their structural integrity, they come with their challenges and disadvantages. First, their installation has to be done by a knowledgeable roofing contractor. Secondly, they are prone to fire damage; this is attributed to their construction material on gusset plates, steel tie connections to meet wood construction wind codes, plastic “wood” decking, engineered wood “I” beams, and lightweight truss roofs.
Lester, Kent, Dave McGuerty, and Dave McGuerty. The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Home Books, 2009. Print.