1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Various attempts have been made to give a comprehensive definition of maintenance and to explain vividly what it entails, BS3811 (1964), defined maintenance as the combination of any action carried out to retain an item in or restore it to an acceptable condition. The standard and level of maintenance of building in any country like Nigeria is invariably directly related to the strength of its economy. As country becomes more developed, they are disposed to require higher standards for buildings. One of the basic needs of man in life, is Sheller, which is required for virtually all human activities shelter is provided in form of building which are usually designed and erected for a specific use or purpose, such as residential, educational, hospital, etc in order for building to continue to serve their purposes, they should be made to remain in the state for which they were constructed and this can only be achieved through adequate maintenance which in most cases is not carried out leading to various defects which may ultimately prevent these buildings from continuously serving the purpose for which they were built. Maintenance is required throughout the life span of the building so that the various elements are kept to standard consistent with the overall policy. Feedback from user to designer is important to indicate success or failure of specified components.
A list of the prevalent maintenance problems in both residential and public buildings in Enugu urban used as a case study for this project includes: leakage roof, rot in roof timber, damages to internal plaster and decoration, possible damage to contents and effect on health of occupants, damages to ceiling board, flaking of wall paints, cracking of walls, broken tiles, wearing – off of floor finishes, broken , broker PVC pipes and damage to soak away pit. One of the main contributions to the deplorable state of our buildings is the attitude of our building owners. The problem with most Nigeria building owners is that they do not know what they want in their buildings when completed. This therefore compounds problem to designers during briefing and decision making. The owners may need a complex building without considering the convenience of construction. They may not even be ready to involve themselves with high cost buildings which they need. Question put out to owners of buildings as regards maintenance plans for their buildings could not be answered because there was no maintenance plans in place for their buildings.
The need for maintenance is prevalent in Nigeria because of the complex nature of design of the building which are finally erected without considering the needs of maintenance at the design stage. Owners are usually concerned with the aesthetic nature of the design and the building appearance without considering the needs for maintenance of the ways of going about to effect repairs should defects occur. Some of the main cause of maintenance problems are; new material and construction techniques, poor workmanship, poor placement of materials, poor materials been used poor supervision of construction work, lack of quality control and monitoring.