Everything you need to know about the scaffolding

Scaffolds are the temporary framework used to support buildings, bridges, construction and other structures during the process of making. They are basically stuck in the exterior of the building by the workmen while repairing or constructing the building. Scaffolding is done using metal and wooden planks, which provides a platform for the workers to do the work in progress. Besides, steel, aluminum, and bamboo are used in place of wood and metals for creating the scaffolding framework. The size differs including small, large and medium and is used by painters, construction workers and builders.

Types of scaffolding used during construction

There are certain sorts of framework are used in the site and some of them are described below:

Single scaffolding: It is also known as brick layer’s scaffolding as the framework stands parallel within a distance of a minimum of 1.2 m from the wall. The support consists of ledgers, putlogs, standards and others. The distance between the components varies during the construction. The distance between the two standards are almost kept between 2m to 2.5m. Ledgers are connected vertically and are kept at a standard measurement of 1.2 to 1.5m. A hole is made in the wall where the putlogs are placed and is connected to the ledger on one end. The interval between the putlogs are kept around 1.2 to 1.5m.

Double scaffolding: Generally used in the stone masonry, double scaffolding is also known as a mason’s scaffolding. Since, it is difficult to make holes in stone walls, double framework is constructed to make it a strong base for the workers to work. The support is built in two rows, keeping a minimum distance of 1m between each other. The putlogs are placed between the rows and are supported by rakers and cross braces to make the frame stronger.

Cantilever scaffolding: The cantilever scaffolding is placed are placed in series of needles that are dug out of the wall. This sort of scaffolding is used three conditions: 1) when the builder plans to construct the upper side of the building; 2) when the ground should be made free for humans to move, and; 3) when the ground is not strong enough to hold the structure.

Suspended scaffolding: As the name suggests, the suspended scaffolding is suspended from the roof tops with the support of wires, chains and other materials. The biggest benefit is that the suspension can be raised or lowered as per the requirement of the workers. If the work is meant to be done at the upper part of the building the suspension can be raised and vice versa.

Trestle scaffolding: This is not used for any exterior purpose, rather it is used interior for repairing and painting purpose. The height of the framework is around 5m.

Steel scaffolding: This sort of scaffolding is done by steel tubes that are connected together using fittings. The benefit of this framework is that they are easy to construct as well as pull apart. This construction gives greater strength and durability and provides more safety for the workers.

Patented scaffolding: Equipped with special frames, this sort of scaffolding is made of steel and can be adjusted as per the work requirement. The row built between the two vertical structures is given the shape of brackets that can be changed. These are easily available in the market.

The materials used for scaffolding

Tubes, coupler and boards are some of the basic elements used during the scaffolding. Generally, the tubes are made out of steel or aluminium, but glass fiber, polyester and nylon come into use in composite scaffolding. The composite tubes are costlier in comparison to the normal tubes. The composite tubes are used to avoid the danger of the electric cables and the steel tubes are galvanized to circumvent the current flow. The tubes are available in varieties of lengths and has a consistent diameter of 48.3mm. The boards are the platforms that are placed for the workers to work. It is built with wood and are available with three thicknesses: 38mm, 50mm and 63mm. The boards too are built with different materials like timber, steel, aluminum and laminate. Interestingly, the end of the boards is guarded by metal or nail plates, often called as hoop irons. Besides, the platforms are also placed with sole boards to make the surface soft for the workers to stand. Couplers hold a very important task of connecting the tubes together. There are three basic types: right angle couplers, swivel couplers and putlog couplers. Apart from this, sleeve couplers are brought into use to connect the tubes end to end. Other common elements that can be required while scaffolding includes ladders, base plates, and gin wheels, anchor ties, sheeting and ropes. Bamboos are largely used in Hong Kong and India for this purpose. Nylon straps and ropes are used to tie the poles.

Whom should you hire?

For scaffolding, it requires trained professionals and experts who are well-equipped with the various techniques of the connecting the tubes and decks. Every style of scaffolding requires a distinct technique and the workmen should be mastered at it. The task of scaffolding should not be given to a layman as it may involve some of the dangerous risk. If the tubes and the decks are not connected with the proper fittings it may lead to accidents. Only qualified professionals are allowed to construct and dismantle the framework. This is lesser chance of hazard if the support is done by any skilled workman. Moreover, Scaffolding Certificate should be given much importance. Workers holding this certificate must be entitled to build structures more than 4m of height. Prior to the progress of the work, ensure that the materials use are free of defects.

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