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The Disadvantages of Wood

Though a traditional and sometimes sustainable material that is often used

in a wide variety of applications, wood has many disadvantages that can be
mitigated by the selection of other materials. Wood is a plant-based
material, which means that it is very sensitive to environmental conditions
and wood pests. Processed wood has structural weaknesses and sensitivities
that are not found in other materials.

Wood-Destroying Pests
One of the greatest disadvantages of wood is that a variety of pests are
attracted to-- and can destroy-- wood. Termites, carpenter bees, carpenter
ants, powderpost beetles and wood-devouring fungi are all common wood-
destroying pests. These pests are difficult to identify, expensive to eradicate,
and can do great amounts of damage that is virtually invisible until it's too
late to repair.

Some types of wood coupled with different types of wood treatments have
greatly enhanced the general durability of wood, but there are many
applications for which wood is unsuitable due to durability issues. In cases
where material needs to withstand high weight loads, multiple impacts,
extremely high or low temperatures, metals and synthetic materials are often
used in place of wood. Even in the case of traditionally all-wood applications
like fences, durability issues have increased the use of alternatives such as
plastics, which can be formed to give the appearance of wood, but can last
longer with less maintenance.
Moist conditions can, over time, even soften wood treated to withstand
moisture, making it susceptible to wet rot and fungus. Such problems can be
very expensive to treat, and often the best preventative measure is simply to
use a material that does not have this vulnerability. Plastics and nonporous
materials are frequently used in applications where high moisture is a

Age, temperature, and environmental humidity are all factors that can make
wood warp. Depending on conditions, wood may warp by swelling,
shrinking, or twisting. This means that in many fine-calculation applications -
- such as in doorways and around window frames -- the choice of wood may
reduce functionality if the environmental conditions do not meet specific

Wood, of course, can burn-- making it a less than ideal material to use in
applications where fire safety is a concern. Even worse, some types of treated
wood can emit toxic chemicals such as arsenic, which can be fatal in closed
A metal is classed as a chemical element suitable for conducting heat and
electricity. As a building material, it creates structures that are rigid and long-
lasting, and metal tends to be lightweight as well. There are clear advantages
as well as disadvantages in the use of metal products, many of which a do-it-
yourself homeowner can install with few headaches.

Buildings and Advantages

The kinds of advantages and disadvantages that you may face from using
metal depend on how you intend to use it. If you wish to construct a metal
building, such as an addition to your home like a garden shed, it has the
advantage of being sturdy enough to not require the use of concrete pillars to
keep it upright. Buildings made of metal also stand up well to weather --
unlike buildings made of wood -- and are less prone to burning.

Buildings and Disadvantages

Metal may rust, especially if the structure is located outside and at the mercy
of the rain. This not only affects the outside of a structure but also the inside
of it. Metal buildings are known for being difficult to seal completely from
water penetration. Other disadvantages include the difficulty in attaching
hooks and shelves to metal, which requires professional tools, and metal's
less attractive appearance compared to wooden structures.

Roofs and Advantages

Some people view metal roofs as being good for the environment. Because
metal is a good conductor of heat, it reflects the harsh midday sun, reducing
cooling costs. This can save you money in energy bills. Metal roofs are also
more durable than nonmetal roofs because they usually only need to be
replaced every 50 years.

Roofs and Disadvantages

The disadvantages from using metal in roof work are the initial expense of
installing it on a home. They can be quite expensive and are only really worth
doing if you plan on staying in the same house for a number of years.
Another disadvantage comes when it rains, as the sound of rainfall on a metal
roof tends to be very noisy and can't be completely silenced with additions
such as roof insulation.

Advantages & Disadvantages of


Ceramic decor items, dishes and building materials add unique and personal
touches to any home. The advantages of ceramic over other materials are
numerous and although there are some downsides to the use of this
material, as a whole it is a product which is is extremely compatible with
maintaining a clean, carefree and safe household and lifestyle.
Ceramics are usually relatively inexpensive, depending on the application.
Installing ceramic tile throughout your home is far less expensive than adding
carpet or hardwood flooring. There are cost differences though when
ceramics are applied to the manufacturing of dishes and cookware. Some are
extremely inexpensive while others demand top dollar because of design,
brand and quality issues.

Ceramic items also tend to hold color well. Unlike cement or stone, paint on
ceramic vases, dishes and decorative items will stick to the surfaces and
remain vivid for years to come. This makes ceramics also popular as an art
and decorative form -- interior decorators often opt to use ceramic both as
floor and wall coverings, as well as in decorative pots, figurines, vases, lamps
and knobs.

One of the downsides to ceramics is that the products are usually very fragile
-- not as fragile as their counterpart in porcelain but easily crushed, broken or
shattered. Care should always be taken in the handling of ceramic items and
cookware, and dishes should not be used if cracked or chipped. However,
ceramics can handle extremes of heat and cold very well and are often used
for freezer-to-oven casseroles and other favorite dishes.

Easy To Clean
Ceramics are commonly used in nursing homes, hospitals and child care
facilities because of the high levels of sanitation with tile walls, flooring and
ceramic fixtures. This is equally important in your own home, especially in
areas such as the kitchen or bathroom. Ceramic is very easy to clean, stain
resistant and does not retain the residues and smells of chemicals, foods or

Ceramic Surfaces
The texture of ceramic surfaces is cool and smooth to the touch and pleasing
to the eye. It can be slippery, so care should be taken when handling ceramic
dishes or cookware. Ceramic tile can be treated with an abrasive grit
application available at your local building supply store or you can add
texture to the tile surface to reduce accidents and ensure the safety of all who
walk on it.

Ceramics are especially useful in areas with heavy moisture such as
bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors. Ceramic tile keeps these areas free from
leakage, corrosion and mold. Ceramic dishes are leak-proof and are ideal for
hot teas and other hot and cold beverages. Flower pots hold moist soil to aid
in the growth of plants both indoors and out.

Advantages and Disadvantages in

Reinforced Concrete
Reinforced concrete is mixed with steel to make it stronger, more durable and
less likely to fail. The material is commonly used in buildings to make the
structure able to withstand high amounts of stress and weight. Construction
workers use reinforced concrete in walls, beams, foundations and columns.
Compared to regular concrete, reinforced concrete has more strength and
durability. Because the concrete is fabricated with steel, it's able to withstand
high pressure before it becomes damaged or weakened. Much of the stress in
a building is transferred to the steel, which takes the pressure off the concrete.
This allows reinforced concrete to carry much more weight than regular

In addition to having additional strength, reinforced concrete is also flexible.
During the construction process, the flexibility in reinforced concrete helps
the structure take shape and decreases the tension in the foundation. writes that the high degree of elasticity in reinforced
concrete allows the material to be deformed without worrying about any
serious consequences.

One of the major disadvantages of reinforced concrete is the cost involved in
the fabrication process. Incorporting steel fibers into a cement mix is very
labor intensive, which makes it much more expensive than regular concrete.
Workers need to mix, cast and cure the concrete, which can extend the
construction process and may force a project to go over budget and behind in

When compared to steel, reinforced concrete has a low rate of compressive
strength. According to, the ratio is about 1:10 for reinforced
concrete compared to steel. The low rate of compressive strength may cause
cracks to develop within the foundation of a building. Cracks are often
caused by moisture, which causes the material to expand and shrink, and
leads to major problems down the road.

The following are the advantages of concrete

1. Concrete ingredients are easily available.

2. Concrete can be easily handles and moulded to any desired shape.
3. Concrete can be easily transported from the place of mixing to place of casting before initial set
takes place.
4. Concrete can be pumped or sprayed to fill into cracks and lining of tunnels.
5. Using steel as reinforcement it is possible to build any structure; be it lintel or a massive fly-
6. The monolithic character of concrete gives it better appearance and much rigidity to the
7. The property of concrete to possess high compressive strength makes a concrete structure
more economical than steel structure.

The following are the disadvantages of concrete.

1. Concrete possess low tensile strength. Therefore concrete is required to be reinforced to avoid
2. In long structures, expansion joints are required to be provided if there is large temperature
variance in the area.
3. Due to drying shrinkage and moisture expansion concrete may crack. Therefore construction
joints are provided to avoid these types of cracks.
4. If soluble salt is present in concrete then it may lead to efflorescence when comes in contact
with moisture.
5. Concrete made with ordinary Portland cement, gets integrated in the presence of alkalies,
sulphates etc.
6. Sustained loads develop creep in structures.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Glass
as a Building Material
Glass is a magical material which has so many different properties and
uses, that it has presented Architects with many new possibilities and designs.
Glass is most typically used as transparent glazing material in construction
and also used in architectural features like doors, windows, partition. Glass is
a transparent hard substance created by the application of heat to sand or
quartz.Glass is an inorganic, transparent or translucent material which can be
molded into any shape. Glass is a mixture of raw materials like Silica, sodium
potassium carbonate, lime or lead oxide, Manganese oxide which is ground,
sieved and mixed in specific proportion and melted in furnace.


The glass that absorb, refracts or transmits light. It can be made

transparent or translucent so it adds extraordinary beauty to the
Glass transmits up to 80% of available natural day light in both
directions without any yellowing, clouding or weathering.
The glass is fully weather resistance so it can withstand the effects of
the wind, rain, or the sun and can retain its appearance and integrity.
Glass does not rust so it does not degrade graduallyby chemical and
surrounding environment effects.
Glass has a smooth glossy surface so it is dust proof and can be easily
Glass allows natural light to enter the house even if doors/windows are
closed so thus it saves energy and also lowers the electricity bills,
brightens up the room and brings out the beauty of the home,and most
importantly it boosts the mood of occupant.
It is an excellent insulator against electricity.It is impossible to conduct
an electric current under the influence of an electric field.
Available in varieties of colours and when we combine the glass sheet
in laminated or insulated units, they change in colour and appearance.
It can be blown, drawn and pressed to any shape and hence it is used
for general glazing purposes in building, shop fronts, building doors and
windows and workshops. It is also used for furniture after being
laminated with plywood or metal sheet.
Glass provides an ideal way to showcase a product.
It is also with a deep understanding of glass science and by using
fusion draw manufacturing process to lead the display industry with its
superior liquid crystal display (LCD) glass that fueled the electronics
gadget screen revolution.
Glass is 100% recyclable and it does not degrade during the recycling
process, hence it can be recycled again and again without loss of
quality or purity.
The glass is UV stable, Since It is not attacked by ultraviolet radiation
and hence cracks, discolouration or disintegration will not occur.
The glass is excellent abrasion resistant so it will resist surface wear
caused by flat rubbing and contact with another material.
The glass is stable over a wide range of temperature so it is used for
fireplace glass, high-temperature light lenses,and wood burning stoves,
cooking tops and high-temperature areas where low expansion is
It is unaffected by noise, air, water and most of the acids hence
discoloration, alteration in the degree of shine, softening, swelling, the
detachment of coatings and blistering will not occur. Glass also protects
against outside barriers.
Glass has the ability to make the structure look more stunning,
sophisticated and adds beauty to the building. It is used to achieve the
architectural view for external decoration.
When used in the interiors, glass saves space.

Manufacturing of glass is high energy consuming process due to high

temperature required for processing the raw materials, and it is
expensive material and ultimately increases the cost of a building.
The glass is very rigid and brittle materials so when it is subjected to
stress, it breaks without significant (strain). Broken pieces of Glass may
be sharp and chances of injury are very high.
The glass is less impact resistant so the capability of the glass to
withstand a suddenly applied load is very poor.
The glass is affected by external hydrofluoric acid hence sometime
etching is appear on glass surface.
The Glass is affected by alkalis ions. Alkali solution simply dissolves a
glass surface and as long as the supply of alkali is sufficient,this type of
corrosion takes place at a uniform rate.
Glass offers superior transparency of heat hence it is to be balanced
with its relatively low R-value (energy saving). R-value is considered as
one of the most important factors for insulating.
Use of glass also enhances the cost of security.
The glass is also unsafe for earthquake proven area. Unfortunately,
there is no such Glass as an earthquake proof material but costly
treatment makes them withstand against earthquake.
The glass is poor in terms of heat preservation, leading to higher costs
in the operation of air-conditioners.
Though many feel that once you provide glass in a building faade, you
are free from painting expenses for ever but this is not fine. You may
have to spend equally for cleaning of glass. Sometimes it is as costly as
expose painting. Again, you may paint building once in a 5 years but for
glass you have to clean every year.
Glass absorbs heat and hence act as a greenhouse and hence not
suitable in warm and hot climates. It will increase A\C load and more
energy consideration for air conditioning.
Glare is a major problem in glass faade building.

Can be easily broken
Composite Materials

Advantages Disadvanta


Excellent strength to weight ratio Expensive

Resistant to corrosion Specialised manufactu

Water resistant High-quality m

Ideal for external shell structures CARBON

Wide range of colours as pigments can be added to the resin Very expens

Can be repaired easily Only availa

CARBON FIBRE Highly specialised manufa

Excellent strength to weight ratio Cannot be easily repaired

Better tensile strength than steel alloys Cannot be ea

Can be engineered to be anisotropic (fabric orientated in MD

different directions)
Can be formed into complex and aerodynamic one-piece
structures Requires appropriate finis

MDF Swells and breaks

Less expensive than natural timbers Warps or expan

Available in large sheet sizes and a range of thicknesses Contains urea-formaldehyde which m
cutting an
Isotropic (no grain), so not tendency to split
Dulls blades more quic
Consistent strength in all directions