This paper seeks to explore and detect underlying relationships between identifiable primary causes of defects in local authority housing stock with the view to identifying which groups of building components are associated with one another. It is primarily based on responses to a questionnaire from building surveyors who were involved in the day‐to‐day diagnosis of defects of a large local authority housing stock. The intercorrelations among the primary defect‐causing factors demanded the application of principal component analysis to determine the factors affecting deterioration of the building fabric. This resulted in the extraction of nine significant factors which combine to exert their influence on the building.
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