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House Subsidence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House
Subsidence

Is my house suffering
from subsidence
and sinking
deeper into the ground?

If a structural engineer tells you your home is suffering from subsidence, what they’re really telling you is your home is sinking.

Subsidence exerts an immense amount of force on your home. The force created by the sinking strains your home’s foundations, the floor, the walls, the ceiling and even the roof.

If subsidence isn’t stopped, the force exerted on your home can quickly multiply foundational and structural issues. This can also multiply the cost of repairs, hurting your wallet over the long-run.

If you suspect your home may be suffering from subsidence you’re in the right place. Read on to learn about the symptoms and causes of subsidence.

Is my house
suffering from subsidence
and sinking deeper into the ground?

If a structural engineer tells you your home is suffering from subsidence, what they’re really telling you is your home is sinking.

Subsidence exerts an immense amount of force on your home. The force created by the sinking strains your home’s foundations, the floor, the walls, the ceiling and even the roof.

If subsidence isn’t stopped, the force exerted on your home can quickly multiply foundational and structural issues. This can also multiply the cost of repairs, hurting your wallet over the long-run.

If you suspect your home may be suffering from subsidence you’re in the right place. Read on to learn about the symptoms and causes of subsidence.

What are the symptoms of subsidence?

Cracked brick work

Wall Cracks

Sometimes wall cracks are purely cosmetic. Other times, the cracks indicate structural issues brought on by your house sinking. If your wall cracks appear stepped, appear in both the internal and external walls of your house as well as the corners of walls, your house may be sinking.

Wall crack in the corner of a room

Ceiling and Cornice Cracks

Just like wall cracks, ceiling cracks can be superficial but can also indicate deeper structural problems due to the sinking of your home. The sinking places pressure upon the entire house starting in the foundations. This travels up walls into your cornices and ceiling, causing them to crack.

arch4

Doors and Windows Jamming

If you can’t close or open your doors and windows without them jamming, there’s a likelihood the foundation of your home has sunk, unevenly. What was initially level isn’t anymore. It’s this lack of balance in the structure’s foundation that causes doors to hit the floor when you open them or has walls squeezing windows in so they can’t be opened or shut.

leaning-wall8

Leaning or Off-level Walls

The source of leaning or off-level walls is the same as jammed windows and doors. As your house sinks, the unevenness of your home’s foundations can cause walls to lean one way or another. Leaning or off-level walls are horribly dangerous if left unchecked and unfixed. They have the potential to fall over and cause injury or worse.

Sunken floor and wall

Sloping Floors

If you have sloping floors, the reason is, again, unevenness in the foundations of your home due to sinking. Your floors will slope as one side of the house sinks downwards more than the other. To double check for a sloping floor, just place a ball on the floor and see if it rolls away from you. If it does, it’s likely you’re in a sinking house.

Sunken floor in a residential home

Gaps between Walls and Floors

As the foundation underneath your home sinks, the floors pull away from the base of your interior walls, causing gaps to appear. The sinking of your home may also result in a floor that becomes bouncy as you walk upon it. This is likely caused by the ground pulling away from the upper parts of your home’s structure. This is dangerous because this indicates your floor’s support system is beginning to sag and weaken.

Got a feeling your house is subsiding?

Do you need a subsidence repair solution that’s non-disruptive and cost effective?

Got a feeling your house is subsiding?

Do you need a subsidence repair solution that’s non-disruptive and cost effective?

What causes subsidence?

soil3

Reactive Clay Soil

Reactive clay soil is a dense material that expands or contracts under different weather conditions. When it’s wet and cool, reactive clay soil absorbs moisture and expands but when it’s hot and dry, it shrinks. It’s the contraction of the soil that can cause the subsidence of your home.

Subsidence can also come from the introduction of new plants and trees as well as new drainage systems or altered ones. They draw more water out of the ground than usual to dramatically impact the stability of your home’s foundations.

water-erosion3

Water Erosion

Water erosion is often a cause of subsidence. When water pools into a specific spot in the ground too much, the soil becomes saturated and weak. If this water happens to pool into the soil under your home, your home will no longer be sitting on stable ground.

Burst, cracked and leaking pipes near or around your home can pool water. Overflowing stormwater drains, mains inlet pipes and unconnected downpipes also cause subsidence.

Tree roots impacting a home's foundations

Tree Roots and Vegetation

Thirsty tree roots and vegetation draw water out of the ground under your home. The soil becomes aerated and unstable and as a result subsidence occurs.

Sickly vegetation is especially thirsty. They have a lot of roots that suck more water out of the soil than healthy plants do.

vibration4

Ground Vibrations

Subsidence can occur due to dramatic vibrations in the ground. Vibrations from a nearby construction site, a main road where heavy vehicles travel all day or nearby train lines with heavy train carriages running at high speed aerate and destabilise the ground.

A nearby airport with planes taking off and landing all day can also cause subsidence.

poor-work3

Poor Workmanship

A major cause of subsidence is poor workmanship. If contractors and builders haven’t poured trenches or compacted the ground under your home, it won’t be stable for long. Poor workmanship and negligence can result in weak, aerated and voided soil, ready to subside. The installation of poor or faulty drainage can cause water erosion which also leads to subsidence.

Preparation for waffle slab

Wrong Footing Type

Although most footing designs follow Australian Standards, some are used in locations where a more unique design is required. Building a footing that isn’t suitable for the ground below, might cause subsidence.

Is your home suffering from subsidence?

Subsidence can impact your home dramatically. If you suspect your house is suffering subsidence, it’s worth having it looked at sooner than later.

We’re happy to take a look at your home for FREE.

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