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Help needed with cracking and movement of IP

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by kiyaora, 3rd Jul, 2015.

  1. kiyaora

    kiyaora Member

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    Hi All

    My IP is in Caroline Springs, Melbourne and is currenty tenanted.
    Soil classification Qy=uaternary Basalti Clay classified as Highly reactive Clay Site (Class H type).

    Damage is to the external front of the property with cracks observed to the brick workand render, and cracking to the ceiling plaster, cornice and wall plaster of the master bedroom.

    I am not sure what to do. Our insurers RACV, have had 2 building inspections, 2 plumbing inspections carried out but could not determine the cause of the movement. They then engaged an engineer to report on the damages. The inspection report advised that the cracking and movement to the front entrance area of the house is typical of problems that occur due to differential settlements of the footings. In their opinion, the cracking and movement in the house has resulted due to following factors:

    Seasonal Changes
    Tree roots drying out
    Defferential movements between diferent footing types

    The engineer’s recommendations are:

    “We would recommend that copies of the original structural drawing be obtained to determine the footing types to the brick piers to the front of the house. Depending on the footing types, it is possible that pressure grouting methods could help stabilise th footings particularly to the front secction of the house. it is possible that the pressure grouting methods could re-level the footings to minimize the cracking. Once the footings have been stabilsied then repairs can be carried out to the interior and exterior cracking.

    We would also recommend that the trees growing at the front of the house (pencil pines) should be removed and more appropriate plantings installed”

    Based on above, RACV have denied my claim. I am not sure what to do next or how to proceed as cracks contnue to appear slowly. Any advise or help will be highly appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  2. Hodor

    Hodor Well-Known Member

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    Is this a new(ish) build? What year was it completed?

    I think you need to follow the engineers recommendations, get those trees gone ASAP.

    I spoke to a building inspector today, he said that cracking to brickwork is especially worrying if it is accompanied by cracking in the ceiling plaster. Sorry.

    CSIRO guidelines give instructions on how to protect/care for your slab, you should check that you are following these as closely as possible.
     
  3. vbplease

    vbplease Well-Known Member

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    1) seek another engineers opinion for a cost $1000-$1500. The cause needs to be determined before any repairs are done.
    2) stabilisation in the form of resin injection/underpinning depends on the width of cracks and likelihood of worsening i.e. what is the rate of cracks worsening.
    3) the fix maybe as easy as improving drainage and installing a 'cut-off' wall. My preference over cutting down trees.
     
  4. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    @kiyaora

    Seems like needs underpinning.

    If you get local underpinning guys to look at it..they can arrange engineer report and give you quote for remedial work required.

    Underpinning isn't guaranteed fix.
     
  5. kiyaora

    kiyaora Member

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    Thanks Hodor. Built in 2000 so newish.
     
  6. kiyaora

    kiyaora Member

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    @vbplease
    Any recommendations for an engineer?
    A year ago there were no cracks. They are getting worse though.
    How do I go about re drainage and cut off wall?

    Thanks
     
  7. kiyaora

    kiyaora Member

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    @Be Developer
    Thanks. Know any underpinning guys in Melbourne I can talk to?
     
  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Yellow pages, hipages or service seeking will get you going. I would get my own engineer first up to assess the issue then get them to tender for an underpinner, grout injection or soil stabilisation before the issue causes the house to be condemned.
     
  9. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    Definitely get an independant, dont want any conflicts of interest on the actual reason vs underpinners getting work
     
  10. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    @kiyaora

    not in VIC.. Sorry!

    @Scott No Mates

    does underpinning really work? most underpinning work isn't guaranteed!
     
  11. norwoodman

    norwoodman Well-Known Member

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    Uretek does a lot of these residential underpinning and re-levelling jobs - and usually does a good job of it from what I've seen on earthquake repair jobs around Christchurch. Depending on where and how extensive the settlement around the foundations are, they would either be lifting around the perimeter beams and/or core drilling internally in the slab and filling under the slab if it is also affecting the internal areas of the slab as well. Most times the cracks in affected brick veneers would close up, but you're possibly looking at re-mortaring as well.

    Specialist re-levelling companies typically have 50 year warranties on their products.

    (I'm a structural engineer)
     
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  12. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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  13. Pistonbroke

    Pistonbroke Well-Known Member

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    Yes, underpinning does work - it just depends upon the problem.

    Statutory warranties would apply to the building works and the engineer would have professional indemnity insurance.

    Uretek is a form of soil stabilisation which increases the bearing capacity of the foundation to prevent further subsidence coupled with releveling of the slab.

    Underpinning involves digging below the existing footing to stable foundation material, pouring a new footing and building up to the underside of the slab with brickwork.

    (I'm not an ingunear just been round alot).
     
    Last edited: 7th Jul, 2015
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  14. kiyaora

    kiyaora Member

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    @norwoodman thanks for the detailed info. Very helpful for a novice like me :)
     
  15. kiyaora

    kiyaora Member

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    @Pistonbroke thank you, and @norwoodman when I spoke to the structural engineer who did the report for RACV, he did say to contact Uretek.

    I am still wanting to get an independent report done. Been researching and have come up with Russell Brown Engineers who seem to be quite well known regarding building distress.
    http://www.ribrown.com.au/building.html