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Why Subsidence is a major defect.

One of the main reasons contracts of sale are terminated is when Building and Pest Inspection Brisbane find evidence of subsidence.


What is subsidence?

According to Cambridge English Dictionary, subsidence is the process by which land or building sink to a lower level.


Why is subsidence a big problem?

Subsidence is a major defect by definition:

“Major Defect” A defect of significant magnitude where rectification has to be carried out in order to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of utility or further deterioration of the property.


Causes of subsidence:

3 Common causes of subsidence include:

  1. Inadequate Site Drainage

Inadequate Site Drainage can cause subsidence by eroding the soil from the stumps, brick piers, or the concrete slab. This can be a particular problem on sloping blocks.


  1. Reactive soil

Most residential buildings are built on granular or clay soil types or a mixture of both types. Granular soils are prone to erosion whereas, clay soil is subject to swellage and shrinkage problems. Clay soils have the most common subsidence problems


  1. Settlement due to construction

Immediate settlement occurs when a building is first placed on its foundation soil, due to the soil compacting under the weight of the new building. Consolidation settlement may take place during the first few years after construction.

5 indications of subsidence:

  1. Uneven floors
  2. Cracks in internal plaster walls and external bricks
  3. Existing cracks widening over time
  4. Windows and doors that are either too loose or too tight
  5. Cracked floor tiles


How to fix subsidence?

If one of our building inspectors finds evidence of subsidence, we recommend engaging a licensed structural engineer, who may identify the need for underpinning.


Need a Building and Pest Inspection in Brisbane?

Book your inspection or call us now on 0408 666 539 to find out more about our comprehensive building and pest inspections in Brisbane and surrounding areas.

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