Construction and pre-purchase building inspections are only the start of what we offer. We also provide specialist wall cracking and building defect inspections and recommend solutions.
Our extensive construction industry background and qualifications ensure our building defect reports and advice address both practical and theoretical solutions for your building defects.
Building defect inspections are carried out for a property owner or for a third party (insurance companies). A written report is provided on the building or home defects. Most reports will be provided within 24 hours of the inspection. We will also contact you by phone to provide a verbal report of our findings.
Concrete Corrosion [Concrete Cancer]
Concrete corrosion, or concrete cancer, is a structural defect caused when steel bars inside concrete oxidise. The resultant rusting causes the steel inside the concrete to expand so that a hydraulic load is placed on the concrete which causes the concrete to crack.
There are numerous other causes of concrete corrosion which our building inspectors will identify and offer remediation advice for.
Wall Cracking & Movement
Movement in any building may be hard to control. Wall cracks are a type of defect commonly caused by changes in soil moisture levels around the building’s footing. Tree growth, root invasion and inadequate water usage can also cause significant movement.
Adelaide’s dry and hot climate and soil movement can cause soil shrinkage and this, in turn may result in walls cracking and footings and foundations moving. Footing settlement (dropping of the footing) and cracks are not uncommon and early remedial action is advised to save on repairs needed as the damage can increase.
Many structural building failures that we investigate have been caused by the mismanagement of storm water around houses leading to movement in the homes. The remainder of the failures are caused by poor construction practices and or poor maintenance.
Diagonal wall cracks radiating away from window and or door heads are the most common form of cracks in walls. Lateral movement cracks can occur with a shear load if a footing rotates (drops) on one side. Horizontal cracks can occur in walls if a window lintel sags or if a footing/wall drops.
Wall Cracking Causes
The most common causes of wall cracking are:
- Shrinkage cracking in soil due to drought conditions.
- Tree related.
- Footing rotations where the walls and footings lean out.
- Brick growth cracking. (Long term moisture absorption in bricks.)
- Metal in walls rusting causing cracking.
- Settlement from poorly compacted soils.
- Vibration on adjacent building sites.
- Poor storm water management around Buildings. (Soil can become saturated around a footing leading to the soil and building settling.)
- Degradation of materials, eg. salt damp damage could lead to a wall collapsing.
- A leaking pipe in a house could lead to the soil around a footing collapsing due to saturated soil.
Inspecting Defects in Walls
Property Protect inspects homes and buildings for wall cracking with a visual survey. We then undertake a building investigation, employing a moisture meter to identify any water leaks.
We provide our report on the survey and will suggest remedial action to stabilise the building and address issues relating directly to your site.
Asbestos is a friable rock that was used in the manufacture of cement cladding in Australia from the 1920s up to the late 1980s. Houses built in Australia up until the late 1980s will often have some asbestos cement cladding in the house.
We will undertake a visual survey which will be supplemented by laboratory testing where asbestos is suspected.
Property Protect does not carry out any laboratory testing on asbestos samples and this would be needed to confirm the presence of asbestos in the property. We only carry out a visual assessment of asbestos and this may or may not be correct.
Experienced Wall Cracking and Building Defect Consultants
Property Protect complete professional home and building defect inspections, inspecting for wall cracking, water damage, and other structural and minor defects.