Footing Inspection & Assessment of Distressed Buildings
Some minor cracking and movement will occur in a significant proportion of buildings, particularly those on reactive clays. Generally, the remedial action for such damage should start with an investigation to establish the cause of the damage. Based on the findings of our investigation general treatments consist of stabilizing moisture conditions by physical barriers or paths or replenishing moisture in dry foundations. This can be followed by repair of the masonry and wherever possible added articulation should be included while repairs are being effected. Structural repairs to the footing system such as deep underpinning is generally only considered as the last resort.
Figure 1 Measurement of Cracks
Classification of Damage Due to Foundation Movement
Classification of damage with reference to walls and floors is regularly undertaken by Site Geotechnical following Appendix C of AS2870. Elements which may cause structural damage with reference to walls or concrete floors may include potential abnormal moisture conditions due to poor surface drainage conditions, lack of proper stormwater systems, proximity to trees and potential leaking pipes.
Figure 2 Exposing Existing Foundation
Footing Exposures can often provide valuable information for potentail reasoning for defects or good performance. Higher levels of investigation may include laboratory testing and on-going monitoring.