Stump alternatives.

Alternatives to stumps that have moved. Courtesy of Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service and Queensland Building Inspection Service, QBIS.

Some examples of stumps with packing fitted to their tops, caused by stump movement. 

Packing is usually fitted because of stump movement (that has occurred since the house was originally constructed) or incorrect fitting of the stumps. The latter is very unlikely with a house built in the particular era. Neither are good practice.
If the stumps were incorrectly installed (when constructed). This would indicate very poor building practice from the outset. If they were packed after the house was built (due to movement) further movement is likely and replacing them, can be costly.
Stump movement and alternatives

Movement probability:

The chances of further stump movement occurring is far greater than it not occurring.

The only way to guarantee against further movement, is to replace all the stumps with new ones, at the same time.  
If only replacing some stumps, the others are likely to cause major problems (and expense). When further movement occurs.

Further movement risks:

Considering the high probability of further stump movement.

  • Alterations
  • Renovations.
  • Extensions.
  • Painting.
  • Floor tiling.

All of these items will be affected by any further movement.

When replacing stumps:

The choice between stumps or columns is very important.
  • This is usually dependent on the type of soil
  • Concrete stumps can deteriorate and fracture, if salts are present in the soil.
  • Timber stumps eventually rot after many years, in some cases are often the best alternative.
  • Steel columns may also considered, but they will rust eventually.
  • If using steel columns, consider galvanised rather than zinc plated or painted.
  • Long columns are likely to flex and cause the house to move in strong winds.

Alternatives to stumps that have moved (if steel columns are your preference):

  • Have a reinforced concrete platform (footing) fitted that extends above the soil level by at least 100mm.
  • Secure the column to top of the platform with bolts.
  • Do not allow columns to extend into the concrete, this will cause them to rust and eventually fracture the footing.
  • Rusted columns with fractured footings can be costly to have replaced.
  • Ensure water travels around the platforms and soil is kept clear of any steel.
Stump movement and alternatives
Packed stump, due to movement.

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