Townhouses with movement of their foundations.

Foundation movement in townhouses, can easily be overlooked by building inspectors, if they are not prepared to look at the building exterior. QBIS.

Some examples showing the importance of building inspectors accessing exterior of a unit complex, where possible.

Townhouses with foundation movement

Brick pier movement photos were taken in the same location on separate occasions.

  • First photo was taken in 2009 and the second in 2017.
  • This is strong evidence that it has not stopped moving.
  • The only speculation is, how far will it continue to move in the future?

Movement of townhouses caused by its foundations

Sagging of the roof above this balcony is in a different location of the unit complex.

  • Closer roof is sagging considerably from movement of its brick piers.
  • Balcony in the background has not moved, this allows for a comparison guage.

Potential danger of balcony collapsing from insufficient support of bearer also brick pier movement.

  • This bearer must be properly supported with a bolted bracket below it. The existing Bolt will rust over time and allow the bearer to drop.
  • Horizontal gap to the brick pier of the balcony indicates serious movement.

These potential dangers must be identified and fixed immediately.

Why it is important not to rely upon body corporate searches alone to be made aware of unit problems.

More movement to another brick pier of the same building.

  • Extent and degree of movement around this unit complex indicates serious and expensive issues with this building.
  • The body corporate did not have any record of these faults.

Remedial of brick pier movement and insufficient bearer support:

  • Movement: Underpinning or replace piers and their footings.
  • Improper securing and support of bearers: Ends of the bearers must be supported by brackets attached to brick piers or steel columns.
  • Undersize piers: Replace with reinforced brick piers.

Recommendation: Replace footings and brick piers with galvanised steel columns onto reinforced concrete pads.

What you need to ask your building inspector so they don’t miss movement of townhouses.

Do they look at the common grounds (where possible)? These problems are what they are likely to miss if they don’t, and can prove to be costly for you as an owner!

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service.