Floor Level Survey
Reactive Foundation Movements
We use high-quality tools to conduct comprehensive floor level surveys and uncover the reason why the footings of a building is moving.
Did you know that your house can move? While it can’t jump several feet, your home or commercial building can experience differential footing movement over time, which can cause serious cosmetic damages and in some cases, structural failure. Most people usually do not notice the differential movements of their house’s footings until they start to notice the effects of the movements, such as structural cracks in walls and lack of general structural integrity.
There are several factors that can cause the footings of your house to move including the presence of trees, poor site drainage, leaks, droughts and a combination of these factors. The real cause of movements in the footings of your property is due to the moisture content of the foundation soil. In Melbourne particularly, the foundation clay soils are generally reactive soil. This means that the soil is moist and clay-like in texture, which causes it to swell when it absorbs water and shrink when it loses water. For example, trees suck the moisture out of soil, which causes reactive soil to shrink and leaks increase the moisture in soil, causing the soil to swell. Over time, properties build on reactive soil undergo differential footing movement due to these moisture variations. Any minor footing movements are completely normal and not a cause for concern; large footing movements, however, can cause serious structural damages. So how can you assess the severity of your property’s footing movements?
We Use The Latest Floor Level Testing Equipment
The answer is a floor level survey. A floor level survey is a crucial forensic structural engineering service, which helps forensic engineers to form an objective and accurate opinion concerning the proximate cause of the differential footing movements. When the senior forensic engineers at MFS Engineering carry out a floor level survey, they use the ‘Zip LevelPro-2000’ tool to measure the footing movements, which boasts an accuracy of +/- 2mm. A 2D plan of the property is then created, which allows the floor level readings to be recorded and contour lines to be drawn accurately. Once the contour lines are drawn on the 2D plan, a highly-trained and experience forensic structural engineer will study the contour lines and determine whether the foundation soil has undergone ‘settlement’ or ‘heave’, which can help identify the cause of the property’s foundation soil movements.
Floor level surveys are an integral aspect of the forensic investigation process, which is why they are always included. MFS Engineering solutions are only formed after a detailed and thorough investigation of every possible cause of structural failure and cosmetic damages to a property. However, if you are simply in need of a floor level survey and have no use for a comprehensive structural investigation report, contact us and we can have that arranged, as well.
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