What is Slab Heave?

Slab Heave is where the uneven movement of a house footing and slab occurs. The movement in ground movement can be caused by the saturation or drying of soils.

This is most common in highly reactive soils which are typically found in Melbourne’s western
suburbs and inner-city areas.

Some of the characteristics that indicate slab heave can be picked up with a visual inspection and include the following:

  • Stepping in brickwork
  • Cracks to rendered walls
  • Cracks in plaster
  • Cracked floor tiles
  • Doors not closing properly
  • Windows not opening
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Slab Heave Detection

At Austest, our main focus is on CCTV drainage inspections. This is undoubtedly the best method of ruling out any defects in the drainage. However, this is not the only method we use.

Camera inspections will locate major breaks and defects in pipes but will not always pick up leaking pipes or cracked junctions etc. We also use different methods that set us apart from our competitors.

We have the technology to pressure test below ground drains and to section off drainage so that we can localise the areas where the leakage is occurring.

Most Common Causes of Slab Heave

  • Saturated Soil

    Soil can become saturated as a result of broken sewer or stormwater pipes as well as poor surface drainage.

  • Clay Soil Expanding

    Slab heave can be caused by clay soils absorbing moisture from rainwater, poor underground drainage, irrigation and broken sewer pipes.

  • Uneven Water Underground

    Having uneven amount of water in the ground will often cause movement around your property.

As the owner of a dwelling the first thing that should be done is to rule out any breaks or leaks in your drainage.

Austest provides detailed plans showing accurate positions of drains so that they can be used by engineers to determine areas of lift or subsidence.

If broken pipes are then located and repaired, this helps to relieve the stress in the soil caused by heave.

Due to the long monitoring process involved in most slab heave jobs, there is nothing worse than for a client to have a CCTV inspection done by a third party and then be told there are no defects.

We have received many calls where this is the case. We have then gone ahead and had our technicians inspect the site only to find defects. This has then made the process for the property owner an even longer one.

At Austest, our technicians are fully trained in the correct methods for drainage inspections. Anyone can put a camera in a drain but it takes an expert to survey them correctly and determine the results of the survey.

If you would like to learn more information on slab heave detection or would like to request a quote from our team, please contact us today on 0410 609 961

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