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Collaborating with trades to remediate properties

Mainmark’s Teretek® is frequently used as a non-invasive, cost effective resin injection solution to improve ground bearing capacity and re-level buildings impacted by foundation issues. While cracked walls, uneven floors, paths and driveways, and jammed doors and windows can all be visible signs of potential problems with foundation ground, homeowners often initially call upon trades people to help restore their home to its original condition.

Consultation and referral between the client, Mainmark and specialty trades, such as landscapers, plasterers, plumbers and builders, can occur before or after ground improvement works have taken place, with different trades playing their own important role in the remediation process. Following are a few examples of what ground issues different trades might encounter on residential remediation projects.

Plumbers

Leaking sewer, stormwater and water mains pipes can wreak havoc on a home’s foundations which is why it’s critical to catch signs of a leaking pipe or cracked drain as early as possible. Soggy and saturated soil or water pooling around a home can weaken the founding soil. This can lead to homes subsiding at different perimeter points, or indeed over their entire footprint. Damaged or unconnected downpipes and overflowing gutters can also create water ponding and sink holes as soils wash away. Engaging a licensed plumber at the first sign of a leak can help avoid longer-term ground problems and significant structural damage.

Landscapers and arborists

A landscaper can help assess soil conditions at a property. Arborists can identify trees with invasive root systems that may be contributing to blocked drains and cracked water pipes. These can all be causes of a home’s foundation ground subsiding. Aggressive tree roots can travel long distances resulting in serious damage to a home’s foundations. However, trees can equally be beneficial for drawing up excess moisture from the ground, so removing trees can sometimes lead to differential soil movement. Homeowners can be guided by a landscaper to help ensure trees are planted at an appropriate distance from the home, driveways, patios, and footpaths. Landscapers can also provide guidance on suitable retaining walls for different zones around the home, and the impact that new paving or the addition of a swimming pool may have on site drainage.

Plasterers, painters and builders

Wall cracks are a common first sign of potential foundation movement under a home. Therefore, it’s important that homeowners avoid painting or patching plaster over the crack without investigating the underlying issue first. A professional builder or plasterer could help differentiate between cracks that are minor, or possible symptoms of a more serious structural issue. Generally, small hairline cracks are not cause for concern and these are usually the result of seasonal expansion and contraction of soils beneath the building over time, and can be patched with a flexible filler and re-painted. Problematic wall cracks will typically start at windows, doorways or corners of buildings and are usually wider than about 5mm (or the thickness of a little finger).

Homeowners can take action to help fix cracked walls, caused by ground subsidence, by re-levelling the home’s foundations using a non-invasive method such as Mainmark’s Teretek resin injection solution.  While this will generally result in wall cracks narrowing or closing up, the area may need cosmetic finishing. With brickwork, some re-pointing of mortar joints may be required and with plaster or render walls, some patching and repainting may be needed.

Maintaining and restoring homes that have been impacted by foundation issues is often a team effort and the type of trades required to support the remediation work will depend on the underlying cause. Mainmark has raised, re-levelled and re-supported homes and other residential buildings for more than 25 years and provides a fast, cost effective and non-invasive alternative to traditional underpinning methods. Our experienced team works collaboratively with other trade professionals to complete each job.


By James O’Grady

James O’Grady is a Sales and Business Development Manager at Mainmark. He is a civil engineer with 25 years’ experience in structural engineering, construction materials and ground treatment.