Sydney is a unique region of Australia with challenging weather conditions, a variety of soil types and other factors that impact coastal and inland ground conditions. In addition to extreme weather events, particularly torrential rain and storm activity, and extended periods of drought, Sydney homes may be affected by the following causes of foundation problems:

  • Leaking pipes: over time, pipes under a property may deteriorate, become damaged or blocked, causing cracks which allow water to seep into the ground, both around and directly underneath the property. This is very common with clay pipes found in homes older than 20 years.  Leaky gutters and downpipes or dripping outdoor taps are also frequently identified as the source of water collecting near house foundations.
  • Inadequate drainage: moisture management is key for good foundation and footing maintenance. If the soil does not have adequate drainage, water will collect causing the ground to weaken and potentially cause the home to subside or ‘sink’.
  • Poor building work: if there is insufficient ground preparation, including poorly compacted soil, before a house slab is laid, the ground may not be strong enough to support the load above. This is usually when house underpinning is considered, as well as other costly remediation works for fixing cracks in concrete surfaces, such as driveways.
  • Adjacent development: when building or renovation works take place at a neighbouring property, earthmoving and excavation can impact the stability of the soil on your side of the fence. This is even more problematic when coinciding with periods of heavy rain which soften the ground and may lead to soil erosion and voids.  Equally, the clearing of trees associated with development can affect the water table as moisture is no longer drawn out of the soil by the tree’s roots.
  • Tree roots: if pipes start to develop cracks and or have loose joints, tree roots will naturally grow towards these areas in search for water. Eventually, aggressive root systems will infiltrate pipes causing blockages which cause water to spill into the ground, impacting the stability of house foundations.