One the most deceptive and destructive phenomenon in the construction industry, that happens more often than you would think, is structural sinking or technically known as subsidence. There are a number of reasons that things start to go Titanic in construction, but all of them relate to the way the ground a structure is built on shifts over time. So here is a quick rundown of some of the causes, as well as some advice to minimize its occurrence on your construction projects.
Do your research
Subsidence can occur during construction, when the proper measures to account for how much the kind of soil your building on will shift over time aren't followed. Different kinds of soils will move and settle in different ways. It's important to know exactly what kind of ground you are building on so you can prepare it correctly. If you don’t, over time the ground underneath the building will move in a way this hasn’t been compensated for, ending in another case of sinking.
Subsidence can also occur when the ground that a project is being built upon hasn’t been prepared properly for the construction that will commence on it. In circumstances where construction happens on improperly prepared ground, after a time the soil that the structure sits on, will compact under the weight of the structure and cause the site to shift. Resulting in an unstable construction, cracking and eventual subsidence. Our advice is to make sure that all protocols are being kept to at all stages of the project.
Know where you stand
Another big cause of subsidence is a lack of compensation for how reactive the soil being built on is. Some areas have soil that has a higher concentration of clay, which will expand when wet and contract when dry, which can be an issue in areas prone to drought or floods. Other areas will have a lot of gravel or stony soil which are more susceptible to shifting when nearby sites are excavated or disturbed. So knowing what kind of environment you are building is just as important as knowing what you are building on.
If you're concerned about any subsidence issues that you have, BellMont is able to help you. Feel free to contact us and see what we can do for you.