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What Causes Concrete Settlement And Damage?-Some Insights

This article was created to help Property Protect’s clients understand the most frequent types of building faults that can be discovered during an AS 4349.1 inspection. This list provides a general overview of the most prevalent problems, however the reader should be aware that there are literally hundreds of different types of construction flaws. The products we’ve listed are merely the most frequent ones. here are the findings

Based on case studies conducted by the writer as a licenced Builder, the paper highlights some of the more prevalent residential building failures, as well as the causes. Some of the reasons for the failures have also been mentioned by the author.

The goal

The objective of this paper is to provide a summary of the many forms of residential construction failures as well as possible treatments.


This report is offered as a case study based on the author’s expertise and personal records as a certified Builder during the last 15 years.


A major number of the structural construction failures described in this report, in my opinion, were caused by poor stormwater management around dwellings, which resulted in movement within the residences. Poor building practises and/or upkeep are to blame for the remaining failures.


The following are the most common types of building failure observed by the author during AS 4349.1 house inspections in Adelaide.

Wetting the slab edge

The horizontal intrusion of moisture and salts in solution from the soil by the capillary action (suction generated by the concrete) of the concrete into the footing margins. Concretors pushing down the Fortecon membrane with edge forms prior to pouring a floor slab, relatively poor cement concrete in the footing (Many engineers have called for 32 MPA concrete to resist the ingress of salts instead of the 20 to 25 MPA currently used), and concrete over pours caused when concretors edge forms are not placed low enough to stop a horde of water. The lack of a plastic membrane between the paving and the footing edge is the final cause.

Internally, this problem can cause mould and rot on the bottom of floor coverings, as well as fretting of the concrete due to the salt attacking the cement matrix by a hydraulic action both internally and externally. (As salt crystals develop within the concrete matrix, it frets and cracks.)