Many elevated properties sit on some type of stump support whether it be timber , steel , masonry or concrete . Whist most people would consider concrete stumps to be maintenance free , this is far from the truth .
Recently one of our Building Inspector was called to a property in Queensland, that was showing signs of some sort of structural issue around the bathroom in the house and the owners suspected a leaking shower base was the cause of the problem.
Inspection of the bathroom identified more than normal movement was occurring and that the subfloor structure was more than likely the issue . Upon entering the subfloor area my first
observation was how damp the soil was under the home and saw that basically every concrete stump was suffering Fretting .
What is Fretting of Concrete Stumps?
Fretting occurs when concrete stumps are constantly exposed to moisture under the home which then breaks down the integrity of the concrete and exposes the steel reinforcement to moisture
which in turn causes rust .
As the rust takes hold large sections of a concrete stump can fall away causing major structural issues for the home that will require re-stumping to be carried out.
It is fair to say that constant moist conditions will destroy timber and steel columns but this example shows that concrete is not immune to decay under extreme conditions.
All elevated homes that are sitting on some sort of stump support system need to be regularly checked for their structural integrity and that the environment under the home is dry.
How can we help you?
During our inspections we will do a full building inspections & will help you to find all the hidden defects. Contact your local Jim’s Building Inspector on 131 546 and they can help you through the process.