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Subsidence damage to domestic buildings: a guide to good technical practice (FB 13)

Subsidence damage to domestic buildings: a guide to good technical practice (FB 13)

by Richard Driscoll and Hilary Skinner (28-Jun-2007)


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Book Description

Subsidence is a persistent problem in some parts of the UK: around 35,000 domestic insurance claims (often complex and protracted) are made each year, which cost up to £550 million. This book provides authoritative guidance to best practice in the technical and engineering aspects of subsidence damage to domestic buildings, and covers investigation, diagnosis, repair, prevention and mitigation of building cracking and deformation. It reviews current information and provides a clear, logically structured baseline of technical guidance for investigators.

The authors have drawn on many years of BRE experience of researching subsidence problems, and on consultancy for difficult cases. Key BRE publications on soils, site investigation and foundations are included in pdf format on a CD-ROM accompanying the book.

66pp + CD-ROM

1 Introduction

  • Background
  • Subsidence: the persistent problem
  • Preliminary actions in a new case of alleged subsidence damage

2 Diagnosing subsidence damage

  • What are the symptons?
  • Have the foundations moved?
  • Why foundations move
  • Movement due to shrinkable clay
  • Investigating subsidence caused by leaking drains
  • Other causes of foundation movement

3 Investigating clay shrinkage and swelling

  • Trees and desiccation
  • Testing soil for evidence of tree influence
  • Heave of desiccated clay
  • Is soil testing sufficient?

4 Subsidence monitoring

  • Why monitor?
  • Crack width change monitoring
  • Interpreting crack measurements
  • Monitoring vertical movement
  • Monitoring lateral movements
  • How often and for how long to monitor
  • Summary of monitoring

5 Dealing with the subsidence and repairing the damage

  • Mitigating tree root causes of clay shrinkage
  • Eradicating erosion subsidence by repairing leaking drains
  • Repairing and strengthening the building
  • Is remedial underpinning needed?


BRE publications on the CD-ROM are: FB1, IP4/93, IP7/06, DG240, DG251, DG298, DG318, DG343, DG344, DG348, DG361, DG381, DG386, DG412 and DG475.

Other publications that may also be of interest
Geotechnics for building professionals

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