Header Ad Module



No announcement yet.

Owners find homes are cracking under pressure - Melbourne

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Owners find homes are cracking under pressure - Melbourne

    Owners find homes are cracking under pressure

    Adam Carey

    December 22, 2011

    Jayme Mylan shows a crack inside her Brookfield house.

    HEAVY rainfall after a decade of drought is thought to have caused cracking in the walls of hundreds of new homes in Melbourne's west, sparking calls for an overhaul of building standards from within the housing industry.
    The Housing Industry Association has estimated that more than 1000 houses could be damaged due to a problem called ''slab heave'' - an upward movement in the concrete slab foundation that creates unsightly cracks in the plaster of a house's internal walls.
    The association says the problem has been caused by unforeseen movements in the soil after unusually heavy drought-breaking rains. It says the homes have all been built according to Australian standards and the Building Code.

    ''The prolonged drought and deluge Victoria has seen has created circumstances that weren't envisaged in setting the standard,'' said HIA chief executive Graham Wolfe. Affected suburbs include Melton, Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit, Truganina, Deer Park, Point Cook, and Caroline Springs.
    But the executive director of the Master Builders Association, Brian Welch, said ''the jury is out on whether it's weather or defective workmanship'' that is to blame. ''You wonder whether they've been installed properly,'' he said.
    Law firm Slater & Gordon is considering launching a class action suit against home builders. Commercial litigation lawyer Robert Auricchio said the firm had been in contact with ''several dozen'' people whose houses were affected, some of whom have ''cracks big enough to put your fist in''.
    Jayme and Neil Mylan of Brookfield say the walls of their brick veneer home started cracking in February 2009, about a year after it was built.
    ''We've been trying to get it fixed for nearly three years,'' Ms Mylan said. The builder, Metricon, has blamed the problem on drainage installed by the home owners. It did not respond by deadline to a request for comment.
    In a statement, the Building Commission said its initial investigations indicated that slab heave was most common in houses ''built in 2009 or just before, right at the end of the drought''. ''Slab heave is not only caused by heavy rainfall after drought and reactive clay, but also by landscaping and inappropriate drainage systems close to the home,'' it said.
    State opposition planning spokesman Brian Tee called on Planning Minister Matthew Guy to investigate.
    ''The Planning Minister must show compassion by contacting the home owners and investigating what has gone wrong.''
    Mr Guy's office did not return calls.
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    yikes! that crack is a worry. anyone ever experienced a crack like that?

    I had a crack similar to that, but it was on my ceiling - also due to rain. It was pretty dangerous, especially when it rained heavily one day and the crack soaked up and then the ceiling fell through!


    • #3
      Arg...scary thing specially with kids on the house...