A wealthy client purchased a federation style house on a property that had commanding views of Sydney Harbour. The client then engaged a builder on a ‘cost plus’ basis to undertake major renovations to the building. These renovations included the installation of a new floor over the old timber floors, and an extensive underfloor ventilation system to combat the dampness issues within / under the house. The underfloor ventilation system was advised on by an ‘expert’ in ventilation systems and fans.
After the majority of the renovations were completed, the new floors ‘bowed upwards’ causing serious internal damage. The builder then suggested to the client that he needed to then expend considerable extra monies.
SCE was then engaged to advise on the house dampness issues, as well as the probable cause of the bowing of the timber floors. SCE subsequently determined that:
- The cause of the dampness and bowing of the floors was the considerable seepage within the site sandy soils, with is seepage mainly occurring at the interface between the weathered bedrock and the sandy soil.
- The installation of the extensive underfloor ventilation system had been unnecessary, and as well as being part of the cause of the bowing of the floors.
- Appropriate subsoil drainage systems were necessary, and would correct over time the house dampness issues.
Later, and after installation of SCE’s recommended subsoil drainage system by specialist contractor working, the house dampness issues have been largely resolved, and progress made towards the rectification of the bowed floors.