Why is your home cracking or sinking?

Cracks in your brickwork, internal walls, ceiling or cornice can happen for a few different reasons. While one of the main causes is shifting and compressing soil that creates movement in your home, many people don’t realise that leaking or cracked drainage could also be playing a part.

What causes cracks in homes?

Movement in soil through seasons

Across Australia and New Zealand we have active soils which can move substantially. Both countries experience long dry periods, and even drought. This causes soils to contract, and it’s not uncommon to see the ground cracking in extreme conditions.

On the opposite side, when we get weeks of rain the soil swells. When you go from a dry period to substantial rain, the soil and earth around your home can move up to 3cm or more.

Leaking pipes can cause cracks

One of the key causes of cracking walls or sinking homes is leaking plumbing. Generally, your plumbing and stormwater pipes run along the side of your house beside the foundations which are holding up your home. This can actually cause your home to sink, and require serious engineering to fix – which doesn’t come cheap.

The pipes that our Nuflow technicians see causing the most issues are earthenware clay or terracotta pipes, which are still commonly found in older homes. These old pipes were installed over 25 years ago, and at the time only a rubber ring and cement was used to seal the joint every 1 meter – without any sealant or special long lasting compression system. With earth movement these joints pop or become misaligned, and this allows tree roots to enter the pipe and sewage to seep out.

Modern pipes are joined using an adhesive that essentially creates a chemical weld when installed correctly. It’s hard to break and long lasting, but tree roots can still enter these pipes if they crack due to earth movement – so even modern PVC plumbing systems fail and can start leaking.

Drainage leaks are usually out of sight, and hard to diagnose. If you’ve noticed movement and cracks in your home, an issue with your drainage system could be the culprit.

Signs you may have a plumbing problem

Some of the signs you may have a plumbing issue are:
– there is cracking in your walls, floors, or ceiling
– your basement is leaking
– your toilets are regularly becoming blocked
– there is rising damp or mold in your home

Because your plumbing is beneath the surface and out of sight, the only sure way to see what’s going on is with a drain camera inspection. During a drain camera inspection, a qualified plumber will look inside your pipes with a CCTV camera. They’ll be looking for any cracks, tree roots, or other obvious leaks.

How to fix broken pipes under your home

With modern pipe relining technology, you can get your broken pipes fixed without digging or demolishing. Minor cracks and breaks are usually able to be fixed in one day, without damaging your most expensive asset – your home.

At Nuflow, we can provide a comprehensive CCTV drain camera inspection so you can see the exact location of any plumbing problems. We’ll share a copy of the footage with you so you can see for yourself.

Fix it for good with Nuflow

Nuflow’s pipe relining technology is designed specifically with the understanding of active soils and seismic activity in Australia and New Zealand. If you have cracks in your foundation or walls, contact your local Nuflow to get to the bottom of the problem, and fix your broken pipes for good.

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