Protecting homes with live foundation monitoring and alerts
SLABsense takes an ongoing and proactive approach to help prevent property damage:
Actively monitors soil moisture levels around your home's foundations.
Measurements are uploaded to our cloud servers several times a day.
Data is collected for the life of your building insurance.
SMS alerts notify you if significant changes are detected.
Allows quick detection and resolution of potential issues.
SLABsense monitors your foundations for movement conditions day after day, year after year!
Slab Heave & Subsidence
Shifting house slabs are damaging an estimated 5% of houses!
Slab heave is caused when dry ground under or near the edge of a slab becomes wet and the reactive clay soil swells so much that it lifts the edge of the slab.
Image source: Drillology
Of course the opposite can also occur with the soil drying out and shrinking.
There are many factors that can trigger slab movements including:
House builds during excessively wet or dry periods
Significant or ongoing weather extremes
Broken or leaking pipes
Landscaping design & watering behaviours
Tree roots sucking moisture from the soil
Repair costs can range from several thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars!
Back in 2005, Australians had to shell out $350 million dollars ($478m in today's money) in home repairs because the drought died out the soil and caused house foundations to shift. When the drought broke in 2010-2012 the opposite occurred and homes built during the drought were affected by slab heave.
A range of trades may be required to remedy damage including structural engineers, underpinning specialists, plumbers, plasterers and painters.
The responsibility for these costs is also very hard to determine and can take years of legal battles before any outcome is achieved.
The Australian Standards, the Victorian Building Authority & other agencies all have clear recommendations to help minimise foundation movement and damage to your home including:
If you're planting new trees, plant them away from the house to allow for root growth.
When carrying out work around your home and garden, make sure you don't change the moisture conditions of the foundation.
Avoid placing garden beds alongside the house if possible, and don't overwater them.
Slope soil, paving, paths and garden beds away from the building to prevent water flowing towards your home's foundations.
Ensure you properly maintain any drainage installed by your builder.
Promptly repair any damaged or leaking gutters, hot water systems, air conditioners, water tanks, taps or hoses.
Essentially they all boil down to 'managing the moisture levels around your foundations to keep them as stable and 'normal' as possible'. But how do you know if they're working?! SLABsense answers that question!
A full guide is available here: https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/guides/minimising-foundation-movement