House restumping in Brisbane is something frequently ignored but critical when keeping a house adequately maintained and safe.
Stumps are a standard feature on most traditional, and many modern, homes in Brisbane. It’s incredibly rare for a home to be stumped purely for aesthetic reasons, which is why it’s crucial not to neglect your stumps.
A house is stumped for a variety of reasons:
- Brisbane is not a flat city, so stumps are often used to keep a house level on sloped land;
- Brisbane isn’t always a dry city, so stumps are used to protect your home and belongings from floodwaters; and
- Many homes in Brisbane are made from wood, so these stumps raise the house to help protect the flooring from moisture and pests.
With that explanation out of the way, the next common question is, “Well if the stumps are doing their jobs, why give it another thought?”
The straight answer is that one day those stumps WON’T do their job and will cause one heck of an unplanned renovation!
An experienced building and pest inspector in Brisbane can check and use their local knowledge on homes and restumping in Brisbane to identify existing damage and advise on how to avoid common issues.
Why is Brisbane House Restumping So Important?
Modern Materials Boost Stability and Lifespan
There are options these days for stumps outside the realm of wood. While wood has been the traditional material, modern stumping materials like galvanised steel and concrete, offer greater strength and aren’t prone to rot. However, do be aware of concrete cancer, a common sight during building inspections. When moisture mixes with the steel reinforcements inside the concrete, concrete cancer forms.
Concrete cancer looks like a rust coloured tinge you may have seen on concrete. There is also what is known as spalling; rounded depressions along the concrete surfaces or joints. Concrete cancer is serious. Not only can it weaken the integrity of the concrete, but concrete can also break off and hit people below.
If your stumps are wood or have concrete cancer, you’re best to switch to a newer stump right away to extend the life of the stump, prevent damage to your home, and get some peace of mind.
When your home was built, the stumps were cut a certain length and placed a certain way to suit the rise and fall of the land it was built on. That land will and already HAS experienced changes over time, including:
- Erosion from water and wind;
- Subsidence due to increased moisture;
- Cracking and shrinking due to drought;
- Shifting due to earthquake and other geological phenomena; and
- Moving due to vibration from machinery and road traffic.
Your stumps should be regularly checked to combat these issues, to prevent damage rather than repair.
Incorrect Stumping or Loss of Stumps
These things happen! Stumping isn’t as simple as propping up the four corners of your home. Calculations need to be made of what parts of your foundation bear the most weight to ensure they are adequately supported.
When stumps are incorrectly positioned or are lost due to things like flooding or termites, your house will shift, and warning signs will begin to appear throughout your home.
Signs That Your Home Needs To Be Restumped
Uneven or Soft-Feel Flooring
If your floors look and feel as though they are bowing, dipping, and flexing, then it’s time to get those stumps checked because your floors are lacking the support they need.
Cracking of interior and exterior walls
Cracks on walls and in brickwork is a good indication of issues in the foundations of your home. When the structure of a house loses support, things begin to shift and that’s when structural and aesthetic damage occurs that can’t be painted over.
Doors and windows not functioning correctly
When windows and doors begin to stick or don’t appear to sit straight in their frames, it’s quite likely the structure of your home has shifted due to lack of proper support.
How Much Does Brisbane House Restumping Cost?
First of all, having your house’s stumps regularly inspected by an experienced independent building inspector is a small cost for a whole lot of peace of mind when aiming to catch issues before they can cause damage.
With house restumping in Brisbane being so common, the cost of restumping your home is competitively priced and can range between $10,000 and $30,000, depending on the size of your home. The Queensland Building and Construction Commission have some valuable information on house restumping/raising, particularly regarding correct licensing.
The cost of house restumping, Brisbane and surrounding areas, PLUS the cost of repairing an already damaged home because you ignored your stumps? Well, that’s a whole other story.
Ben Paterson is the Director at Safeguard Inspections, located in Brisbane’s Manly West. He performs building and pest inspections on residential properties, guided by 25 years of experience and knowledge.