Stormwater/home maintenance problems and how they affect your home

Storm water problems can cause major structural issues

Although movement of footings is normal and generally within design tolerances. Major lifting of your footings or heaving in sections can cause your home to crack, the reason for the movement could be the result of leaky plumbing.


If your home shows signs of significant movement or damage, the matter must be further investigated. Cracks larger than 5mm are considered major or significant and indicate major movement of footings.

At this level it is normal to experience additional problems, such as doors not closing properly, windows jamming in the frame and cracking through tiling.

There are many factors to take into account but storm water and maintenance of the home plays an integral part in keeping your home safe and secure.

Stabilising moisture around the home is essential and you need to ensure you don’t change the moisture conditions to drastically. Avoid water pooling against walls or footings. Ensure the entire perimeter of the home has a pathway that is at least 600mm wide and slopes away from the home. The gap between the house and pathways needs to also be sealed. If this is not possible it is recommended you install garden drainage or drains against the external walls to remove and excessive moisture or water. A plumber will be able to provide assistance and recommendations.

Ensure at all times the gutters and down pipes to the home are draining water away effectively. Any leaky gutters need to be repaired immediately and failing down pipes should be replaced or repaired when acceptable to do so. Avoid running heavy equipment or machinery near down pipes that are underground. Determining if a down pipe is leaky under the surface can be hard to do depending on the setup and is usually quite labour intensive.

Avoid placing garden beds up against walls if possible. Over watering garden beds next to a home can introduce excessive moisture which can lead to movement. The footings may experience movement if watered unevenly or differently.

There are many factors to consider when maintaining a home and its surroundings not just storm water. Other units around the home that can be a problem is the water from a faulty relief valve on a hot water service, excessive moisture from an air conditioning unit or even washing a car near the home on a regular basis can be a contributing factor.

Try to plant trees away from your house to all for root growth. The root system if it does not receive regular watering can dry the soil near building and can have a major impact on buildings.

All these factors and more need to be considered when maintaining your home.