What is carbonation of concrete?

What is carbonation of concrete?

Carbonisation is the reaction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with calcium hydroxide in the cement. This reaction produces calcium carbonate, which in turn impairs the protection offered by the concrete to the embedded steel reinforcement. Where the steel is too close to the concrete surface, carbonisation will cause the embedded steel to corrode and […]
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What is Japanese knotweed?

The Environment Agency describe Japanese knotweed as the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant. It can grow to 3-4m in just 10 weeks. Below ground, its roots can spread 7m horizontally, and can compromise the structure of a building. In a house sale transaction, its presence can be a deal breaker. Lenders can be […]
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Why is the brickwork above my windows cracked?

Cracking to the outer leaf brickwork above window and door openings is not unusual. Sometimes the cracking occurs simply as a consequence of thermal movement of the wall materials. In other instances, the lintel which is intended to support the wall over the opening, is either inadequate or has been omitted altogether. Our survey will […]
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Can I change the use of my building?

If you intend to change the use of a building, then there may be structural implications. Other than planning restrictions, the building needs to be fit for purpose and be capable of supporting the loads imposed by the new use. Our engineers can survey the property and assess the current load carrying capacity of the […]
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Can I alter a Listed building?

Any work that you plan to do on a listed building, including extending, demolition and anything that may affect the character as a building of special interest, will require Listed Building Consent, irrespective of whether normal planning permission is required or not. This will include any structural repair work that is required to restore the […]
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What is a system built house?

Traditionally, houses are built with brick, stone and concrete block work walls, supporting timber suspended floors and a timber roof structure. Mortgage companies tend to prefer traditional forms of construction, as they are well documented and their performance is understood. System built houses were introduced after World War II, to speed construction and produce houses […]
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What is sulphate attack on floors?

Concrete floor slabs sit on a hardcore sub-base. In the past, some hardcore has contained industrial waste products including sulphates. When moisture is present, these sulphates can migrate into the body of the concrete slab, causing an expansive reaction. Common signs of this are uneven floors that have lifted in places, and randomly cracked. This […]
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Has my house been affected by bomb damage?

In the north of England, many of our industrial towns and cities were targeted during World War II, in an attempt to destroy our manufacturing capability. As a consequence, residential areas were also affected by the bombing and houses were damaged. The resulting distortions are still evident today but are not necessarily of structural concern. […]
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How does hot weather cause foundation movement?

Periods of prolonged dry weather often lead to increased incidents of subsidence claims with insurance companies. Older properties tend to have much shallower foundations than modern properties. Those that are built on clay soils are susceptible to the effects of clay shrinkage, brought about by prolonged dry weather. The foundations can fluctuate in level on […]
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Can trees cause foundation movement?

Yes. In clay soils, trees can be a significant problem to a property, especially if growing in close proximity. Trees will extract water from the clay, which in turn will cause the clay to shrink. Any foundation built on this clay would then move downward. Sudden removal of trees can have the opposite effect, causing […]
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