Aug 02, 2016 3:44 pm
I rent a 100 year old terrace house. In the hallway there is a large arch with some big cracks through it. It's been like that (seems unchanged) for the last 6 months since I moved in, but I was looking closely at it and got me worried that the whole thing could fall at any time?? I'm not sure what it is made of, it is either rendered bricks or solid concrete.
Would this be built as solid as a rock and just a superficial crack, or does it warrant asking the agent/landlord to investigate? The only reason I ask is that I have small children, and they often run up and down the hallway and it got me worried that if this was not structurally sound, it could fall at any time and be disastrous. It looks like it has been repaired in the past (cosmetically).
There is plenty of cracks all through the place, but this one has just got me worried. Wanted to get some opinions?
Re: Unsafe concrete arch problem (Hallway)2
Aug 02, 2016 6:02 pm
Judging from the crack patterns it is brickwork and if the house is 100 years old then the mortar is weak lime based mortar.
You will need to advise your agent/landlord an engineer has advised you that it needs immediate attention. if he fails to take the appropriate action contact the local shire building department.
The owner will need to prove that there is adequate masonry reinforcement and the arch structure is safe
Re: Unsafe concrete arch problem (Hallway)3
Aug 04, 2016 2:38 pm
Thanks for the reply. So sounds like you think there is a risk the whole thing could fall down at any time? It must be rendered brick arch then. There are many cracks elsewhere and where the brickwork is exposed the mortar does seem very dry/weak, this is the spot which worries me though as it is really the only part of the house that could fall on my head.
Re: Unsafe concrete arch problem (Hallway)4
Aug 04, 2016 5:41 pm
Have you contacted the agent Like I have advised you too and what was the outcome?
Re: Unsafe concrete arch problem (Hallway)5
Aug 04, 2016 6:01 pm
Yep. It's waiting on the owner. But I won't be surprised if the response is no they have never had an engineers report on it before and that they don't see the need as it is 100 years old and nothing has fallen down to date... If it's something like that do you think it's worth strongly pursuing?
Obviously if I report it to a council/authority it's going to anger the owner/agent...so I wouldn't want to take this step unless there is a great risk it could fall.
Re: Unsafe concrete arch problem (Hallway)6
Aug 04, 2016 6:46 pm
If it was at my house,I would be putting a trimmer across
and a stud each side and pack up to the arch,all jammed in tight to be on the safe
side.Easily removable,and no damage to wall surfaces.
Re: Unsafe concrete arch problem (Hallway)9
Aug 20, 2016 7:09 pm
Update...the photos were sent to two builders who apparently said "don't worry - its not going to fall down"...which if you ask me, I don't know how they can make that assessment off a photo without looking at it. Anyhow they recommended it be removed and quoted to do that.
However the owner is wanting a 3rd opinion and will be getting their own builder in to inspect with a view pushing to save the arch so it does not end up being removed....as they really want to retain it apparently.
Re: Unsafe concrete arch problem (Hallway)10
Aug 23, 2016 11:20 am
Thanks for the update
Only engineers can make that assessment..IMO it will cost more to remove the arch
I am of the opinion it would be better to save the arch if possibe this would involve
1. Temporary supporting the arch
2. Removing the plaster around the cracks
3. Inspecting the brickwork again
4. remove cracking mortar and re-point
5. Re-plaster and patch wall
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