Footings & slabs

As a home owner you have a responsibility to maintain the land around your home to ensure it complies with the minimum requirements necessary for the preservation of footing and slab systems. To minimise damage and movement of your home and safeguard your home’s footings and slabs, you should consider a number of aspects.

  • Maintain site drainage at all times, including plumbing, drainage and stormwater systems.
  • Do not alter the site drainage provided initially by the builder. However, if changes to the site drainage are required, for example, after the installation of a swimming pool, pergola or landscaping, the building contractor who has performed this new work should ensure adequate site drainage. Specifically, they should ensure that water will not pond adjacent to the footings and will be directed away from the building. They should also ensure there is no direct water flow to any adjoining properties.
  • On reactive clay sites (type M, H, and E classifications), try to avoid placing gardens next to the home or installing garden edging, gravel pavements as these may cause water retention or promote higher variable moisture conditions around the building.
  • On highly reactive sites (types H and E classifications), avoid installing sprinkler systems directly next to the home. Over watering should be avoided at all times.
  • Trees should not be planted within the distance of their mature height from the home – this is in accordance with the requirements of the relevant site classification (you can refer to the CSIRO’s Foundation and Footing Performance: a Home Owners Guide, which can also be purchased from Master Builders).

If you notice a problem, contact an appropriately licensed tradesperson immediately. Use the Find a Master Builder search to locate Master Builders members in your area who specialise in the kind of repair work you need completed.

More information

Read the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's (QBCC) information on subsidence for more information.