Case study Northampton

The Problem
Optera’s expertise was called upon to investigate causation for significant structural cracking that had occurred suddenly to high end domestic property. The historic property dating back several hundred years had been tastefully extended to the rear but had developed 75mm gapping between skirting and floor level.

The Optera Solution
Optera experienced site investigation crew attended and undertook diamond core cutting through the tiled floor and ground floor concrete slab. Strong carbon vapours were released upon puncture of the floor and water mixed with oil was seen entering the borehole. Exploratory investigation externally identified oil contamination along with drainage running under the property entering through an oversized hole in the external wall.

A pressure test of the nearby incoming oil line showed a leak from a perforated pipe, and a recent burst water authority main was also a contributing factor.

It was established that the oil leak had by the burst water main giving it a vehicle to move quickly under the property via the drainage pipe opening. The oil then acted as solvent on the floor insulation casing it to melt and dissolve. The result was a sudden loss of support and dropping of the floor causing cracking to the dividing walls built upon it.

Due to high carbon vapours recorded the family were moved out including the dog who had been sick from the vapours. Optera Structural Solutions then set to work on the huge task of removing all contaminated soil from beneath the extension and surrounding it.

Working closely with our partnered environmentalist all works were closely supervised to fully determine the correct extent of decontamination. Once clear of contaminants the internal core of the property was fully reinstated and decorated back to its first class finish. Surrounding grounds, hot tub and gardens were all reinstated allowing the family and dog back home.

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