City Structural were contacted by a Building Contractor to carry out a survey, and to design a repair specification for a long stretch of retaining wall in Bromley By Bow, London.
This Victorian property in London, like many others of it's era, was experiencing cracking to the front of the structure, either side of the bay window. This is a common problem in properties across the country but particularly in the capital where Victorian housing was often put up quickly and cheaply and resulted in substandard foundations being used beneath the bay windows.
The owner of this property in Southeast London got in touch with City Structural to report that the external wall at the rear of their home had developed a number of cracks running between the upper and lower floor windows. The extent of the cracking suggested more than a small amount of foundation settlement or thermal expansion and the owners were understandably concerned that this could indicate subsidence which could lead to an expensive underpinning project.
This retaining wall in North London had been showing signs of bowing due to insufficient drainage and poorly maintained trees. A cause for concern in any retaining wall, this was particularly urgent to address because the wall adjoined a public footpath meaning a failure of the wall could result in injury or even death which the property owner would be liable for.