Author Topic: Cracking sub floor  (Read 4277 times)

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JJ392

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Cracking sub floor
« on: July 17, 2019, 04:17:21 pm »
Many thanks for this and would like an opinion please.

New home 3 months living there, we had an Amtico flooring put down after all the checks where done to see if there was any dampness. Below the 4% guidline so we had it fitted by a Specialist floor fitter who has been doing Amtico flooring for 20 years.

After a few weeks we notice a small indentation see photos . We got the fitter back and a guy came from amtico and they both said the concrete floor as cracked due to settlement.  We contacted bloors and they don’t want to know see a reply I got from them, and also nhbc and again hard work and they don’t seem interested either – any ideas where I stand thanks

Bloor Homes reply

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Thank you for your patience whilst your concerns have been escalated further with our MD

Your home is built on a raft foundation with a consistent depth of concrete sub floor used, due to its drying out process, shrinkage cracks may occur, this does not however mean that there is a structural defect within the build.  Should there be any external evidence in the same location of cracking through brickwork however, we would be concerned. If this is the case,  please let us know.

For any works undertake on behalf of Bloor Homes, our fitters would undertake measures as required to address either moisture and/or shrinkage, this would include moisture tests and on occasions a damp proof application between the slab/screed and Amtico flooring, furthermore the works would be guaranteed by us. Should a failure of works arise, this would subsequently be addressed at our cost under the warranty. 

As a 3rd party has undertaken flooring works to the ground floor, it is their duty or care, to demonstrate due diligence, and ensure they make suitable provisions for shrinkage / moisture where required, and subsequently guarantee their own works.

Having considered and presented all facts to our MD, we regrettably decline your request for assistance on this matter at this time and suggest you make contact with your contractor for their further attention on this matter.


New Home Expert

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 08:51:34 am »
A raft foundation is a thicker, substantially reinforced concrete floor from which the walls are built from. In most cases, this has a 65mm cement : sand screed on top. Whilst the concrete raft could conceivably crack during drying out this is highly unlikely. Indeed, it will have had the duration of the build construction (many months) to do so.

However, most likely cause of this crack is a crack in the floor screed which is quite common. It is usually caused by inadequate reinforcing and the fibre reinforcing often now used in mixes is often more susceptible. This thin screed will have dried out quickly.

I do not believe the line is caused by moisture but this could be re checked by taking up a small section to discount it.  It is true that any following contractor should take all reasonable steps to ensure surfaces they work from are suitable and to the required quality before applying finishes.  In this case, it is in my opinion, virtually unheard of for a flooring specialist to lay Amtico over an existing cracked screed.

Bloor Homes need to address the cause of the cracking and pay for your contractor to relay the flooring when it is sorted out.

The way Bloor Homes are fobbing you off is disgraceful.
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JJ392

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019, 10:32:20 am »
Thank you for your reply.

Before we moved in we were shown around and there was one or two cracks already filled in with resin.

On the photo the line was only a foot long to start with and it got worse.  The Amtico fitter said he can uplift the tiles and redue, over two visits for around £200 - we asked Bloor Homes if they could pay him or get there own fitters to do it. 

All they would then need to do was fill the crack in with resin 1/2 days job I have been told.  So we buy a house for £400,000 and Bloor Homes are not interested and this would cost £500 max to repair as we have enough spare tiles to cover the ones that have gone faulty.

Just remember folks when selecting your new home - do not be sucked in with a fancy show house, I was warned not to buy from Bloors as their after care service is not the best, I just wished I had listened.

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 07:14:59 am »
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Just remember folks when selecting your new home - do not be sucked in with a fancy show house, I was warned not to buy from Bloors as their after care service is not the best, I just wished I had listened.

Yes I advise many potential buyers. Most think it won't happen to them - then it does.

When someone who knows gives buyers good professional advice for free, provides information to help and warn them for free, why do they not listen?
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Maxell

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2019, 10:36:01 am »
I would have thought Bloor is required to meet NHBC standards for the sub floor not the Amtico Floor layer, although he should of checked with a hygrometer for residual moisture -75% above this a moisture supressant or a liquid dpm. These allow moisture out at a controlled rate.
There were cracks before the Amtico was fited, resin alone will not stop movement these are designed once all movement has ceased.
Using a 3rd party has put you in between a rock and hard place.  Just my opinion but good luck .



JJ392

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2019, 08:29:37 am »
Thanks for your reply maxell

JJ392

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2019, 08:38:32 am »
I have another reply from Bloors  and they just aren't having it - and three times we have told them that if it was moisture in the floor glue would seep out and the tiles would lift, this is not happening.

The cost of the repair is a few hundred pounds. I cannot believe a company like Bloor Homes would put their reputation on the line for such a small amount.  The tile fitter who as been doing it for 20 years and is a sub contractor for John Lewis, and they are saying he's not done his job.  Also they say that it's not a building defect, how do they know, they haven't even bother to come and look.

NHBC I await their reply but having dealt with them before I don't hold out much hope. Any advice much appreciated.

Bloors 2nd reply

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We are aware that there is a crack in the lounge under the carpet and it is not necessary to pull up and take images as this crack has been dealt with and we would not consider this to be a build defect.

As previously pointed out for any works undertake by contractors instructed on behalf of Bloor Homes, our fitters would undertake measures as required to address either moisture and/or shrinkage, this would include moisture tests and on occasions a damp proof application between the slab/screed and Amtico flooring, furthermore the works would be guaranteed by us. Therefore should a failure of works arise, this would subsequently be addressed at our cost under the warranty. As a third party has fitted we would not now look to rectify.

Whilst you may not agree with the decision that has been made we are confident that this is not a build defect and therefore deem this concern to be closed

Should you wish to seek further advise from the NHBC they can be contacted on  NHBC Customer Services cssupport@nhbc.co.uk / 0844 633 1000

In the event that NHBC requested a meeting we would be more than happy to attend and would welcome their guidance.

Kind regards


Maxell

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2019, 07:57:47 pm »
Hi ,

Bloor have provided you with a sub floor that meets Nhbc standards . It could have cracks bumps and have excessive moisture but that is the end of their liability unless it is defective,  which I doubt it is .

The floor layer should take a moisture reading this is acheived with a hygrometer box fixed to the floor for 24hrs.
This measures the moisture that is being released during this period. Anything over 75% rh and it should have a moisture suppresant or a liquid dpm , these realease moisture at a controlled rate. 
The floor layer should have been concerned with existing cracks and should of satisfied himself all movement had ceased.  However the floor layer had no control over any movement from the sub floor.

House builders who lay flooring cover this grey area ( and charge a premium cost for Lvt ) by using a 3rd party you have saved a sum of money but also you have accepted the risk. I think you would be better talking nicely to you floor layer.



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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2019, 08:32:15 am »
Your experience is Bloor Homes' customer care all over.
Basically in my opinion, they don't care.
I believe they know the floor is defective which is why they are stonewalling you.

I would suggest you write to Bloors and say that if they do not investigate you will appoint your onw independent surveyor, and based on his findings, appoint a contractor to carry out all necessary remedial works to bring your home up to the standard it should have been when you moved in.
You should then inform them that all costs incurred will be payable by Bloor Homes, plus 10% for your time for project managing and the inconvenience.

See what happens, if they don't pay take them to small claim court and invite the press!
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JJ392

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2019, 02:12:42 pm »
Just another update NHBC replied and say they can't help (what a surprise) 3 times I have now asked them to help over the years and not once have they (see reply below).  Hard ex have kindly given us some resin and small pull bars to fix it for free, so just got to pay the fitter £200 so not too bad in the end.  I have learned a lesson I will never buy another new home again and anyone thinking of buying from Bloor Homes should  think twice.

NHBC REPLY

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I’m sorry to hear that you have been experiencing problems in your new home.

The policy you hold started on the 23rd April 2019 which means you are still within the first 2 years which it is the builder's liability. If you and the builder are in a dispute then the NHBC could help with our resolution service.

Firstly, it may be helpful if I explain the service offered by us in the first two years of the policy cover:

During this time the original house builder has a responsibility to address any issues with your property caused by a failure to comply with our Technical Requirements. The Technical Requirements, which are referred to in the Buildmark policy document, are the mandatory requirements that the builder must meet when building a property registered with NHBC.

It's important that you have raised the issues with the builder and given them a fair opportunity to get them resolved.

If any of these items become the subject of a dispute between yourself and the Builder then we may be able to offer our Resolution Service. Initially we would contact the builder to ascertain their intentions and their response would determine how we proceed next

On this occasion, as independent works have been carried out to the area (in the form of Amtico being laid) the NHBC are unable to impartially determine that the crack is due to a defect in the original build and caused by the builder. Also, if the crack is natural shrinkage or settlement of the screed then this would not be covered as this is not classed as a building defect – it is a natural occurrence.

I am sorry we are unable to assist on this occasion, I would advise contacting the Citizens Advice Bureau for information on what other recourse you have against the builder.

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2019, 07:07:55 am »
I know the NHBC appear to have a policy to bat away all warranty claims, especially in the first two years. But it is only when you see a letter like the one you were sent that demonstrates that any new home warranty is pretty useless and does not offer any "protection" in reality.

The NHBC claiming that a crack in a floor screed is "not a building defect" but a "natural occurrence" is preposterous. What caused it an earthquake?

Worse, to pass the buck to Citizens Advice for further recourse when they know that apart from legal action there is none is adding insult to injury.
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Bri

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Re: Cracking sub floor
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2020, 10:48:46 am »
Did you get the floor sorted out?