When considering foundation and cracking problems, it’s true that you cannot rule out the fact that simple human error could be to blame. This could be due to several reasons, including:

It’s also possible that the passage of time has led to the problem. This is particularly true when considering the effect of large trees on, or even near, a property. They have certainly been known to adversely affect the external walls of many Melbourne properties. It’s not always appreciated when planting initially small trees that their roots can often extend twice the distance of the eventual height of that tree. Therefore, as time passes, if a tree were to grow up to thirty metres in height, then the roots could travel up to sixty metres under the ground.


These, and other foundation-affecting problems, are never going to simply go away – no matter how homeowners might wish that this were the case. The prudent course of action, should you suspect such foundation and cracking problems, is to order an expert inspection, carried out as soon as possible. This can clearly highlight areas to be dealt with – or, in your best-case scenario, simply provide peace of mind.

Our Buy Wise inspectors are hugely experienced in the problems often encountered in many properties right across Melbourne and our suburbs. With over a thousand inspections carried out in this area each year, and over 50,000 satisfied clients, such expertise can be brought to bear to offer expert assessment of your potential property problem.

The first step is to Contact Us – and we’ll provide a great value quote and offer our first available appointment time – or agree to one to suit you. So, if it’s time to assess a potential problem, Buy Wise is ready to help.


Common tree root issues are often caused by the fact that tree roots basically provide two functions: giving the tree stability so it’s able to stay upright and to provide the tree with a food source, one being water. As the tree grows bigger and higher, the root system has to grow as well, travelling further away in search of food. If there are, or have been, drainage issues to the property, then the roots will hone into this area as a good food source – another of the common tree root issues that need to be dealt with.


If and when the drainage problem is rectified, the tree roots remain, taking all the moisture out of the soil and causing the clay to shrink. The higher the clay content, the more shrinking will occur. The moisture content of the ground in and around the dwelling should remain the same from winter to summer as this ensures a stable foundation.


If large trees are present around the property and you would like to protect the structure from the root system, a root barrier system can be installed under the ground between the dwelling and tree about 1.5 meters from the dwelling. A root barrier is a 100 – 200mm trench about two to three metres deep that is full of concrete with a membrane at one side. The trench should be long enough so the tree roots cannot go around the trench near the dwelling.


If movement is apparent to a section of the dwelling and is increasing in size, then it is advised to have the area inspected. A Buy Wise Inspector can compile a report on all the contributing factors in regards to the movement, and advise on the best course of action.


The next course of action may be obtaining a soil test (Geotechnical Report) and an Engineers Report to determine if the best solution is underpinning the existing foundations. On average, the soil test and engineers report could cost $1500 – $3000, depending on the circumstance.


The cost to underpin foundations can be $5,000 – $40,000 +, so it is important to gather all the correct information to determine if this course of action is required, or if other, cheaper methods could be adopted with the same result.