Slab Inspection: The Importance of Flexible Bond Breakers
russell from wa building inspections perth
  • Flexible bond breakers are crucial in construction to prevent structural damage, cracking & compliance issues when two structures abut each other.
  • Neglecting to use a bond breaker can lead to costly repairs and legal problems, highlighting the importance of regular slab inspections.
  • To rectify a non-compliant footing, it must be carefully removed & a flexible bond breaker should be installed to ensure proper separation between structures

In the world of new house construction, every detail matters. From the foundation to the finishing touches, builders and contractors must adhere to strict regulations to ensure the safety and compliance of their projects. One critical aspect that often goes unnoticed is the use of flexible bond breakers during slab construction. This is called a slab inspection and is the 2nd stage inspection you should have performed when building a new house. The slab inspection occurs after the 1st stage inspection, called the pre-pour slab inspection or pre slab inspection.


Understanding the Issue

Imagine a scenario: a builder is in a rush to complete a project and decides to cast a footing directly against a neighboring property without using a flexible bond breaker. This decision is a serious violation of compliance standards. The absence of a bond breaker, especially a flexible one, can lead to numerous problems down the line. This is exactly why slab inspections are in demand in Perth and what our lead inspector Russell McCarthy uncovered today in a slab inspection (stage Inspection) on a new house being built in Booragoon, Perth. Check out our video at the end of this article.



The Role of a Flexible Bond Breaker

A flexible bond breaker serves as a vital component in separating Property A from Property B. It creates a barrier that prevents the two structures from bonding together. This separation is essential for several reasons.

  1. Preventing Structural Damage: Without a flexible bond breaker, the structures can bond together over time. This can result in structural damage, compromising the stability of both properties.
  2. Minimising Cracking: A flexible bond breaker helps reduce the chances of cracks forming in the concrete. When two structures are allowed to bond, the movement of one can affect the other, leading to unsightly and potentially dangerous cracks.
  3. Maintaining Compliance: Building codes and regulations require the use of bond breakers to ensure the safety and integrity of construction projects. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to costly fines and legal issues.



Rectifying the Situation

So, what can be done if a builder has already cast a footing without a flexible bond breaker? Fortunately, there is a solution, albeit a somewhat challenging one. The non-compliant footing must be addressed to ensure the long-term stability and safety of the structures involved.


Cutting Out the Non-Compliant Footing

To rectify the situation, the non-compliant footing along the edge where it abuts the neighboring property must be carefully cut out. This process requires precision and expertise to avoid causing further damage.


Installing the Flexible Bond Breaker

Once the non-compliant footing has been removed, it’s imperative to install the flexible bond breaker properly. This involves placing the bond breaker between the two structures to create the necessary separation.



The Importance of a Slab Inspection

The scenario described here underscores the significance of regular slab inspections. While it may seem like a minor oversight, the absence of a flexible bond breaker can lead to major complications and costly repairs down the road.

During a slab inspection during the construction of your new home, professional building inspectors can identify issues like this early on and take corrective measures. It’s essential for builders and property owners to invest in regular inspections to ensure compliance and peace of mind.



Our Final Say

In the world of construction, attention to detail is so important. The use of flexible bond breakers may seem like a minor concern, but it plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of buildings and adhering to compliance standards. Ignoring the need for these bond breakers can lead to costly repairs and legal issues.

Remember, it’s always better to address such concerns proactively rather than waiting for problems to arise.



Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is a flexible bond breaker necessary?
    • A flexible bond breaker is necessary to prevent two structures from bonding together during construction, which can lead to structural damage and other issues.
  2. What happens if a builder neglects to use a bond breaker?
    • Neglecting to use a bond breaker can result in structural damage, cracking & non-compliance with building codes, leading to fines and legal problems.
  3. Can a non-compliant footing be fixed?
    • Yes, a non-compliant footing can be fixed by carefully cutting it out and installing a flexible bond breaker to ensure proper separation between structures.
  4. Why are regular slab inspections important?
    • Regular slab inspections are essential to identify and address issues like the absence of bond breakers early on, preventing costly repairs and compliance problems.
  5. What should builders and property owners do to ensure compliance?
    • Builders and property owners should invest in regular building inspections and follow construction guidelines to ensure compliance with safety and structural standards.