Advice Needed - Structural Movement, How Worried Should I Be?

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Hello everyone!

Hope you are all having a nice start to your weekend. I would really appreciate if anyone could give me some advice.

A structural engineer conducted a report on the building next door in 2017 and said the building was in need of remedial work to reinstate the structural integrity due to upward lateral movement. This hasn't been done an the cause of the movement hasn't been investigated.

We were away for 12 weeks. When I get home, I clocked the skirting board at the corner of the living room has opened up (There was always a small space at that section due to a bressumer beam replacement 15 years ago prior to us moving in) The gap is nearly 2 inches at the widest point and stretches for over a meter and a half, then it begins to close up. At the window the skirting is fine, but again, a gap has opened up and I can see into the floor. The window is about two feet away from the skirting that has lifted (The area that shares the party wall with next door) This only seems to be happening in one section of the room. Neighbor upstairs commented last year that he could see the building next door pushing forward, but I assumed the Factor was s investigating the movement next door so wasn't too worried.

I just need to ask, how worried should i be at this stage? I called the building control helpline number who said no one has ever been asked to come out and see the building, and that the engineers in 2017 would have contacted them immediately if they thought it was dangerous. They have still to call me back, and to be honest, this might not be a big concern to them. What may worry and concern me may not be a huge deal to someone who is a structural engineer and actually knows what they are looking at. I have been measuring the gaps for 4 weeks and they haven't got any worse. Is this something that can wait until I can force a survey/repair on the neighbors, or should i ask building control to come out and take a look at it? Could something like this cause a floor or ceiling to collapse? And is this definitely related to the movement next door, or can anything else cause this kind of damage? (As you can tell, I don't have a clue about these kind of things. Sorry for asking so many questions)

Thanks for reading!!!!

Have a grand weekend x (y)
 

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why not lift the final board in pic 3 and post a pic of whats below?
 
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Hi Bobasd!

Hope you're having a nice night.

Took me bloody ages to find a screwdriver. Couldn't remove the middle board due to my crap tools, but managed to move the corner one (n)

I found, er, bricks....Don't know what i was expecting tbh.
 

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My partner is going to be well impressed when he rocks in from the pub to find me, with wine in hand, lifting up floorboards. He'll probably just shake his head and retire quietly to bed without saying a word.:sick:
 
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If you pay for the service of any professionals, ie. SE's, then insist on written explanations and solutions.
maybe the Factors have historical written records? they should.

from the little i can see and understand you will need to lift far more of the boards in readiness for any further investigations - dont go lifting anymore tonight or you could be creating a dangerous trap in the floor. what i can see is well wrong and needs attention from someone on site.

the history of this business means you must locate and keep all written records, and record everything from now on - who, what, where and when.
have a witness to all verbal conversations and immediately note them down.
this might turn into a Party Wall Dispute or whatever you call it in Scotland?

if the neighbour's are unfriendly then leave them out of your activities - dont inform them of anything unless you've had professional instructions to do so.
a last resort would be legal advice - a 30-60mins heads up to start.write it down or record it.
 
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Oh dear.

Thank you so much for your reply Bobasd. Really appreciated especially at this time of night

We have never lifted any of the floorboards in the living room, other than a few to have the central heating system installed at the other end of the room. The floorboards, apart from the paint, are original. The bressumer beam was replaced above my neighbors window in 2002, it runs under us and into a shop next door underneath the building (It was the shop owner who replaced it) Only reason I know about the work was a note on the Council's planning website saying they had give permission to replace it, no mention of signing it off after the builders finished. Apart from that, I'll need to check with my friend who lives in our building to find out if he is aware of any other work being carried out in the flat prior to us moving in, work that might require the floor being lifted because, and forgive my lack of knowledge, I don't know if they would have needed to go under our floor to install a beam under my neighbors window.

In your expert opinion, why would someone stuff bricks under a window like that and for what purpose? Could that be causing all the damage within our flat meaning the movement next door could be possibly unrelated? And do you think I should call building control to get them to have a look at it as soon as? Really wasn't expecting that sort of reply, I am so very grateful for your advice and expertise on this one. I never thought about lifting the floorboards because I assumed the damage was a knock on affect from movement next door, silly me (But to be honest, I wouldn't have had a bloody clue about what I was looking at :unsure:)


Again, thank you for being an absolute advice giving Rock Star bobasd! I will do everything you've covered and then some.

Pssst. Nope, not going to touch any more floorboards and will leave it in the hands of the professionals from here on in. Happy Days! (y)

I hope you and yours are well. Best wishes x
 
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thanks for your compliments its very thoughtful of you.

i'm afraid that i can help you no further because there are too many possibly connecting factors that need to be seen on site.
the bricks under the boards were probably to provide a little support where there was no joist to fix the boards to.
how the bricks relate to anything else i dont know, although its possible that they have no connection to any larger structural movements?

the structural conditions have existed for some time so i doubt that anything drastic is looming.
 
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Hi Woody! Of course I can (y) Sorry for the late reply.

I left the floorboard lifted and took a picture of below the window and the corner where the crack is.

Oh, forgot to mention the flat was built in the 1890's.
 

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Hi Woody! Of course I can (y) Sorry for the late reply.

I left the floorboard lifted and took a picture of below the window and the corner where the crack is.

Oh, forgot to mention the flat was built in the 1890's.
What I meant was better context as to house construction, where in the house this crack is, what walls and rooms are adjacent to it, what's above/below, what's outside - trees/drains, window and door locations.
 
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upward lateral movement

OK this is a new one to me?

Subsidence, yes, the vertical downward movement of the foundations.

I have seen a load of "Structural Lateral Movement", most common is in an old tenement property outer walls are mads of Masonry, sometimes random rubble over a long time the wall in effect buckles outwards because of a lack of a tie in of the wall

Upward Lateral is as above new to me, Lateral is exactly that a sideways movement?

Ken.
 

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