Anyone heard of this?

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by The_Kurgen, Jan 20, 2011.

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  1. Long story, cut short, ex wife is telling me the former marital home has had a survey done to re-mortgage.
    She has informed me the surveyor has reported Sulphur (Sulfer) Damage, and all the floors need replacing.
    Google has never heard of this ,nor the few surveyor forums available to non members.
    Any of you edjumakated Wedges know anything of this?

    Many thanks guys
  2. wedge_cadman

    wedge_cadman War Hero Reviewer Book Reviewer

    it's an unusual one but it can be caused by acid rain.

    "The burning of coal and/or petroleum by industry and power plants generates sulfur dioxide (SO2), which reacts with atmospheric water and oxygen to produce sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and sulfurous acid (H2SO3). These acids are components of acid rain, which lower the pH of soil and freshwater bodies, sometimes resulting in substantial damage to the environment and chemical weathering of statues and structures"

    Think you'd have to be next to a refinery for it to make any difference.
  3. On the floors??
  4. wedge_cadman

    wedge_cadman War Hero Reviewer Book Reviewer

    missed the bit about the floors - oops. tell her you want a second opinion from a proper surveyor not the one provided by the building society
  5. I agree with bigbird here, does the roof leak?


    Have you 'seen' the report?
  6. Funny old thing,she is being a bit reticent about coming forward with it.
    But my paranoia was one of the reasons we split alledgedly.
    Thanks for the replys guys, all info useful.

    BTW, Apparently, it can be a reaction to certain types of hardcore under the concrete floor. But me being paranoid, can`t help thinking this is this years big surveyor thing.

    more info here
    Self Build and DIY Discussion Forums: Sulphate Attack in Concrete Floors - How Much?!?!
  7. wedge_cadman

    wedge_cadman War Hero Reviewer Book Reviewer

    The hardcore under the floor thing is normally used if you're near a steelworks or mining area. They used to sell off the slag for underfloor hardcore. Most reports state that it's there as an advisory an not requiring action.
    Btw did the report state sulfur or sulphur. The former being the US spelling. Any surveyor worth his salt would be able to spell and not just copy a report off a US website. Just a thought.
  8. Yes I've heard of something similar.
    Long time ago so the memory might be a little off but basically a street of houses built of concrete (concrete walls and floor)
    If I remember rightly the gravel used in building was off the beach down the road and salt sulphate was degrading the concrete.
    In that particular case the council compulsory purchased the whole street and demolished it.

    Like I say, the details might be innacurate but salt sulphate content in the concrete eventually caused it to become a little crumbly. More likely to be slphate than sulfur
  9. This is all a bit weird. As other posters have rightly said, sulphates can attack / degrade concrete but I'm very surprised the surveyor has picked something up. This is more a matter for a specialist engineering testing company. How is it manifesting itself? Has he actually seen something or is he just making some pointless theoretical point about some of the things that could affect the structure? It's also weird that you would have anything other than a valuation done and this will not involve the surveyor having that much of a look at the house, certainly not that level of detail - unless there's something really obviously wrong to the naked eye.

    Supposing there is something wrong, is it the ground floor slab or the first floor slab - which in itself is an unusual feature, at least in the UK - ?

    If it's the ground floor slab and the slab is ground bearing - so what? What's the worst that could happen? You could just re-screed it if started disintegrating. You did mention the hardcore so perhaps that is what he is alluding to. But then that would mainly or firstly be affecting the underside of the slab so I wonder what can actually be seen.

    If it's the first floor slab and there's too much sulphate in the aggregates that went into the concrete mix, and the concrete has weakened, then you would have a problem.

    Get a copy of the report and let us know what it says!