Why is my back yard slowly collapsing?

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Posted by: from Brantford
3/5/2016 at 2:17:14 PM

I am the second owner of the said property. I have a pool in the back yard that was put in when the house was built (2004)and before the property behind me had their house built. The first sign of the said problem was hair line cracks on paved walk way around pool at the back side of pool facing back yard neighbor's property. Over the years the hair line cracks have gotten bigger. Big enough to be replaced.

I then noticed what looks to me like my back fence is pulling away from property which is causing the fence on both sides of property to pull apart in different areas along and up to the front gate. My back fence has shifted so much that the owner of the property behind me cannot open his fence because of the pressure from my fence pushing onto his gate. My property is higher then the property behind me which seems to be very wet during winter and rain.

I need to find out why my fence is pulling apart from the sides before I can repair them.

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Date/Time3/5/2016 at 5:52:59 PM


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Date/Time3/5/2016 at 6:11:30 PM


There are a slew of factors that could cause a shift in the soil between your house and your rear neighbour. With the short description you have given, and without seeing the property, I would lean towards three possibilities.

1. The soil(s) is compacting due to the bering weight of structures (houses, the pool, etc.). This is very common with new developments and if infill soils were not compacted properly during construction. This can be enhanced greatly with granular fill or sandy soil conditions and does happen over time.

2. There has been a change in the flow of water within the soils. This could include a change in the water table, direction of flow, or rate of flow. Water movement through soils and granular fill causes erosion, which can happen underground, and can push air pockets around within the soils.

3. A combination of both 1 and 2.

Without further information about the age of the home, soil conditions, grading and a further list of conditions it is not possible to tell you exactly why this is happening. Every incident of "settling" is site specific. You should consult with a professional home builder, landscape architect, or geotechnical engineer. You may need a combination of these services to rectify the issue. If your home is new, you should consult with any home warranty that you have or any government body that protects homeowners in new home construction.


Sam L.

Keystone Ridge Developments

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Date/Time3/6/2016 at 12:32:51 PM

Soli and pool has to be inspected first before doing any further repair!

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Date/Time3/14/2016 at 1:35:32 PM

Hi Geri,

Compacting is a very common problem. There is a code requirement for compacting which is often ignored by builders. Without an inspector or Engineer standing by to watch, the Builder can do as much or as little as he wants. This is most likely a big part of your problem.

I'm curious about the excessive moisture on wet days. You may have a drainage problem or even a leak from the plumbing or the structure of the pool.

I would recommend you contact your local Design Builder. He will have access to all the Professionals needed to assess the problem and design a solution.

Whatever you do, do it soon. Any problem that is caused by something on your property that is effecting a neighbouring property could result in a law suit.

Good luck with your project.

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