Structural Monitoring is provided in order to monitor a suspected defect within a property or structure to determine whether or not the defect is static or progressive. An example of monitoring would be where cracking has been found in a property which is believed to be due to subsidence of the foundations. Subsidence is the movement of soil beneath a foundation which causes the structure above to move unexpectedly; subsidence can occur for a number of reasons and can often be very serious although this is not always the case. For the engineer to determine whether or not subsidence is ongoing and therefore likely to be more of a serious problem, monitoring can be used.
It is useful to know whether subsidence is likely historic or ongoing as it can have serious implications on the scope of any remedial works which may be necessary to stabilise a property.
Similarly, monitoring can be used to assess the crack propagation in concrete or steel when subject to dynamic or fatigue loading conditions. This may be useful particularly on older structures where the material grades and susceptibility to defects are not known with certainty.