Subsidence happens when a house is slowly sinking or collapses into the ground. In doing so some of your building’s foundations may go with it. Putting a direct strain on your buildings structure. This can be a very serious issue; it can affect the structure of your property but also can affect on the selling value of your property.
Some of the factors the can cause subsidence are:
- The type of soil you have. Clay like soil can shrink and crack especially in hot and dry weather. This makes the ground unstable and potentially causes the foundations of your building to sink. If you live in an area prone to droughts you are much more likely to suffer from subsidence.
- Trees and shrubs can also cause subsidence. Especially if they are close to the foundations of the building. Trees and shubs also require water to grow meaning your soil will be much drier. In turn this can cause issues.
- If you own a older building you may have the foundations themselves to deal with. With older homes being more likely to have shallower foundations.
- In some areas of the UK local mining activity can play a major part in causing subsidence. Former Quarrys and pit sights can also cause issues.
- If you have a leaking drain or water main this can soften and wash away and soil. Causing remaining soil to be compacted under the weight of your building.
What are the signs of subsidence?
According to PropertyDefects.co.uk, the most obvious signs of subsidence are cracks, sticking doors and windows and the ripping or peeling of wallpaper. These cracks will be thicker than a 10p coin. normally diagonal being wider at the top than they are the bottom. They will likely be either internally in plasterwork or outside in brickwork.
Sticking doors or windows, this is because the door and window holders begin to bend.
The damage may first present itself in imperfections in the wallpaper, if this wallpaper was removed there maybe cracks under it.
What if you have subsidence ?
If you think your home is suffering from subsidence inform your insures straight away. They will then arrange for a full survey to establish if there is subsidence present. Once this and the full extent of the damage is established then repairs can start to be made. It is recommended that you go with a trusted contractor who specialises in subsidence to complete any repairs needed.