What is subsidence damage?
Subsidence is when the ground underneath a property begins to sink, pulling the property’s foundations away with it.
Subsidence can be caused by:
- soil type, shrinking, cracking, and shifting the ground
- trees and plantation
- local mining activity (can cause instability, especially if the filling material collapses)
- leaking drains and damaged water mains (can wash away or soften soil in the area too much)
- heave (when the ground beneath the property swells and moves upwards)
- landslips/landslides (when the ground beneath the property moves down a slope and takes the property with it!).
Signs of subsidence
Most subsidence occurs during the summer months due to the hot, dry, and humid weather, as foundations dry up and ultimately shrink.
Typically, however, the most common cause of subsidence is through burst underground pipes and tree roots, causing ground movement and swelling.
Signs of subsidence in properties include:
Cracks appearing in your ceilings and walls. These cracks will often spread diagonally and will appear wider at the top than at the bottom. These cracks will also be thicker than a 10p coin.
The fitting of door and window frames can move considerably and could start to stick for no reason.
You could experience bowed walls or wallpaper beginning to tear, rip, or crinkle, and it’s not because of damp.
(Note: Buildings do naturally shrink and swell due to the changes in temperature and humidity, so some movement is always expected. This can especially be the case on new builds where new exteriors and interiors to a new property will take time for their structures to settle).
The good news is that most subsidence damage can be repaired quickly and effectively without major foundation works. This can be achieved by removing the troublesome trees or repairing the leaking pipe, replacing pipes where necessary.
The Clear Choice team will assess all structures and the overall structural integrity of your property and report on the work required to fix the damage.
We have years of experience dealing with subsidence damage, providing high quality repair work and solutions that avoid any further long-term issues.
Call 01132 711 432 to find out further information.
Subsidence repair services
At Clear Choice we:
- Repair cracked and misaligned drains
- Remove problematic trees and their roots
- Underpin properties (where your property’s foundations need to be strengthened or deepened to prevent further subsidence)
- Provide subsidence damage repair solutions to both private and commercial properties
- Provide robust subsidence damage insurance reports.
Most insurance companies will ask you about subsidence and if you require cover, depending on the area in which your home is situated.
However, damage to surrounding structures such as garden fences, walls, patios, driveways, etc., are not typically covered, but our team will always advise you to check with your insurance company first.
When making a subsidence claim, it’s essential to know precisely what is covered in your insurance policy as well as how much excess you will be expected to pay.
Note: Subsidence claims for damage caused by coal mining will be dealt with through the coal authority, not your home insurance provider.
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