Subsidence is the lowering movement of the ground most easily noticed under buildings. Subsidence is completely natural and has a wide range of causes. These causes include long dry weather periods, high density of clay soil under a property, proximity to trees and shrubberies and depth of the foundation. Subsidence has negative effects on a property if it happens beneath and around a foundation.
The reason subsidence affects your property is due to its weakening of the properties structural integrity. Structural integrity is a very complex issue in property development and is dependant on materials used, property layout, soil mixture and natural or man-made damage.
A property needs to have a sound structural integrity to stop it from collapsing or otherwise breaking. This structural integrity is very reliant on the properties foundation. Most importantly any damage to the foundation drastically impacts the structural integrity and is the main factor for many structural issues.
I listed a wide range of causes earlier in the article without explanations as to why they cause subsidence. For example, I will explain why a properties proximity to trees and shrubberies can increase the chance of subsidence. Trees and shrubberies receive moisture from the earth to keep themselves healthy. This is a natural process, in times of hot weather the roots slowly move further out to find moisture.
This has two negative effects on a properties land, the first is a lack of moisture available in the soil causing slight contraction while the second effect is that roots may spread into the foundation. Roots embedding into foundations cause damage, this damage weakens the foundation even if very slightly. Any foundation damage can increase the risk of subsidence.
Signs of Subsidence
Natural damage happens to properties over time so when you notice that tiny crack in the floor under the sink don’t panic. Hiring a professional structural engineer to assess your property can be costly but worth the money if subsidence is caught early.
One of the common signs of subsidence is large cracks thicker than 4mm in length and diagonal. The crack must be visible both internally and externally and located close to a door or window. Other signs of subsidence door and window frame warp as well as wallpaper cracking in the corners of walls.
If you believe your house is damaged due to subsiding under the foundation make sure to contact your insurance company. Insurance companies, however, have a number of exclusions in their polices for these claims. These exclusions include poor-quality materials or damage due to construction. Finding out your entitlements is complex. Try appoint a public loss adjuster to handle your subsidence claim to ensure you receive your full entitlement
For more information on subsidence claims as well as spotting signs of subsidence visit https://www.propertydefects.co.uk or contact today at 08000 434 999.