The downwards movement of your property foundations is known as subsidence. Just like the upwards movement of your foundations called heave but less common, both can cause serious damage to your property. How do you spot the signs of subsidence and heave?
Subsidence can be caused by several different factors. For example, moisture content within soil and clay can be drastically reduced during long dry spells during the summer. Trees and other plants can absorb any remaining water content resulting in the shrinkage of the ground.
Another problem that can cause subsidence can be due to damaged drainage. If the drains around your property are leaking, they can in turn, wash away the ground beneath your property. Even more so if the ground contains a high level of gravel or sand content within the soil.
Look Around Your Home for Cracks
At the first sign of a crack you should not immediately be panicking that your property is suffering from subsidence. It is pretty common to discover fine cracks on plastered walls in new builds. This is due to the building bedding in and settling on its own weight.
However, if you discover diagonal cracks that are wider toward the top end then this could be one of the signs of subsidence. Generally, if the cracks are thinner than the side of a 10 pence piece, or 3mm thick then there is usually nothing to worry about.
Windows, Doors and Home Extensions
Another sign that your property is suffering from subsidence damage would be by checking your doors and windows. Due to the distortion of your building the windows may become hard to open or close. You may even notice cracks appearing around the door or window frames.
If you have had your home extended with a conservatory, if your property is affected by subsidence, large gaps may have appeared at the point of where it joins your property.
What Can I Do About the Signs of Subsidence?
Luckily enough, most building insurance policies will cover any damage caused due to subsidence. The only problem with this is that most policies do not cover the root cause of the problem. Which can be a concern if the problem was to reoccur.
If you require, there is help out there should your property become damaged by subsidence. Property Defects are a nationwide group of building experts, claims managers, chartered surveyors, solicitors and loss adjusters.
As a group, they have the experience of managing many insurance claims due to subsidence damage. Working on your behalf, they will negotiate with your insurers or in the case of newly built properties, the providers any insurance backed guarantee. Property Defects also utilise a vast network of experienced building contractors who can also repair your subsidence damaged property too.
If you believe your home is showing subsidence signs please visit this website to find out how they can help.