Subsidence is a word which homeowners dread to hear as it can affect both structural safety and value. Subsidence is a relevant topic at present as we start to see some hot and dry days which, when coupled with wet weather, can make subsidence issues worse. Below we explain what subsidence is and how to spot certain signs.
What is subsidence?
Subsidence is when the ground beneath your house becomes unstable and starts to sink. As the ground moves lower, the foundations of your house can become misaligned. This can be particularly problematic when the ground under your property is sinking at different rates.
What causes subsidence?
Subsidence occurs when the ground below the property either shrinks or swells, often due to weather conditions. The ground expands during wet weather but then contracts during the dryer summer months.
Spotting the signs of subsidence
You should keep an eye out for cracks that:
- Spread rapidly compared to regular cracks
- Occur inside and outside the property
- Look narrower at one end than the other
- Are around windows and doors
Other signs include:
- Doors and windows that get stuck as you open/close them
- Wallpaper crinkling at the wall/ceiling joins
- Cracks where any extension joins the property
What should I do when I spot these signs?
Speak to your insurance provider as soon as possible. The issue will need to be reported to insurers who will arrange for surveyors to inspect your home and advise on next steps.
About the author
Dan Hart is our private client expert and can provide you with a range of insurance and risk management services on all personal insurances. If you need further advice on subsidence, please get in touch with Dan: