What to Do When You Suspect Your Home Has Subsided
Subsidence occurs when your property sinks in relation to its foundations. It can happen gradually over time or almost instantly due to extreme weather conditions such as flooding or drought. It's important to take note of any signs that your home may have subsided, as this could cause major structural damage if not dealt with quickly and effectively.
Signs That Your Home Has Subsided
There are several tell-tale signs that your home could have subsided. These include cracks in the walls, particularly around windows and doors or if the flooring appears uneven. Other common signs are sagging ceilings, doors and windows no longer fitting properly in their frames and cracked external walls. If you notice any of these indicators, it's important to contact an experienced surveyor who can assess the situation and advise on what needs to be done.
Potential Causes of Subsidence
The causes of subsidence can vary from location to location and property type to property type. In some cases, it might be caused by tree roots growing too close to the house foundations or ground movement caused by extreme weather conditions such as flooding or drought. Other potential causes include leaking drains or plumbing pipes which have caused water damage over time. The most common cause, however, is often simply old age — many properties may begin to settle over time due to soil erosion and other factors, causing the ground beneath them to shift slightly.
How To Deal With Subsidence
If you suspect your home has subsided, it's important to act quickly to minimise further damage. Firstly, call an experienced surveyor who will determine if there is evidence of movement in your home and what might have caused it — they'll also be able to advise on how best to proceed with repairs if necessary. Secondly, contact your insurance provider — depending on your policy, they may cover some (or all) of the costs associated with repairing any damage caused by subsidence. For example, they may cover cracked walls or window frame replacement, etc. Finally, make sure you monitor your home regularly for any further signs of subsidence; even small shifts can cause damage, so it pays off to stay vigilant.
Stabilising Your Home
Sometimes, you may need to bring in experienced contractors to stabilise your foundations and ensure that the property sits correctly on its slab. This will require a process known as "underpinning" or "restumping," where the contractors introduce new steel or concrete pins in strategic locations. They may also inject concrete into the ground to provide additional stability.
What to Do Next
Subsidence can be both damaging and worrying, but experts can certainly fix the issue. If you suspect you have a problem, call these experts immediately for further advice.
For more info about house restumping, contact a local company.