Frequently Asked Questions about Subsidence


Frequently Asked Questions about Subsidence

We understand that dealing with house repairs and subsidence can be a stressful experience. Our FAQ page is designed to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about how to identify house subsidence and what to do to repair it.

If you can’t find an answer to your question, you can call us on 0333 1300592 and talk to an expert. We are available 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm. You can also contact us online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Cracks that appear in a wall suddenly are often a sign of subsidence. They can often be located close to windows or doors. Read more about what subsidence cracks look like, and what to do to fix them.

Subsidence occurs due the clay shrinkage in the ground, from unstable ground conditions caused by weak soils or damage from water leaks or trees, or sometimes these conditions in combination with shallow foundations on buildings. Read our comprehensive guide on how to spot the warning signs of subsidence.

Cracks in walls, if they are the width of a coin and getting worse, could lead to severe consequences for your property. Here’s what might happen if these issues are not promptly addressed:

  • Significant Structural Damage: Delaying action allows cracks to worsen, compromising the stability of your home.
  • Escalating Repair Costs: Addressing issues early can prevent exorbitant repair costs later. Delays could result in much larger, costlier repairs.
  • Insurance Challenges: Obtaining coverage can become problematic, and you may find claims are denied due to perceived negligence.

If you have doubts about subsidence issues, call us today.

If you have cracks in your walls internally or externally, or your floors are sloping, then you may have subsidence. The first thing to do is monitor the situation to see if things get steadily worse. You can do this by measuring and taking photos of the cracks each month and comparing things over time, or by purchasing crack monitors, which are available on-line. If cracks are getting worse, you are struggling to close windows and doors, or you can see gaps appearing in bricks between the joins in your property, then you may have subsidence.

Unfortunately, subsidence doesn't typically stop on its own. Whether it progresses depends on the underlying cause:

If the cause is something like a burst water main, there's a chance subsidence might stop after fixing the problem. However, in most cases, the culprit is something continuous, like soil erosion. In these scenarios, subsidence is likely to keep happening, potentially worsening over time.

It's important to address subsidence as soon as possible to prevent further damage.  If you suspect you have subsidence,  consult a subsidence engineer to diagnose the cause and recommend the best course of action.

Repairing subsidence depends on the cause and severity of the issue. Here's a breakdown of some common methods:

Tree root management: Large trees near your house can suck up moisture from the soil, causing it to shrink and foundations to settle. Trimming or removing problematic trees can help stabilize the soil.

Leak repair: Leaky pipes or drains can wash away soil under your foundation, leading to subsidence. Fixing these leaks is crucial to prevent further movement.

Resin injection: This minimally disruptive method involves injecting a special resin under the foundation. The resin expands and fills voids in the soil, solidifying it and lifting the foundation back into place.

Underpinning: This traditional approach involves excavating beneath the foundation and installing new support structures, like concrete piles. While highly effective, underpinning is a major undertaking, expensive, and quite messy.

**It's important to note that a qualified surveyor or structural engineer should assess the situation and recommend the most suitable repair method.** They can consider the cause, extent of damage, and your property's specific needs.

Instead of subsidence underpinning, we use resin injections which is a much quicker process. It doesn’t require planning permission and can usually be completed in one working day. However, the best way to find out which subsidence repair method is best for your home is to contact a qualified subsidence engineer. Find out more about resin injection underpinning now.

Resin injection v underpinning

Resin injection and underpinning are both methods for fixing foundation problems, but they take very different approaches. Underpinning is the traditional technique, involving excavating beneath the foundation and pouring new concrete supports. This is a robust solution but messy, disruptive, and time-consuming. On the other hand, resin injection is a newer, less invasive method. It involves drilling small holes and injecting a resin compound that expands and compacts the soil, lifting the foundation and stabilising the ground. Resin injection is much faster, cleaner, and allows you to stay in your home during the process, but it may not be suitable for very large gaps or deep foundations. Read more about resin injection underpinning today and contact us if you have any questions.

Subsidence Ltd provides a fixed one-stop cost for remedial works. We help you through the journey, so you get the best outcome.

Our pricing is an actual cost build-up, so you only pay for what you are getting, and the skill-base of our engineers means we don’t outsource our work to third parties, ensuring that the customer gets the best pricing on the market.

In addition, we offer discount options, which are provided where the customer either recommends the business to another customer, or where work is clustered within the same street allowing for efficiencies; any cost savings that we achieve are passed straight back to the customer.

And we don’t walk away at the end of the job without giving the customer the advice and support they need to put their property back to the high standards they expect, alongside a ten year warranty for the work that we carry out. You can get a cost estimate using our subsidence cost repair calculator. But get in touch with us and we can give you an accurate quote.

Many insurance policies do cover subsidence repairs, but it depends on the policy and the insurer. Some insurers will cover all repairs, and provide temporary accommodation while repair work is carried out. Find out more about insurance and subsidence repairs.

Subsidence can significantly affect the value of your house. Minor cracks might have a minimal impact, while large cracks or ongoing movement can be a major turn-off for buyers and even make it difficult to get a mortgage. The cost of repairs will also play a role, potentially lowering the value by at least that amount. Even if fixed, some buyers may be wary of potential future problems, leading to a further decrease in value.

We offer a national service to homeowners and landlords. The unique selling point of Subsidence Ltd is the provision of a service that is significantly more effective and personalised for the customer than our competition, providing a fixed one-stop cost for remedial works.

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