The RightSure Blog – What is Subsidence?

How to spot the warning signs of subsidence?

Subsidence claims tend to rise over summer due to the hot weather. Following extended periods of hot weather and dry spells, our homes are at greater risk. Water pouring into foundations from leaking or collapsed drains is a contributing cause, as is vegetation and extensions built to inadequate standards

What is subsidence?

Subsidence is where the soil beneath a building’s foundations becomes unstable. As the ground shifts, the foundations become misaligned. 

What are the causes?

Most common causes are:

  • Shrinking soil – this is due to water leaking into the soil and washing it away from under the foundations.  
  • Drought – as we saw last summer, prolonged periods of warm, dry weather can cause clay soils to shrink under foundations.
  • Tree roots – is another common reason for subsidence. Tree roots will draw the moisture out of the soil and if too close to your home will cause subsidence.    

What are the signs?

There are a number of signs to look for both inside and outside of your home.

  • Cracks – wider than 3mm (the width of a 10p coin) and visible on the inside and outside. They are often diagonal and wider at the top than the bottom. The may also be located close to doors and windows.
  • Doors and windows sticking – doors and windows become hard to open or close.
  • Rippling wallpaper – while this can be caused by damp, it can also be a sign of subsidence.

What should I do if I notice any of these signs?

Contact us immediately. Most home insurance policies cover loss or damage caused by subsidence, heave and landslip. Our claims hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to give you peace of mind. Call 0800 484 433.

What happens next?

Your Insurer will arrange for a survey to be conducted on your property that will determine the cause. Usually, the issue will be monitored over a period of time and if subsidence is found, dealt with either by removing the cause or treating it with structural support.

If you want insurance that gives peace of mind at a price you’ll love, then we’re here to help!

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