Subsidence is a serious issue whereby the ground beneath your property begins to sink, gradually bringing the building down with it. So, what can you do if you suspect your property is subject to subsidence? Let’s take a look!
Managing and Maintaining Trees
One potential cause of subsidence is trees. Since they can absorb large volumes of water from the soil beneath a house, this can cause the soil to sink. This is due to the sprawling root system’s ability to absorb plenty of water. If you have trees near your property on clay soil, this can be especially concerning.
There are several ways to address problem trees leading to subsidence issues. For example, felling a tree that is behind the subsidence may prove an effective and lasting solution.
However, you’ll want to have a tree surgeon take a look before making a decision. This is because removing a tree can sometimes worsen subsidence, so getting this call right is key. Either way, you’ll need to hire a professional if you want to have a tree removed.
Another potential solution is to reduce a tree’s size rather than remove it entirely. This can be achieved by hiring a professional to prune the crown volume. Pruning is usually required every three years, but the tree surgeon will make recommendations for your specific tree.
Lastly, having a root barrier installed may also prove helpful. This involves having an underground wall added with the purpose of preventing tree roots damaging your home’s foundations. It can also prevent tree roots from harming water systems. With all that said, tree root barriers will only make sense in certain circumstances.
As part of fixing subsidence, it may be time for your home’s external brickwork to be repointed. Repointing brickwork is important to making sure that old and new bricks stay firmly together. It can also stop damp making it into your property. Brickwork should be repointed every 20 to 30 years or sooner if deemed necessary.
Exterior Wall Rendering
Rendering or re-rendering exterior walls may also make sense in some cases. While costly, property’s exteriors need to be re-rendered every 20-40 years. If your home has not been rendered, doing so can help avoid or work toward fixing a house experience subsidence issues.
In short, underpinning means to reinforce a property’s existing foundations. Underpinning is a great potential fix for subsidence, however, it is generally seen as a last resort given that it is an expensive and disruptive process.
In fact, costs involved with underpinning tend to range from £6,000 to £21,000, although your home insurance will likely cover the majority of the bill. Underpinning generally lasts between three and five weeks.
Resin injections is another means of revitalizing your home’s foundation. This process is a faster and non-invasive alternative to underpinning. The process involves several small holes being drilled into the focus area and around it before resin is injected.
The resin is injected in liquid form. Eventually, it expands before solidifying to become concrete-like and thus reinforces your property’s foundations.
Ultimately, resin injections not only strengthen the ground but can play a role in raising, re-leveling and re-supporting your foundations, thus helping to reverse subsidence. If deemed appropriate, resin injections may bring results in a matter of days and in some cases, even a single day.
Fixing Burst or Leaking Pipes
In some cases, problems may lie with your home’s pipework. A CCTV drain survey may be needed. Depending on the nature of the issues, drainage system alterations may be required if indeed some of the pipes have burst or are leaking.
Keep in Contact with Your Insurer
Whatever the potential cause(s) of your home’s subsidence and likely fixes, be sure to stay in contact with your insurer. This is because the work involved in fixing subsidence may or may not be covered by your home insurance.