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  • Writer's pictureNivek Surveying Services

What is Subsidence?

Subsidence is a common concern for property owners, but what exactly is it? In this blog post, we'll explore the causes, signs, and remedies of subsidence, providing you with valuable insights to protect your property investment.

Causes of Subsidence: Subsidence occurs when the ground beneath a property shifts or sinks, causing the foundations to sink unevenly. There are several factors that can contribute to subsidence, including:

  1. Soil Conditions: Certain soil types, such as clay soils, are more prone to shrinking and swelling with changes in moisture levels, leading to subsidence.

  2. Tree Roots: The roots of large trees can absorb moisture from the soil, causing it to shrink and destabilize the ground beneath nearby properties.

  3. Leaking Drains or Pipes: Water leaking from drains or pipes can soften the soil beneath a property, leading to subsidence.

  4. Mining Activity: Areas with historical mining activity may be at risk of subsidence as underground voids collapse over time.

Signs of Subsidence: Recognizing the signs of subsidence early is crucial for preventing further damage to your property. Common signs of subsidence include:

  1. Cracks in Walls: Vertical, diagonal, or stepped cracks appearing in walls, particularly around windows and door frames.

  2. Cracks in Plasterwork: Cracks or ripples in plasterwork, especially in older properties.

  3. Doors and Windows Sticking: Doors and windows becoming difficult to open or close due to changes in the alignment of the building.

  4. Uneven Floors: Floors becoming uneven or sloping, indicating movement in the foundations.

  5. Rippling Wallpaper: Rippling or wrinkling of wallpaper, caused by movement in the walls.

Remedies for Subsidence: If you suspect subsidence, it's essential to seek professional advice from a qualified surveyor or structural engineer. Remedies for subsidence may include:

  1. Underpinning: Strengthening the foundations of the property by extending them deeper into the ground.

  2. Tree Removal: Removing or pruning trees with invasive roots that are contributing to subsidence.

  3. Drain Repairs: Repairing leaking drains or pipes to prevent further soil erosion.

  4. Soil Stabilization: Treating the soil to prevent further movement, such as injecting resin or grout into the ground.

  5. Monitoring: Regular monitoring of cracks and other signs of subsidence to track any changes over time.

Subsidence is a serious concern for property owners, but with a thorough understanding and proactive approach facilitated by a property survey, it can be effectively managed. By identifying signs early and implementing appropriate solutions, property owners can safeguard their investments against the detrimental effects of subsidence. Trust in the expertise of NIVEK Surveying Services to identify and address subsidence risks through comprehensive property surveys

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