Home / Subsidence Insurance / Spotting the tell tale signs of subsidence

  • Jason McClean
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I know most of you will think I’m mad for blogging about subsidence insurance when most people associate subsidence with long, dry summers and we’ve been far from that in 2012, just ask the Queen!

I am saying that it’s not all about dry spells and droughts, damage could be occurring without you knowing; homes in closer proximity to trees and shrubs are at risk as they suck up moisture from the soil and leaking drains can wash away soil and damage foundations.

Unfortunately the consequences of subsidence can be catastrophic and be with you and the property for a long time to come, so I’ve set out a few tips to spot the tell tale signs of subsidence

The most obvious identifier is cracks appearing in the walls of your home, but I live in a new-build and cracks appear at regular intervals, so cracks don’t automatically mean subsidence. As a rule, if you have a subsidence problem cracks will appear inside and outside of the home, if the crack is wider at one end and more than 5mm in width then you have a probable subsidence problem and you should contact your insurance company without delay.

Homes built on clay soil are most at risk and most of the homes built on shrinkable clay are in the south of England, though other areas of the country can be affected at times. If you are buying a house and unsure of the soil type then the surveyor or conveyancer should be able to find out about the subsidence risk, or contact your insurance broker or insurance company as they should be able to access geological or claims data.

My advice is to plant new trees at least the same distance from your house as their expected mature height, think carefully before choosing which new trees to plant. Broad leaf varieties tend to cause more damage than evergreens because of the amount of moisture they require.

Notoriously thirsty varieties include oak, elm, willow, poplar and ash. Planted too close to the house, they can drain moisture from the soil and could end up putting the foundations at risk.

If your house has suffered subsidence damage in the past then don’t despair, The Property Insurer works with leading specialist subsidence insurance providers in the UK who will do their best to provide comprehensive insurance cover at a realistic price. Visit The Property Insurer today and click on the subsidence insurance button.




Doug Phelan
The Property Insurer

I am a director of the Property Insurer and Property Landlord. We tell it how it really is. Yes property insurance can be boring , but our job is to make it more interesting, useful and above all save you money!

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