Subsidence is caused when the ground beneath your property’s foundations moves, and the foundations move with it, causing parts of the property to sink and creating cracks in the structure. The main symptoms of subsidence are cracks, largely around windows, doors and other weak points in the structure, usually diagonal and wider at the top than at the bottom.
While not all cracks are caused by subsidence, if you do see cracks like this it is wise to get them checked out quickly because subsidence can be a nightmare for a homeowner; it can make it difficult to get buildings insurance, and it can require expensive corrective treatment such as underpinning.
One of the most common causes of subsidence is leaking drains. Because they are designed to take water into the ground beneath your property, any leak in your drainage pipes can send water into exactly the areas you don’t want it to be; right beneath your house. The water then acts on the soil, washing it away or softening and weakening it, causing movement in the foundations above. This is particularly a problem in areas with sandy soil, because it is more prone to being washed away or weakened by water than clay soil, for example.
Because such movement is uneven, you then have one part of your property sinking down and away from another, which causes the distinctive subsidence cracks.
If subsidence is identified in your property, then it is important to get a proper drain survey conducted – taking particular care to check even the most inaccessible pipes. If leaking drains are the cause of your subsidence, then you’ll need to have proper repairs made to the pipes before you can take any action on the damage in the property itself – otherwise it will simply reoccur.
It is also important to monitor your drains for further problems after the repairs have been made, to ensure that it has been successful and that the problem has been resolved.
Here at Inspect-A-Drain, we’re not just experts on blocked drains in Derby – we can also conduct full drain surveys and drainage repairs, so if your subsidence is caused by your drains we can find the problem and offer a solution. For more information, contact us on 0800 195 8670.