You may be buying a house, and you’ve just received your home buyer’s report. Or maybe you’ve been living in your property for some time, and cracks have begun to appear in the walls. Either way, it’s always worrying when you find out that your house is suffering from subsidence.
What is Subsidence?
Subsidence is caused by movement in the ground beneath the foundations of your property. It means that part of the property is sinking. The main symptom of subsidence is finding cracks, usually around doors, windows, and other weak points.
However, not all cracks in your home will be caused by subsidence, so don’t panic if you find one. Get any cracks looked at by a professional, who will be able to advise you on the cause.
Subsidence can be expensive. Corrective treatments, such as underpinning, don’t come cheap, and it could make it difficult to get home insurance.
Leaking Drains Causing Subsidence
Whilst many factors can contribute to subsidence, leaking drains and pipes are the second highest cause. In fact, drains account for about 15-20% of all instances of subsidence.
Drains are designed to divert water away from your property. Therefore, any leaks in your drainage pipes will cause water to pool in other areas, for example, underneath your home.
The water can erode the soil under your home, or soften and weaken it, causing movement in the foundations of your property. Sand-based soil will suffer the most, as it is more vulnerable to water than other soils, such as clay.
How Does Subsidence Cause Cracks in Property?
When subsidence occurs, the movement in the property is uneven. One part of your property will be sinking away from the rest, which is what causes the cracks to appear
What Should I Do About Subsidence?
Once you’ve had a professional diagnose subsidence in your property, the first thing you should do is get a CCTV drain survey conducted.
A CCTV drain survey will check every pipe, even the ones that may seem inaccessible. If the drain survey finds that your drains are leaking, then you’ll need to have the pipes repaired before taking any action on the damage to the property itself. Otherwise, the subsidence cracks are likely to reoccur.
At SM Drains, we carry out full CCTV drain inspections, surveys and drain repairs. We can usually carry out drain repairs with no-dig technology, meaning that excavation is not usually necessary.
If your home is subject to subsidence, get in touch today to arrange a CCTV drain survey. Call us on 07751 139514 or send us a message through the website.