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Subsidence occurs when the ground under your home sinks lower, taking some of your foundations with it. Cracks appear in your building as one side moves away from the rest of the structure. Subsidence is usually covered by home insurance, but many insurers do not want to cover properties that have previously suffered from subsidence in the past. PolicyCastle’s panel of insurers wants to protect specialist risks, and can cover homes that have had subsidence.
It is important that you provide the right details about your property so that we can help you find the right cover.
Signs of Subsidence
Not all cracks are caused by subsidence, they may be caused by temperature changes causing walls to shrink or expand, and in new homes the structure may take a while to settle. Signs that cracks may be caused by subsidence include:
Cracks more than 3mm
Cracks that are diagonal, and wider at the top than the bottom
Cracks that are visible on the plaster inside and the brickwork outside
Cracks near doors or windows
Cracks where an extension joins the house
Other signs that subsidence may be occurring are wallpaper crinkling and doors and windows sticking
If you think your home is subsiding, don’t ignore the problem. Contact your insurer and they will arrange for a survey. The problem may be monitored to try to find out the cause and how fast it is happening. Usually the cause of the problem will be found and removed; some situations will require foundations to be strengthened.
How to deal with subsidence
The solution to subsidence depends on what is causing it. There are a number of potential causes:
Hot temperatures and / or drought causing soil to dry out and shift
Roots of trees and shrubs extending under your property as they search for water
Shallow foundations under older homes
Leaking drains and water mains washing soil away
Local mining, or instability in nearby former mining or quarry sites.
You can’t prevent hot temperatures or drought, but you can avoid planting trees and shrubs too close to your building. If trees and shrubs are already planted close to your home, then it may be worthwhile pruning them to reduce the amount of water they require. A tree surgeon would be able to help you.
Maintain your drains and pipes to avoid leaks that might wash away soil.
Want to learn more?
If you would like further information regarding the PolicyCastle subsidence home insurance, please fill in your details below and a member of our team will be in contact.
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Looking to do some improvements or renovations to your property? Whether the works require you to vacate your property or not, always advise your insurer prior to the works beginning. Be prepared to have a Schedule of Works to hand, showing full details of the works to be carried out.