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PCA publishes guide on subsidence

A new guide has been published by the Property Care Association (PCA) offering advice to individuals whose home may be suffering from subsidence.

One of the biggest headaches for individuals whose home shows the telltale signs of this issue can be the costs involved in getting it sorted, so it therefore pays to have the proper cover in place.

Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, said: “We would advise a householder to contact their household insurer if cracks develop in a property.”

Indeed, taking the time to invest in comprehensive subsidence insurance cover from GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. can make all the difference for property owners living in areas where this problem is likely to blight their home.

Caused by a range of issues – including previous mining activity in an area, homes being built on clay soils or water leaking into the ground and causing it to collapse – some of the tell-tale signs of this affliction are new or expanding cracks in plasterwork, cracks in outside brickwork, doors or windows not shutting properly and rippling wallpaper.

Often extremely costly to repair, subsidence can result in entire homes needing to be demolished. It therefore pays to plan ahead and be covered, as failing to do so can be a real problem.

“Fortunately, while there are many reasons why a building can move, modern repair technology and advances in application techniques mean that effective solutions are on hand to tackle the problem,” Mr Hodgson noted.

Foundation problems and the movement of walls are all common issues in cases where ground has softened and began to give way beneath a property.

However, underpinning the foundations by digging down to firm bedrock beneath the home is one of the best methods for addressing this problem. Ground stabilisation using a series of materials being injected into the ground around the home has also been a popular option for many in recent years.

What is important though is receiving expert advice prior to having work carried out on the extent of the problem and the likelihood of it causing further damage to the home and how much this will cost to repair.

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