What to do about subsidence
Subsidence is a nightmare for any existing or potential property owner, often bringing with it a considerable expense to put right, as well as making specialist subsidence insurance a requirement in future.
What to do about subsidence
If your property is starting to show signs of ground movement, you may be thinking about what to do about subsidence.
Reducing the risk
When you purchased your home, you may have been advised that the property is in a high subsidence risk area. One way of reducing your headache in the future could be to take steps to prevent subsidence ever occurring. These are steps you can take now, so you don’t have to worry about what to do about subsidence in the future.
Roots can undermine the foundations of a home. This happens when roots from trees dry out the soil, particularly clay soils. The opposite can happen if you remove a tree, with a sudden abundance of moisture causing the ground to swell, so it is worth remembering that not all trees will cause structural damage, and sometimes removing them can even cause more harm than good.
It is worth getting the opinion of a tree surgeon if you have trees growing nearby to your property, as often controlling the height of them as part of regular maintenance will be enough to make sure that your property continues to be unaffected.
Broken and ruptured drains can cause water to soak into the ground, which can wash away and weaken the foundations of the property. Tree roots can worsen any damage as they are drawn to the extra moisture in the soil surrounding the drains. It is worth conducting a CCTV drains test on a regular basis, and repair any cracked or blocked areas immediately.
Choosing your property
As part of the purchase process, especially if you are buying a property with a mortgage, your conveyancing solicitor will carry out environmental searches, and a chartered surveyor will attempt to seek out any previous signs of subsidence history. This allows you to make an informed decision about whether the purchase is worthwhile, and if there are ongoing issues, will advise you on what to do about subsidence, both now and in the future.
If you are purchasing in an area that is prone to subsidence, it is worth being extra vigilent, and ensuring you have appropriate insurance cover in place.
Properties that have not suffered subsidence, but are situated in high risk areas, tend to carry higher premiums than other parts of the country. The biggest impact comes from properties that have suffered previous movement, where you tend to be restricted to a limited range of insurers, and could be subject to an increased excess for future subsidence losses.
GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Ltd. are specialists in subsidence insurance, and are very aware of these problems facing homeowners where subsidence may be an issue in their area, or even at their home itself. As specialist home insurance brokers, we have access to providers who may still be able to cover your property, even if it has suffered subsidence.
We have even published a detailed guide on the subject of subsidence and some of the ways you might tackle any difficulties in arranging suitable insurance.
Give us a call on 0800 612 9376 or click Get a Quote to complete our online form.
Need some more information?
Why not read one of our other subsidence insurance guides?
- Subsidence Insurance
- What is a Certificate of Structural Adequacy?
- Subsidence, heave, landslip or settlement?
- What causes subsidence
- Spotting the signs of subsidence
- Subsidence in mining areas
- Subsidence in London – Case Study
- What to disclose to insurers regarding subsidence?
- How insurers underwrite subsidence risks
- Subsidence insurance FAQs
- Subsidence Guide