How to prevent subsidence

While subsidence is not strictly evident when purchasing a house, and it can take many months or years to become obvious, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of being affected by subsidence.
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When the ground under a property moves by sinking downwards, the building foundations are put under huge stress. Issues like this often become apparent within the property as cracks appear in the walls, particularly near windows and doorways.

While subsidence is not strictly evident when purchasing a house, and it can take many months or years to become obvious, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of being affected by subsidence.

  • Remove trees and bushes planted near the house. Trees are one of the most common causes of subsidence as the roots withdraw moisture from the soil supporting the foundations.
  • If you cannot remove the trees, maintain them with regular pruning. This should curb their growth and limit their search for water close to the house.
  • Carry out regular inspections of your property, paying particular attention to pipework, gutters and drainage systems in case of leaks and/or blocks.

Homes can also be affected by subsidence because of location, such as old mining towns, and soil type in the area. Clay soils in particular are susceptible to subsidence as the soil dries and shrinks, or absorbs water and expands.

If your property has been affected by subsidence

Measures can be taken if your house has been affected by subsidence. Early detection is key to reducing the impact on any property, and if caught in time will rarely result in repair works being made to the foundations.

If you do need repairs, or you are considering purchasing a property that has been affected in the past, then you should speak to your home insurance provider. Not all providers will cover subsidence, especially if a house has been underpinned. As a specialist provider, HomeProtect can offer cover for both subsidence and underpinning insurance.


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