One of our key areas of work lies in repair issues as a result of subsidence and movement. Subsidence occurs when the ground underneath your home sinks and causes the building foundations to move downwards. We provide premium underpinning and crack stitching as a result of various signs of subsidence, such as cracks in the walls, ceilings, outside brickwork and more. Whatever the issue, we’re on hand to solidify your properties foundations for years ahead.
CAUSES OF SUBSIDENCE
Ground movement types come in four forms: heave, landslip, settlement and subsidence. Subsidence in particular has a number of causes, some of which being:
- Broken drains
- Root damage
- Expansion of pre-existing cracks
- Excessive amount of soil in drains
- Insufficient depth of existing foundations
- Dry conditions causing ground movement
- Extension overload with weak foundations
If you have plans to add a new story or extension to your home, it is absolutely essential to underpin the foundations to support the extra weight. Subsidence cases can be extremely complex, requiring expert help, evidence and data to fully analyse the process and plan the best course of action for your property.
The UK is especially prone to homes facing subsidence and movement, which is characterised by variable rainfall, hot and extremely cold weather – with 1 in 50 London homes being subject to the issue. To avoid further damage or complete collapse, you must consult subsidence professionals to do the job for you.
HOW CAN SUBSIDENCE BE TREATED?
Subsidence can be managed by underpinning – a highly specialised method which strengthens below ground level to solidify foundations of a building. Underpinning can be performed on current or previously existing subsidence in order to prevent further movement. Although it can be a lengthy and costly process, it will secure the building in position by digging holes beneath the existing foundations and filling them with concrete. The treatment lasts for generations and locks everything into place.
Resin ground stabilisation can also be used to treat building movement. Soil injection is a method used to solidify existing soil beneath your home, through a combination of silicate, polyurethane, and special binders which are injected into the substrate. Their high-strength properties provide super strong and reliable stability for properties of all types.
Crack stitching is another great option for cracks as a result of subsidence exceeding 3mm. The process involves the use of a large grout gun which is placed carefully in between the gaps of a wall, followed by stitching rods and cement work to fully seal and finalise the treatment. This will help strengthen the wall, prevent further movement or sinkage, and protect against penetrating damp.
WHAT PROPERTIES ARE MOST AT RISK OF SUBSIDENCE?
There are numerous factors which impact what types of properties are affected by subsidence. Some examples being:
- Trees: drains moisture from the soil beneath your home
- Property aging: period properties with shallow and insufficient foundations
- Dry climate: hot climates drying up the soil
- Leaks: causing washaway and sinkage of soil
If your home is subject to any of the subsidence causes listed above, you should carefully analyse the interior and exterior of your home, consult a surveyor, or if your home has an abundance of trees and forestry, contact a tree surgeon. A complete list of our services can be found here.
YOU CAN COUNT ON US TO DO THE GROUNDWORK
We’re committed to providing the best possible service for our customers to protect themselves and their homes. For those who work in property, it’s important to note that subsidence can often be a reason not to buy or to walk away from a deal. Avoid any future complications of the sale of your home and contact professional building inspectors to assess the damage with specialised skills and machinery. It’s a choice you’ll thank yourself for later down the line, and we’re here to get you there.