and how to spot the warning signs of subsidence?
2018 saw a record high number of claims in subsidence between July and September. Last years record-breaking summer could be the cause of the increase in claims. According to recent data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), homeowners made claims totalling £64 million to deal with subsidence.
What is subsidence?
Subsidence is where the soil beneath a building’s foundations becomes unstable. As the ground shifts, the foundations become misaligned.
What are the causes of subsidence?
Most common are:
- Shrinking soil – this is due to water leaking into the soil and washing it away from under the foundations.
- Drought – as we saw last summer, prolonged periods of warm, dry weather can cause clay soils to shrink under foundations.
- Tree roots – is another common reason for subsidence. Tree roots will draw the moisture out of the soil and if too close to your home will cause subsidence.
What are the signs of subsidence?
There are a number of signs to look for both inside and outside of your home.
- Cracks – wider than 3mm (the width of a 10p coin) and visible on the inside and outside. They are often diagonal and wider at the top than the bottom. The may also be located close to doors and windows.
- Doors and windows sticking – doors and windows become hard to open or close.
- Rippling wallpaper – while this can be caused by damp, it can also be a sign of subsidence.
What should I do if I notice any of these signs?
Contact us immediately. Most home insurance policies cover loss or damage caused by subsidence, heave and landslip. Our claims hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to give you peace of mind. Call 0800 484 433.
What happens next?
Your Insurer will arrange for a survey to be conducted on your property that will determine the cause. Usually, the issue will be monitored over a period of time and if subsidence is found, dealt with either by removing the cause or treating it with structural support.
Looking to save on your home insurance? Why not get in contact with one of our team and see how much you could save…