A subsidence will occur when the soil beneath your property sinks or moves, making the foundations of your house to move as well. Subsidence can be caused by a variety of factors, including soils, especially clay soils that dry up and shrink, trees that take up moisture from the soil through the roots, and water damage caused by leaks such as burst pipes, which can wash away some of the soil from under your house. A subsidence is risky and for this reason, it is very important to know some of the tell-tale signs that your house is a victim. There are various solutions to a subsidence but one of the most effective is underpinning, which usually involves excavating sections or the whole of your foundation to a certain depth and refilling with concrete. Here are some signs that your house is a perfect candidate for underpinning.
Cracks are one of the most obvious signs that your house is suffering a subsidence. Therefore, inspect for cracks around the base of your house, your walls, floors, and at points where an extension joins your house. However, while checking for checks, keep in mind that not all cracks are signs of a subsidence. Some cracks, especially those on newer structures, may be a result of the building settling under its weight. In addition, you don't have to worry about small cracks in your plastered walls.
Therefore, be very keen on small cracks running diagonally that appear suddenly in your plaster, around your doors and windows, and on your exterior brickwork. In most cases, cracks that indicate the possibility of a subsidence are usually thicker and wider at the top.
Distortions are another sign that your house has undergone a subsidence. One of the major components of distortion are doors and windows that won't shut evenly. Therefore, if you experience such, there may soon be the need for underpinning. Apart from the uneven shutting, the doors or windows may appear unusually slanted in position.
If you notice that your floors have started appearing uneven to the eye, a subsidence might have occurred in your property. The simplest way to find out whether the floor is uneven is to roll a marble across the floor and see what happens.
Other Possible Signs
Other signs of a subsidence include warping of frames and crinkling of wallpaper at the spots where your ceiling joins the walls. The skirting may start popping off as well. In addition, your windows, doors to rooms, and built-in cabinets may start sticking for no apparent reason.