If there is one word designed to strike terror in the heart of man, it begins with S. Subsidence is no laughing matter for those whose homes are affected by it. In the worst case, it can be an unstoppable process that will lead to the ultimate demise of the building. The good news is that it most houses never reach that stage. Though you can expect some movement over a hundred years, the experts can deal with most issues.
But why do houses move in the first place? It is usually because of some external factor that affects the integrity of the foundations. The causes can be hard to track down, so if you detect the early signs of subsidence, ask a foundation repair expert for their professional opinion.
Let’s take a look at some cause of which you might be unaware. Now, I don’t want you to have sleepless nights after reading this; it is unlikely to happen to your home.
Sinkholes develop when underground rivers and streams carve caverns through soft rock. Eventually, those caverns might collapse, and the ground above will fall into them. The devastation can occur in only a few hours, but that is rare. You often see the warning signs months in advance as a house starts to come apart. There are plenty of videos online of houses as they eventually drop into the hole. When the process begins, there is little you can do to prevent the ultimate collapse of the building.
Prolonged Dry Spells
If your house sits on clay and there is a period of drought, the ground may dry out and lose its integrity. The house might start to drop at one end. You might need to call the professionals to underpin that area of the building, but it is rarely terminal.
There might be one or more large trees in your perfect garden. The roots will not usually damage the foundation, but they will suck the moisture out of the ground. That could lead to the problem we addressed in the last paragraph. Trees look beautiful, and they may have been there for hundreds of years. Dealing with preservation orders can be a tricky business, so prepare for a lot of heartache and frustration, as you navigate the red tape.
If the water supply pipe ruptures, the leak could wash away the ground below the foundation over a long period. The house could drop into the void that it creates.
The experts will determine the cause of the problem and address it. That could mean fixing pipes, removing trees, and repairing the foundation. You will find that your insurance will probably cover the cost of the work if you use an accredited contractor. They will probably oversee the project for you and guarantee the work for an extended period.
It is unlikely that your property will suffer a complete collapse, but it is one good reason we should all keep them insured. Most people invest everything they have in their homes, but sinkholes how no mercy. Check the dates on your documents; just in case.