Periods of cold wet weather followed by prolonged periods of hot dry weather, which happened in 2018, can test the resilience of any structure and increase the risk of subsidence.
What is the cause of subsidence?
Subsidence claims frequently occur where the ground consists of cohesive soils such as clay or silt. Many claims relate to trees or vegetation. Tree roots absorb moisture and in a dry period this can lead to shrinkage of cohesive soils, lowering the depth of the soil up to a metre. Any buildings without suitable foundations may be damaged as a result of the shrinkage.
What are the signs of subsidence?
The signs include:
Doors or windows are sticking or will not close;
Diagonal cracks of more than 2mm to 3mm from around windows and doors or in the corner of a room.
Will it affect the value of your home?
Yes subsidence, particularly where it has not been dealt with may reduce the value of your property. There is an obligation on the seller of a property to disclose to a potential buyer if they are aware of subsidence. A potential buyer may find it difficult to obtain a mortgage where a property has subsidence.
What should you do?
If you see signs of subsidence, do not wait, since it may get significantly worse. You should inform your insurer. Your insurer should assess and monitor the movement and any damage. It should assess whether it is still active and the cause and the best way to deal with it to prevent further problems. You should be aware that many claims are rejected by the insurer. This is where we come in.
What happens if you are unhappy with your response from the insurer?
If your insurer has either rejected your claim or offered a settlement significantly below what you expected, then you should contact our subsidence solicitors. We can evaluate your claim and provide a second opinion. Our subsidence lawyers can also represent you in your dealings with the insurer and try to get the best result for you.
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