When you’re viewing a property, it’s easy to get swept up in all the excitement and emotion, especially if you’ve found what seems to be your dream home. However, you need to make sure you keep your feet firmly on the ground and look out for any potential problems with the property.
Something that can pose a significant issue for a house is subsidence. This is when the ground below the property sinks, due to issues such as unstable soils, tree roots or even old mines. Subsidence can cause major structural damage to a building.
Further down the line of purchasing a property, you will of course get a survey, which will pick up for definite if a house is suffering from subsidence. However, there are some tell-tale signs of subsidence that you may be able to pick up upon first viewing a property. Noticing this early on will put you in the best position to anticipate any problems further down the line.
Here’s what you should look out for:
Cracks in the walls
Not every crack appearing on a wall is a sign of subsidence, but sinking ground can cause significant cracks. If a crack you see is over 3mm wide, diagonal, larger at the top, and visible both internally and externally, then there is a high chance it could be caused by subsidence.
2. Doors and windows sticking
Again, there could be other reasons behind a window or door sticking, but it could also be that the property is sinking into the ground due to subsidence.
3. Floors dropping
Look out for dropped floors in the property – you’ll be able to identify this if there is a gap between the bottom of the wall and the surface of the floor.
4. Walls leaning
Leaning walls, either visible from the inside or outside of the property, could be a sign of subsidence. If the whole property is leaning, there is likely to be a subsidence problem.
5. An extension moving away from the main property
If the building has an extension, this can be one of the first places where you can observe subsidence. Often, a gap begins to form at the point where the extension and the main property meet.
Keep a look out for the above signs of subsidence when viewing a property so that you can identify any issues early on.
If your dream property does have subsidence, it doesn’t necessarily mean disaster. There are now modern methods for treating subsidence that are extremely quick and effective. For example, Geobear uses a state-of-the-art geopolymer injection method to rectify subsidence without the need to excavate below the property. A special resin is injected below the ground, which expands to lift the property and then hardens.
For more information on subsidence and different treatment methods, visit https://www.geobear.co.uk/.