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Subsidence/Heave - How could rainfall have an effect on my property?

Updated: Oct 30, 2023


Subsidence / Heave - How could rainfall have an effect on my property?

If you believe your property is suffering from subsidence or heave. The key thing to do is take action straight away to avoid the problem getting worse over time. With the increase in rainfall over the coming months there is a possibility for old cracks to close, get worse or new cracks to appear following the change from hot to wet weather as the clay soil pore pressure increases.


What is subsidence?

Subsidence occurs when differential movement in the ground causes movement of a buildings foundations. The damage often appears as cracks in the walls and ceilings internally and externally of a building. A common cause for ground movement is a change of pore pressure(moisture content) within a clay soil either die to evaporation or tree root extraction of the moisture.


What is Heave?


Heave is the expansion in clay soil which most commonly occurs as a result of rehydration following the removal of trees, increase in rainfall or additional moisture in the ground. This causes differential upward movement of foundations.



How does the increase in rainfall effect your property?

During the summer months we experienced hot dry weather conditions which in a number of cases resulted in a change in port pressure within clay soils that lead to building subsidence. However, as we head into the winter months we will see an increase in rainfall. As a result, there is now the possibility of ground movement due to soil swelling.

Rain falling on the road outside of a property

This increase of moisture in the ground leads to ground heave in some cases leading to the closing of previous crack damage but also creating further new damage.




How can EAP Help?


For over 30 years our highly experienced team at EAP have investigated building failure associated with subsidence and prepared the appropriate remedial design for the repairs. EAP are also F.C.A regulated and registered in the handling of insurance claims and, as a result, we are able to deal with the negotiation of any associated insurance claims on your behalf.


In the first instance, we carry out an inspection of the building, record the damage and prepare a report on the findings and potential cause. If the engineer suspects subsidence is the cause of the damage he will suggest further investigations to confirm the cause of the damage.


The investigations carried out consist where appropriate of trial pits to research the buildings foundation, boreholes to obtain details of soil at depth, laboratory testing of soil samples and monitoring of the building over a period of time.


Once the investigations have been completed and the cause of the damage has been established as subsidence, this is when we would recommend contacting your insurance company. We can deal with this on your behalf and would be able to assist with the negotiation and handling of the claim. Subsidence and heave are perils generally covered by a domestic building insurance policy. It is not uncommon for a policy excess to apply for a claim for these perils.


As well as this, EAP would be able to advise and prepare a remedial scheme to repair the damage.


If you have noticed cracking in your property don’t ignore it.


Contact us today and see how EAP can assist you!


Give us a call at out Colchester (01206 768556) or Cambridge (01223 653065) offices or email us at admin@eapcc.co.uk.

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