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Subsidence is an issue that affects thousands of homes each year. Some telltale signs might be very subtle, such as hairline cracks in external mortar and brickwork. Others might be extreme, such as the house tilting to one side or even splitting down the middle!
As you can appreciate, subsidence can be a significant issue to tackle – even if any visible damage to the property is minimal.
You’re likely reading this article because you own a house and don’t want it to suffer from subsidence. Take a look at the following tips and suggestions to help you prevent subsidence in your home:
Remove Trees Planted Near Your House
The first thing you should do is remove any trees planted right next to your house. Why should you do that, you might ask yourself? The answer is simple: trees remove moisture from the soil surrounding your foundations, potentially leading to subsidence.
Trees are the leading cause of subsidence, and some types of trees are worse than others from a subsidence perspective. If you don’t want to remove trees surrounding your home, consider pruning their height to limit the moisture extracted from the soil by the roots.
Reinforce Your Foundations With Concrete
In some cases, it makes sense to reinforce the foundations of a house, typically through a process known as underpinning. Any reputable residential concrete installer can help with that, although it makes sense to work with an underpinning expert to determine where and how to reinforce your home’s foundations.
Some homes may have damaged foundations due to movement underground if they were built on top of old mines, for instance.
Keep All Gutters Clear
It’s not just a lack of moisture in the soil surrounding a home’s foundations that can result in subsidence. Did you know something as simple as a constantly overflowing gutter can cause the same damage if the water is allowed to saturate the soil around the foundations?
Overflowing gutters typically get caused by a build-up of dirt, leaves, and even soil, so it’s worth checking them periodically and ensuring they are clean and clear, with all water draining correctly.
Repair Damaged Drainage Systems
It’s easy to assume that household drainage systems, such as those that carry away rainwater and wastewater from inside a home, are maintenance-free.
To an extent, they are maintenance-free. However, there are times where they might end up blocked for various reasons.
If any of your drainage systems aren’t sufficiently draining away all wastewater, have a professional clear any blockages and make any necessary repairs.
Carry Out Annual Checks
One final thing to do is conduct some annual checks around the exterior of your home. Some of the things you should check or have checked include:
- Drainage systems;
- Height of trees and their proximity to your home;
- Cracks in concrete or asphalt driveways and paths;
- External water pipes and faucets.
In essence, you are checking for anything that could cause excessive amounts of water to seep into the soil under your home, or in the case of trees, anything that could extract a lot of water from the soil.