The Institute of Structural Engineers defines subsidence as ‘the downward movement of a building and
foundation caused by the loss of support of the site beneath the foundations’.
It is important to note that Subsidence is typically DOWNWARD movement, while Pyrite consists of upward heave movement.
The term itself is quite commonly known in the public domain and unfortunately the wording can be incorrectly applied to any type of cracking occurring in buildings.
The Insurance industry common policy wording describes the Subsidence occurrence as an insurable peril within typical household insurance policies.

What causes Subsidence?

• Leaking Drains
• Leaking Water Mains
• Shift of Water table – seasonal or weather influenced
• Excessive run off water due to topographical changes of ground and/or infrastructure
• Poor building design

Signs of Subsidence

Cracks in a home are a key sign of subsidence. Watch out for the following:
• New cracks more than 3mm wide appearing in the walls or ceilings of your home
• Diagonal cracks that are wider at the top than the bottom
• Cracks that are visible internally or externally and appear at weak points like doors and windows
• Rippling wallpaper
• Sticking doors and windows

How is Subsidence treated?

Subsidence Repair of damage is addressed by pressure grouting under the foundations, installing mini piles and crossbeams, or a combination of these procedures.

Where we come in

The role of subsidence engineers involves the assessment of the area and ground around your residential or commercial property. If you suspect your property is at risk of subsidence then you need to act.
Subsidence engineers:
• Assess the area for damages
• Determine the root cause of subsidence
• Recommend an action plan to tackle subsidence
• Design and implement a solution to your subsidence issue
• Monitor your property to ensure everything is in working order


What is the cost of underpinning a house?

This is impossible to quantify, as each case is different. In some cases, the initial survey will establish that the damage is NOT subsidence. Many factors will determine the cost – for instance, the size of the property, the age of the property, the level of damage, etc.

In most cases, the cost for subsidence works will be covered by home insurance, if adequate insurance is in place.

What happens? The detailed process as follows:

Initial Services:

• Client who suspects subsidence reaches out to us.
• Consulting Engineers Site Inspection and Consultation.
• Consulting Engineers Project Manage Site Investigations Company & exploratory
• Consulting Engineers liaise with client & Loss Adjuster and appointed opposing Engineers
• Production and issue of engineering report to assist and further claim
• Consulting Engineers handle claim, as appointed Project Engineers, on behalf of client

Services carried out during claim process:

• Liaise with Loss Adjuster acting on behalf of the Insurance Company
• Carry out joint visits with opposing Consultant Engineer during claim process
• Instruct and Project Management of any further specialist reports and site investigations that
are deemed necessary
• Negotiate engineering Scope of Works with opposing Consultant Engineer & Loss Adjuster
• Quantity Surveyor, appointed by Consulting Engineer, produces remedial costs as per
remedial scope

Services required during Remedial Works after claim is successfully settled

• Scope of Works, Design & Production of Drawings & Details for Construction stage
• Tendering, Select Contractors and Project Manage the Remedial works to Completion
• Certification to be issued strictly upon successful completion of works to enable release of
retention monies.


Fees are typically on an individual case by case basis.
An initial Retainer Fee will be charged, to cover initial site investigation, along with Engineers Report with Scope & Costs.
Engineers Professional Fees for Site Inspections, Project Management & Monitoring of the Works are negotiated during claim settlement as a percentage of the remedial works. This fee is payable once monies are paid to client.

What does subsidence look like?

What is Subsidence?
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