Signs of Subsidence or Settlement
The earlier that you address subsidence, the less costly it's likely to be. Fortunately, subsidence comes with a variety of warning signs. Some of the most common signs of subsidence or settlement under your home are cracks in the walls, sinking floors, sticking doors or windows, and cracks in concrete driveways or patios.
Sign 1: Cracks in the Wall
Cracks in the walls are one of the most obvious and common signs of subsidence. Not all cracks, however, are due to subsidence. Fine, hairline cracks are usually nothing to worry about. Subsidence cracks, on the other hand, are usually wider than 5mm. When cracks are caused by subsidence, they will normally be more diagonal and will appear suddenly in plaster work inside the building and on stucco or block outside. Subsidence cracks are often wider at the top. Learn more about how to tell if a crack is a problem here.
Sign 2: Sticking Doors and Windows
That door that keeps sticking or the window that just won’t close right could be a sign of subsidence or settlement. Often, as your home shifts due to weak foundation, the shifting can put additional pressure onto openings like windows and doors. The lack of alignment and uneven pressure can cause sticking and jams. You may also notice cracking along door frames or window frames as the subsidence gets worse.
Sign 3: Cracks in Concrete Driveways or Foundation
Many times, one of the earliest signs of subsidence you might notice will be in your driveway or patio. Cracking in concrete driveways or patios can signal a problem with subsidence or settlement. Look for raised or lowered portions of concrete to understand how big a problem might be. Pay attention to the size of cracks and cracks that increase in size over time. If you are remodeling or redoing floors, you may notice settlement signs on the concrete foundation. If you have larger, more substantial cracks, it might be time to have a consultation with a ground engineer.
Sign 4: Uneven Floors or Sinking Floors
It can be easy to spot sinking or uneven floors. Floors can drop when subsidence or settlement has affected your home. If you look at the baseboards around your home, you may notice gaps between the floor and the baseboard at the corners. You may also notice changes in your tiles such as uneven tiles or new cracks in your tile. Typically, the issue may grow or change over time. When you pay attention to the flooring issue, you’ll often notice changes over time where the situation is worsening. That’s when you need to call a subsidence contractor right away.
Sign 5: Cracking or Separating Extensions
Many times, if you have an extension or add-on to your property, it will be the first part of your home to be affected. Building extensions can help detect whether subsidence is a problem. Subsidence cracks are common at points where an extension meets the main buildings. It’s an indication the extension is pulling away from the main home. In this case, you should consult a ground engineer or ground improvement contractor to help you sooner rather than later. This issue requires a speedy intervention to prevent additional damage and cost.
What should you do if you notice signs of subsidence or settlement?
If you have any of these common signs of subsidence or settlement, you should contact a professional for an assessment of your home. The longer you put off addressing a subsidence or settlement issue, the more costly it can become. To learn more about treatment options, read about underpinning, non-disruptive technology, and our solutions. For a consultation, fill out the form below.