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Homeowners warned not to panic over subsidence

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The Association of British Insurers have urged homeowners not to panic about subsidence affecting their home.

Most of the UK is now officially in drought, with many worrying about the damage it could cause to their homes. Subsidence is a downward movement of the ground supporting a building caused by changing moisture levels, usually when soil dries out or water levels drop. The affects of subsidence in a home can cause walls, ceilings and floors to crack resulting in an expensive bill.

The causes of subsidence could be a tree as they remove moisture from the ground. If they are too close to a building or too big. Another cause is the escape of water from homes that have faulty drains.

The ABI have warned homeowners to look for signs within their homes for potential subsidence and to contact insurance providers as soon as possible if there are any signs of it. Claims for subsidence damage can be expensive but are usually covered by home insurance policies.

Minor cracking can be solved with routine maintenance and decoration however cracks wider than 5mm are usually the sign of subsidence and need to be looked at immediately to prevent any further damage.

Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance at the ABI commented:  “There are steps homeowners can take during drought conditions to avoid potential subsidence damage. Regular maintenance of the home and outbuildings is key to preventing any damage and detecting signs, such as cracks, early on.  

“Many minor wall cracks may not be caused by subsidence and can be dealt with by routine decoration. Insurers will be able to make a correct assessment of suspected subsidence and homeowners can also seek specialist advice on trees near to the home.”

Check out our recent how to guide on how to fill cracks and chips in your walls

and how to save water.


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By Amanda Bainbridge