Structural report on subsidence?


Subsidence is a very emotive word when it comes to buildings, often associated with enormous cracks in the walls or sloping floors. 

It is usually, though, a good deal less dramatic than this.

Subsidence refers to movement of the foundations of a property, and it is also known as settlement.  Whilst it can cause alarm, some movement of the foundations of a building is not always a great concern.  The foundations of all buildings move somewhat due to the weight of the building or changes in local conditions, but the amount of this movement can be more than is acceptable.

Signs of movement in a house are often attributed to subsidence in a homebuyers report or survey by a surveyor, but it may be nothing of the sort.  Understandably, surveyors or home owners are naturally concerned by cracking and would prefer to err on the cautious side and warn the cracking may be due to subsidence.  Their report will suggest an assessment by a structural engineer, which is how Structures-Made-Easy can help.

Our role would firstly be to determine whether the cracking is indeed due to structural movement as there a numerous causes of cracking in buildings.  If it is structural movement then we would next establish whether the movement has occurred due to deflection of the beams, walls or floors above ground.  This can be the cause of cracking where a beam or floor, perhaps around a staircase, has sagged more than expected and caused cracking in the ceiling or over-lying walls.  If there are no signs of movement isolated above ground then we would consider circumstances that might have caused foundations to settle more in recent times.  Such causes might include a new extension, a dry summer or new trees close to the property.

For each case, we would describe what has happened and why it has happened, describing its severity and whether it is historic or ongoing.  We would then give a series of options for remedial works to correct the cause and the symptoms.

If you would like to discuss further please feel free to contact us using our email or call us on 0207 965 7376  

Case studies

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Acton 02 Ealing West London W3

Domestic conversion and extension.

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Chiswick 01 Hounslow West London W3

Domestic conversion, extension and loft conversion.

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Acton 01 Ealing West London W3

Domestic refurbishment and extension with internal alterations including Chimney removal

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Brent 01 London NW10

Domestic ground floor side extension to outrigger of a terrace house.


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