What is the procedure for dealing with a subsidence

Having cracking appear or worsen in your home or property can be a cause of concern and home owners or landlords will often look to their building insurance to cover the costs of repairing the cracks and addressing their cause.

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Having cracking appear or worsen in your home or property can be a cause of concern and home owners or landlords will often look to their building insurance to cover the costs of repairing the cracks and addressing their cause.

The first step in this process is usually when you have notified your insurer of the cracking.  Your insurer’s first step will be to determine if the cracking is covered by their policy and further investigations at your home or property are required to do this.  This is done by an inspection and report being carried out by a representative of the insurance company.  They will make a preliminary assessment and if they suspect the cracking may be due to structural movement then they will recommend a structural engineer investigates the cracking.

As structural engineers, Structures-Made-Easy will then carry out their own inspection and report on your property.  As specialists in structures, we can give definitive guidance, whilst the insurer representative will only have a very limited understanding of the situation.  The report prepared by Structure-Made-Easy will define whether the cracking is due to structural movement, whether from the foundations or the superstructure of the property.  

It may not be possible for the structural engineer to give definitive advice based on the information available at the time of their visit.  Possibly a key structural element was concealed or ground conditions could not be confirmed.  If these situations Structures-Made-Easy will recommend any further testing or investigation that might be required.  With this new information, we would then complete our report including defining whether or not the cracking is due to structural movement.

If the cause of the cracking is structural movement, then the insurance company will go onto the next step, which is usually to monitoring of the crack.  This monitoring is measuring how the width and length of the crack changes over a period of time, usually around a year.  This helps the structural engineer and the insurers understand more about the cause of the cracking and its ongoing influence on your property.

Once the inspection and monitoring have confirmed the cause of the cracking then a proposal will be developed on how best the cracks can be repaired and how their cause can be addressed.  This will initially be carried out by the insurance company, often using their own structural engineers.  Their proposals should be reviewed by an independent engineer such as Structures-Made-Easy to ensure their suggestions are the best for you and your property.

Once agreement is reached on the nature and timing of any repairs and remedial works then works can begin on site.

If you would like to discuss further please feel free to contact us using our email support@structures-made-easy.co.uk or call us on 0207 965 7376

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