Frequently Asked Questions

Subsidence Frequently Asked Questions

My house is only one year old?

Don’t panic. Cracks are not uncommon in new properties and newly built extensions. They are likely to be the result of the building settling under its own weight. These settlement cracks are usually nothing to worry about, nor are fine cracks that often appear in newly plastered walls as they dry out.

These cracks can normally be made good after the initial period of settlement has been completed. This may take up to 2 – 3 years and are normally addressed by a competent painter decorator.

Is my home in danger?

Damage caused by subsidence will rarely cause a building to become unstable over a short period of time.

As a general guide, the crack width needs to be about 15mm or more to warrant a severe damage classification.

Even with such movement, the building may not be unstable. Demolition is always the last resort.

Remember that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is still standing after over 600 years!!!!

What should I do?

Simple. Contact this office for a site meeting to investigate the matter further.

An initial assessment is free of charge.

What investigations are required?

As leaking drains are normally the cause of subsidence, the first step is for a Substruck technician to visit your home to determine the nature and condition of the drainage. This is completed by performing a hydrostatic drain test or CCTV survey on the system.

Next, a consulting engineer or insurance assessor is employed to process the claim on your behalf.

Usually, it is necessary to excavate one or two small trial pits around your house to establish the foundation and subsoil characteristics. The insurance may also require us to carefully open up around a section of drain to prove that it is leaking.

How long will it take to resolve the claim?

This is a very difficult question to answer. For example, the flooding and freezing during the winter of 2009/2010 has resulted in a large number of claims that need immediate attention and therefore have taken precedence over a lot of ‘escape of water’ claims.

However, normally, from inception date, work commences within 6 – 9 months.

How long will it take to complete the works?

A good indication is about three weeks for a standard semi-detached dwelling.

Will I need to move out of my home?

This depends on the nature and extent of the works required to address the problem or indeed your own personal circumstances, but it is quite rare that you will need to move out.

I hope to sell my home soon?

If your property has subsidence problems, you may find you’ll have great difficulty in selling it. Subsidence will devalue your home and many Mortgage Lenders won’t be happy to finance a property that has subsidence damage until all subsidence issues are resolved. Building surveyors and consulting engineers also find difficulty in certifying a building that has any signs of movement.

What is a loss adjuster?

A loss adjuster is an independent professional appointed by the insurance firm to negotiate the settlement within the constraints of your policy schedule. Thornton Group is one of the largest loss adjusting firms in Ireland and have an office in Dundanion, Cork.

What is a loss assessor?

A loss assessor is an independent professional appointed to represent the policy holder in the claim. Substruck work on a regular basis with Wallis Claims Management and Insurance Claims Management.

What is a policy excess?

A policy excess is simply the amount you have to pay when you make a claim, usually about €250.00. This is normally deleted automatically from the settlement. The policy excess is dependent on the type of insurance and the insurer. Ensure that you know the excess on your policy as some insurance companies are applying excesses of €10000.00. However, if this is already the case, contact this office for a professional review of your policy schedule.

For more information contact us today.

Our main services are:

Foundation Repair

Foundation Repair
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Drain Services

Drain Services
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Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting
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Kieran Curtin

"'Who would have thought that dealing with subsidence in one's home could bring such a positive experience"

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Brookpark House, Unit 3
Euro Innovation Park
Little Island
Cork, Ireland

Tel. : 021 435 1234
Fax : 021 435 1235