Subsidence Specialists

Foundations are the most important structural element of any building. They transmit the loads from the walls, floors and roof into the ground. However, foundations transfer any ground movement back to the structure.


What exactly is subsidence?

Subsidence is the downward movement of the ground supporting the building. Particular problems arise when the movement varies from one part of the building to another, i.e. differential settlement.

Figure 1 – Kilworth, Co. Cork
Figure 2 – Kilreendowney Ave., Ballyphehane, Cork

What causes subsidence?

Subsidence can be caused by a variety of reasons. The most common is the effect of leaking drains and water supply pipes on the underlying subsoil beneath the foundation where the ‘escape of water’ washes away the fines in the soils reducing the load bearing capacity. This can cause the building to move.

This cause of subsidence is a widespread phenomenon in Cork particularly due to the nature of the soils and the underlying limestone bedrock and their reaction to the hydraulic action of water.

Subsidence can be caused by other factors such as:
removal of nearby trees particularly in clay soils,
building work in neighbouring areas where vibration levels are high,
a change in the water table,
poor design and construction of foundations,
compression of filled ground.

Figure 3 – Blackrock Rd. Cork
Figure 4 – Browningstown Park East, Douglas, Cork

Do I have subsidence?

The most obvious signs are fresh cracking in the walls of a house. But don’t get carried away – not all cracks are caused by subsidence. All houses move a little when materials react at different rates to temperature and moisture variations in the building.

Diagonal cracks appear at weak points, such as around doors and windows, both inside and outside.

Figure 5 – Highfield West, College Rd., Cork
Figure 6 – The Rise, Bishopstown, Cork

Horizontal cracks represent downward movement and are of particular concern.

Figure 7 – Post Office Lane, Blackrock, Cork

Similarly, repaired cracks reappearing represent continuous movement.

Figure 8 – Pouladuff Rd, Cork

Other signs are :-

Buckling wall paper that is not caused by dampness

Figure 9 – St. Christophers Rd., Montenotte, Cork

Doors or window sticking due to the distortion of the building

Figure 10 – Knockpogue Park, Fairhill, Cork

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