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Identifying subsidence

Common signs of subsidence include:

Internal cracked walls

Wall cracks are common in homes and are often the first sign of foundation subsidence. They appear like steps in the brickwork/blocks or tiles and typically follow mortar or grout lines. The mortar and masonry deteriorate over time due to the movement of the affected wall.

Sinking floors

A concrete floor slab within a home can sink due to weak ground or subsidence. A building can sink at various localised points or spread across the entire footprint of the house foundation.

Jammed doors

Doors that don’t open smoothly, have uneven gaps or rub against frames are often a first indication of foundation damage.

Exterior cracked walls

Step wall cracks are common in homes and are often the first sign of foundation subsidence. Wall cracks are usually of concern when one side of the wall is higher than the other, or cracks are wider than about 5mm.

Sinking & uneven concrete slabs

Sinking and uneven concrete driveways or path slabs can indicate unstable ground due to voids beneath the surface. If there is noticeable soil building up around slab joints, the concrete slab can start to crack around the edges as weight is exerted where there is no ground support.

Articulation joints

Usually visible in building extensions where two walls join and in modern buildings at the sides of large windows and door openings. The gap is often wider at the top of the joint, exposing the lining.


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