Do you have or suspect you have cracked brickwork subsidence? Subsidence is so common in the UK, it can be seen in most areas if you know what to look for. Small or large cracks on interior walls or exterior walls or both anywhere on a property will often point to subsidence. Subsidence is where a foundation, or indeed the ground beneath the foundation on a property sinks. It often happens as a result of weather conditions and the fluctuations of temperature that in turn has an effect on soil types.
Across London and Greater London, much of the soil is clay or contains clay. Clay is a tricky soild to build in not just because it sticks to everything when wet, it also hardens in moderate heat. If we were to experience a wet winter followed by a hot summer and another wet winter, the chances of subsidence are quite high. The ground underneath your property moves more than the foundations do, and if this ground shifts unevenly you will end up with cracked brickwork subsidence.
There is not much you can do to stop subsidence from happening except plan for it with your qualified structural engineer and either sink piles really deep and build the foundation to include piles, or just build on a really deep foundation. The goal is to create as much rigidity throughout the lower load-bearing levels as possible – in this way the chanced of cracked brickwork subsidence is greatly lessened. The repair solution is to underpin the existing foundation by propping up the foundation and digging underneath it, creating a form which has concrete poured into it. This may or may not include reinforcing as the structural engineer will suggest. Once the concrete has hardened, the propping and shoring is removed and the house or structure is stable and completely safe again.