Only Chartered Building Surveyors as opposed to other types of Chartered Surveyors are generally considered competent to undertake structural surveys or reports associated with buildings. These may be :
- Cracks or movement in walls
- Deflection or deformation of roofs or floors
- Subsidence issues
It is normal that a site inspection to review such defects will take between 1 and 2 hours on site, and normally would not involve any destructive or intrusive investigations unless these are required to be undertaken to provide sufficient information or knowledge to conclude the issue.
A report, either as a letter or more detailed report will be provided to the Client which should address the issues for which the structural inspection has been undertaken. It may also present remedial actions, costs or further investigations which are required rectify the structural issue.
We carry out structural surveys / structural reports within Dorset and Hampshire.
Subsidence occurs when the ground underneath your house sinks. As the ground moves lower the foundations of your house can become misaligned. It is particularly problematic when the ground under your property is sinking at different rates.
Subsidence is not the same as heave, which is where parts of the ground under your home shift upwards pushing the foundations higher. It is also different to landslip or landslide where the ground your home was built on moves down a slope or is washed away.
It is also worth noting the difference between subsidence and settlement. According to the Financial Ombudsman Service, subsidence is caused by the ‘downward movement of the site on which a building stands – where the soil beneath the building’s foundations is unstable’. Whereas settlement is “downward movement as a result of the soil being compressed by the weight of the building within ten years of construction”. It is important to know the difference as most insurers don’t cover settlement.