Over 60% of the houses in England are almost 50 years old and many are a lot older than that, approximately 40% of the houses in England were built before the 2nd world war.
A combination of the age of our housing stock and the unpredictable climate in recent years in the UK has only increased the importance of monitoring your property for signs of cracks and movement in order to keep your home safe and reduce the need for expensive repairs.
There are a number of things that you do and look out for around your property to catch a potential problem before it worsens –
Check for any signs of damage or cracking in your brickwork on a regular basis
Not all cracking is serious, it may be down to shrinkage and expansion over the years but it could also be related to subsidence. All signs of structural damage should be checked by a qualified structural engineer if the problem worsens or even just for peace of mind.
Keep an eye on your drains
Regular checks on your drainage system are hugely important, a regular lift of the inspection chamber to check if the drains are flowing well should be enough, if you have a chamber at the front and rear of the house flush some toilet paper and check that it gets from A to B. If you find that the drains are not flowing properly or are blocked, which may in turn lead to “wash out” of the sub-soil around the drain and your foundations, which can cause subsidence, employ the services of a drainage company to clear and then CCTV survey the drainage system. Please do be careful when lifting manhole lids, they are sometimes heavier than they look and also chambers may be very deep.
Trees and root damage
Trees can also be the cause of structural damage to your house, tree roots love drains and will wrap themselves around a pipe and breach it which will cause blockages and tree roots can also remove the moisture from the soil around your foundations and cause them to move. Think carefully before planting any trees and if you need to remove an existing tree seek information from the council about tree preservation.