With the continued threat of sink holes and subsidence after heavy rainfall in the UK it becomes increasingly important for home buyers to identify these types of problems to avoid disappointment and costly repairs to their property.
Problems of this nature have been reported since the beginning of the year and looking back at historical data it is evident that cases of subsidence in the UK have increased. In 2012 7 cases of subsidence were reported, the following year in 2013 this figure increased by 10 making a total of 17 occurrences of subsidence and in 2014 there were 13 cases alone in the first two months of the year.
Search reports from Searches UK, including Homecheck Ground Stability, Envirosearch Residential and Subsidence Risk Rating for residential properties and Sitecheck Assess for commercial properties will identify various levels of subsidence risks.
The Homecheck Ground Stability report gives an opinion of the propensity for ground instability based on the surrounding geology, whilst the Subsidence Risk Rating report gives a risk rating for subsidence based on actual subsidence claims in the postcode area — low, medium, high or very high.
Sink holes, commonly referred to as subsidence, occur when a layer of rock underground is dissolved. They are common in areas underlain by chalk, limestone, gypsum and salt and can vary widely in size and depth. In some instances subsidence can originate from a ground collapse over man-made voids in the ground such as mine works. These are commonly referred to as ‘crown holes’.
Managing Director of Searches UK, Andrew Stenning commented: "Subsidence can be an extremely expensive problem to rectify, however by ordering one of our reports home buyers can identify any risk to their property and make an informed decision about whether or not to continue with the transaction to avoid any potential costly repairs. Searches UK will continue to provide informative reports to suit the needs of home buyers and there are regular enhancements to existing reports. We also work very closely with experts in the field to provide our clients with reliable and accurate information."
The most recent reports of subsidence are from Walton in Surrey when a motorist was caught in a giant sink hole in rush hour at the beginning of October. Later the same month, in North Walsham in Norfolk, a homeowner discovered large holes in his back garden due to a sewer collapse which caused the earth to subside.
Searches UK offer a comprehensive range of residential and commercial searches including Council and Regulated Local Authority searches, environmental searches, chancel checks, mining searches, flood searches and much more. In addition they offer Lawyer Checker services, AML Electronic ID Checks, case management systems and COLP and COFA reporting systems.
For further information about their subsidence reports or any of the products or services offered by Searches UK or to simply discuss how they may be able to help you with their value added products, please email them at [email protected] or visit their website at www.searchesuk.co.uk. Alternatively if you would like to place an order or open an account with them today please call 0845 241 1815 and one of their team will be more than happy to help you.