Possible subsidence or lintel failure?

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We moved into this 1939 house 3 years ago, it’s in an area with trees and hedges at the back of the property the garden is also on a slope and there are drains on the gable end, at the affected side.

When we purchased it had been rented out for approx 15 years and nothing alarming came back on the homebuyers survey although it later became apparent that the landlord had done a good job of filing cracks etc in order to sell.

Concerned that the cracks that developed could be subsidence and not sure of exactly how to approach it.

Ideally don’t really want to involve insurance unless it is subsidence and we really have to as we’ve been told that it would seriously affect the chances of selling even if the problem was rectified.

There’s a crack on the inside of the kitchen window and stepped cracking both above and below in the brickwork outside. What’s more the kitchen window seems to be coming away slightly.

And on the same wall there’s a crack going up the stairwell.

Any advice would be massively appreciated

Thanks
 

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Not lintel failure.

Foundation movement is the same cracks in the same place inside and out.
In the absence of that, it's more likely thermal movement ie shrinkage.

Monitor that crack under the window externally until November, if it widens significantly consult a structural engineer.

If not you can probably repair with some crack sticking bars externally and mesh in the plaster internally.
 
Thanks both for your help, really appreciate it. either way It looks like a case of getting an engineer out. Any idea what we should expect to pay for it to be assessed?
 
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Any idea what we should expect to pay for it to be assessed?

No idea, but they'll want a pit dug round the drain to conduct any meaningful investigation so why not get a shovel and have a dig at the weekend. Hopefully! you'll find broken drains, damaged joints etc and voids and mushy soil.
 
OP - Don't get a builder to look at it as they are not qualified to diagnose the problem or recommend for a repair. You do need a profesdsional opinion from a structural engineer or building surveyor who's qualified.
 
If you instruct an engineer, it will be between £300 and £600 depending on where you are.

A drain CCTV survey will most likely be required, so the cost of that.

A ground core survey or trial put may or may not be required, and a few hundred pounds for that.

And there may be ongoing monitoring recommend before a repair is devised.

That's why best to wait.
 
No idea, but they'll want a pit dug round the drain to conduct any meaningful investigation so why not get a shovel and have a dig at the weekend. Hopefully! you'll find broken drains, damaged joints etc and voids and mushy soil.

Thanks I’m planning to do this within the next few weeks. I’ll only be able to dig so far as I’ve got freestanding motorbike garage in the passageway so expect that will need to be taken down and I’ll have to rehouse my bike somewhere before any real work starts
 
I’ve seen alot of articles and videos suggesting the brick stitching kit is the answer? Would you agree?
 
As long as the cause has been correctly diagnosed, and if need be dealt with, then yes stitching can help control any minor future movement.
 
I paid 500 quid for an Engineer to look at a similar issue. Like Woody said, most qotes were around that mark. You want an engineer, not a surveyor, and it's not always made clear.
 
Last edited:
Thanks for all the replies, just a quick update I’ve had a cctv drain survey done for £150 and they’ve located the problem which was the damaged drain below the cracked brickwork and given an estimate of approx £1700 to line the drains which seems reasonable enough to me.

At this point is it just a case of repair the drain and make good the brickwork and pointing?
 
Sorry, should have been clearer, I meant once that’s been repaired. There should be no need for any further survey etc

So we would just repair the cracked brickwork and internal plaster. Thanks again
 
Update for anyone dealing with the same issue. Had a cctv drain survey done and proceeded with the repairs including the resin pipe repair costing £1860 in total.

Once they dug it up and had a look there was also a tiny water leak which had being left unattended for years. All fixed now so just need to make the plaster and brickwork good again.
 

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