How, in our experience, insurance companies

deal with cracks in properties

Independent Building Surveyors

We are experienced and conversant independent building Surveyors who are knowledgeable in carrying out structural surveys on all types, styles and eras of buildings. If you have any problems in relation to structural problems, cracking, movement, subsidence, heave, etc, please call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat regarding your property issues.

Compare our website and compare our surveys

Take a look around our website to check out the quality of our website and Structural Surveys, Specific Defect Reports, Schedules of Condition and Dilapidation reports. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports, which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of property across the UK .

Our Executive Summaries make things simple

Our Good, Bad & Ugly Structural Surveys!

Furthermore we would also like to introduce to you what we call our Good, Bad and Ugly survey which is a building survey, sometimes known as a structural survey, and is something that we have developed over many years, in fact several decades. We have listened to feedback from our clients and amended and altered our surveys to make them easy to read and describe issues clearly. The key factor we believe is that our surveys are easy to understand in plain English.



Circles and ovals what do they mean in our building structural surveys?

In our building surveys and structural surveys the circles and ovals are a method that we use to highlight property problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the property problem is.

In addition to this if the survey photographs do not we believe explain the property problem enough together with our survey report we also add in one of our own survey sketches.


Plaster cracking

Why it is important to have an independent building survey?

We recommend to always have an independent building survey as this will highlight any property problems. Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any.

Bear in mind the building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.

Structural cracking

In our experience as independent Surveyors insurance companies generally do the minimum work required under the insurance policy (which makes commercial sense for them) to sort out the problem and we have found some insurance solutions to structural cracking that we would term as being short sighted. The best way to explain this is for us to give you an example that we recently came across in our role as independent Surveyors.

Wind driven rain


Trees causing structural cracks?

We have recently come across a property problem where the nearby trees have caused movement in the property and the property has been partially underpinned and there has been a no root barrier put in place, so the same problem could happen again, albeit that the underpinning foundations will get in the way. So, if we were asked to report on such a property when you are thinking of purchasing it, it's not just the fact it has been underpinned that doesn't make it a good property it's the other considerations that have to be made, such as the nearby tree. 

Tree lines

Influencing Distance Defined

This is the distance in which a tree may be able to cause damage to the subject property.

Influencing distance


Large Tree to the rear of a
commercial property


Large Tree to the front of a
residential property

The property has been underpinned so the cracking isn't a problem

If only cracking was so simple we would comment that on some properties where only partial underpinning has taken place, this adds add weight to one side of the property and therefore causes problems. We came across a beautiful old Grade I Listed property which had been underpinned on one side. This had caused further problems and further subsidence in this part of the property.

Subsidence, what is it?

Subsidence, in its simplest form, is where the ground gives way and this movement affects the structure of the property, which often results in cracking.


Concrete underpinning

Ground heave

A ground heave usually occurs in clay areas, where the pressure of the wet clay forces the ground up.



Mass concrete underpinning

We have a hands on approach to cracking in properties

This part of the article looks at the more technical side of cracking.

Below is an example of a Specific Defects Report that we carried out on a property with cracking:


We can email you examples of our structural surveys

If you require help and advice on a building insurance claim or any other structural problem or if you are interested in having a Structural Survey we can email you examples of our structural surveys please call us on free phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424.

Please contact us for help and advice on this type of building claim or insurance claim or any other structural problems on 0800 298 5424.

If you would like Dilaps Help then please visit our website.

Surveying articles

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The content of the website is for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

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