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Subsidence View - October 2016

Subsidence View: October 2016


Fresh crack damage to properties caused by clay shrinkage subsidence has occurred, with an uplift of claims received by insurers during September. What has caused this peak and is there more to come?


The fantastic hot/dry summer weather experienced in July and August continued well into September, with more heatwave conditions early in the month.  Rainfall was 75% of average in the clay soil areas of south east England. Some areas did experience flash flooding during storms around the 15th  September - although this largely "ran off" and probably didn't change the subsidence picture significantly.
As a result, the MORECS measure of Soil Moisture Deficit continued to increase to week 40, as the trees enter their "last lap" for moisture extraction for 2016.
As reported in the last edition, there will not be a "subsidence surge" in 2016. However, we have confirmed reports of fresh crack damage to properties due to clay shrinkage subsidence caused by the water demands of nearby trees, resulting in an uplift of claims during September of 20-25% versus normal monthly volumes for some insurers.
Looking back at historic weather records, 2016 continues to most closely match the conditions in 2009. Our usual weather experts think the settled conditions will continue well into autumn:
MetOffice - This period will probably start with settled weather but there will be a trend towards more changeable weather into late October and early November across most parts.
The Weather Network - The TWO monthly forecast suggests October will be slightly warmer than normal with below average rainfall in the south but close to average levels in the north.
Based on the forecasts for drier than average weather, we expect claim volumes to continue to increase to a peak during October.
Building Validation Solutions currently have additional subsidence claim handling capacity, so please contact Giles Carter on to discuss how we could help your customers if their property is affected.