What is the cause of subsidence?

Subsidence is an issue that affects the structural integrity of a building. The key causal factor of subsidence is soil. There are a few different elements such as water, drought, trees, foundations and much more could be influencers in the behaviour of soil. Read more below about subsidence and what causes it:

Main cause

The main cause of subsidence is the movement of soil. Though, there are subfactors that affect the movement of this soil and cause subsidence in different ways. Theses subfactors could cause the soil to shrink, get washed away, dry out, soften and so much more.


Too much water can cause subsidence. The water can either wash the soil away or soften it. if the soil is washed away, the foundation will not have anything to stabilise it and therefore it will shift, crack and possibly even collapse. Soft soil will also cause subsidence as the weight of the home will compress the soil, causing the home to sink.


The opposite of too much water, a drought can also cause subsidence. Too little water will make the ground dry out. If the soil beneath your home is clay soil, it could dry out, crack and shift, causing surface instability.


Trees are also a factor in the issue of subsidence. Depending on what is happening with the tree, it could cause the ground to have too little or too much water. Having a large tree near your house that absorbs lots of water can cause the soil to dry out and cause subsidence. However, removing a tree can cause too much water in the soil as there is no longer anything to absorb it, causing the soil to soften and sink.