The long hot summer may have brought welcome sunshine, but an extended heatwave could bring an increased risk of subsidence. Insurers say the soil beneath some houses will shrink because of a lack of rain and increased heat, threatening their foundations. When rain does eventually return, that puts some properties, particularly those built on clay, at risk.
Signs of subsidence such as cracked walls won't actually appear for a few months, meaning the damage has been done but is currently invisible.
The AA's home insurance arm is asking homeowners to check the wording of their insurance policies to ensure they are fully covered in the event of any subsidence.
Home buyers should anticipate potential issues
That problem of a property sinking in any way also poses a risk to any potential buyers looking to purchase a home.
With around 12,000 insurance claims every year for subsidence and a warning of an increased risk because of the current dry spell, both homeowners and home buyers need to be aware of the potential problem.
While cracked walls and a slight sinking into the ground may not be a fatal problem for many affected properties, as the current Channel 5 documentary series Sinkholes reveals, the hidden dangers beneath our feet can have potentially catastrophic consequences for some homes.
The latest episode, broadcast this week on the terrestrial network, was entitled Swallowed Whole and reveals what happens when once-stable urban areas are affected by movement underground, with enormous cracks and holes appearing in city streets and swallowing up cars and buildings. You can catch up with all the episodes of Sinkholes on My5tv.
Assess the danger with Ground Stability Report
Assessing the potential risk from a sinkhole or subsidence can be done effectively using Homeward Legal's optional search via a Ground Stability Report.
The conveyancing solicitors we work with across England and Wales offer this report as a combination of the official CON29M search with data from the British Geological Survey (BGS).
When carried out, a Ground Stability Report pinpoint specific information on any potential hazards from natural subsidence. It also uses comprehensive data that identifies known and suspected risks associated with the UK's historic and current coal mining industry.
To find out how the Ground Stability Report can reveal any potential risks to your property purchase, talk to the Homeward Legal team on .