Property Foundation Movements Explained

Learn more about foundation movements and what this means for your London-based property.

A structural movement is defined by the property moving away from its original purpose foundations. This is a serious issue, which can be identified by one of our RICS-qualified surveyors using a Building Survey. To avoid substantial costs, it’s important that you know the signs of foundation movements, and how they will need to be addressed. If you suspect foundation movements in your London property, contact our team today to enquire about a Building Survey.

How are building foundation movements caused?

There are a variety of possibilities why a building’s foundations move, resulting in long-lasting, serious damage. This includes:


If you have trees nearby, it’s a possibility that the roots may lead to serious damage to your property’s foundations. But trees aren’t the only risk to your home. Plants such as Japanese Knotweed are also known to cause significant structural damage.


While rare, extreme damaging weather conditions, such as strong winds, floods, or heavy rain can impact a properties structure.

Poor drainage

Maintenance and upkeep of your property is essential, which is why ensuring that your roof and gutters are not blocked is vital. Poor drainage can result in leaks and therefore the drainage of water from rain/snow will be directed towards your home, rather than away.

Negligent construction

Negligent construction can apply to both cheap materials being used or poor craftsmanship. This can result in damage. For example, if the foundations of your property were not laid properly, then this will affect your property and make it more likely to move. 

Issues with soil

The Earth is always changing. As a result, your property structure may be affected. While your foundations should be laid to accommodate these changes, there are instances where this has not been done correctly. This can lead to gaps that are exposed, resulting in property movements when it gains moisture, and then dries up. 

new building in scaffolding

What are the signs of structural movements?

Luckily, there are many telling signs of structural movements that can be identified by a qualified surveyor. This can include:

Get expert help with our RICS-qualified team at Crest Chartered Surveyors

If you suspect that your property has foundation movements, it’s important to get this examined as quickly as possible by one of our RICS-qualified team members. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help.