Foundation problems due to drought: 1 million Dutch homes at risk of subsidence
At least 1 million homes in the Netherlands are at risk of subsidence, according to the knowledge center for dealing with foundation problems KCAF. The number of foundation problems increased considerably because of the extremely low groundwater that resulted from the dry summer last year, the center explained to television program De Monitor.
At least 83 Dutch municipalities are facing these problems, according to the KCAF. Subsidence is when the ground under a home collapses or sinks, taking some of the building's foundations with it. The organization is receiving new reports of subsidence every day, usually from residents whose homes are based on steel, directly on the subsoil.
Only around 10 municipalities are actively involved in dealing with the foundation problems. In these municipalities people are supported and possibly helped with the funding of the foundation repairs. But in the end, homeowners themselves are responsible for the foundation of their homes, the repair of which can cost up to 100 thousand euros. The foundation problems mainly occur in homes that were built before 1970, the KCAF said.
According to Hans van der Ploeg, director of VBO Makelaar, homeowners are facing real problems. "Because there is insufficient data from foundations and this is a new problem in many areas, brokers, appraisers and architectural inspectors can not properly perform their signaling function and refer them to a foundation specialist." He calls for a proper foundation study to be done, in which the subsoil is examined.